Precautions and Warnings With Nefazodone
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of with nefazodone include:
- Nefazodone may increase your risk of liver failure. If you already have liver problems (such as cirrhosis or increased liver enzymes), you should not take nefazodone. Also, you should watch for signs of liver damage if you are taking nefazodone. These signs include yellow eyes or skin, dark urine, and digestive problems (see Serzone and Liver Failure for more information). If you have ever had liver problems while taking Nefazodone in the past, you should not start taking nefazodone again.
- Antidepressants (including nefazodone) may increase the risk of suicidal thinking or behavior in children, teenagers, and adults (see Depression and Suicide for more information). Therefore, if you notice any changes in symptoms or new symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider immediately. Some of these symptoms may include anxiety, hostility, agitation, panic, restlessness, hallucinations, extreme hyperactivity, and suicidal thinking or behavior (see Serzone and Suicide for more information).
- Before prescribing nefazodone for depression, your healthcare provider should make sure that you do not have bipolar disorder (instead of depression). Sometimes, the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression are very similar, and nefazodone can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder.
- Nefazodone can interact with several medications. Some of these interactions can be quite serious (see Drug Interactions With Nefazodone).
- Nefazodone can cause low blood pressure, especially when standing or sitting up suddenly (this is known medically as orthostatic hypotension or postural hypotension). This can be especially dangerous for people who have had a heart attack or stroke. Let your healthcare provider know if you have symptoms of low blood pressure, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
- Nefazodone can cause seizures, especially in people who have had seizures before. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking nefazodone if you have a seizure disorder.
- Nefazodone can cause priapism, a painful erection of the penis that does not go away. Even though it may seem embarrassing, seek medical attention right away if you experience priapism, as it can cause permanent damage to the penis.
- Nefazodone may affect your ability to perform complex tasks requiring mental and motor skills. Therefore, it is recommended that you become accustomed to its effect on you before becoming involved in activities requiring mental or motor concentration (such as driving a car or operating machinery).
- Tell your healthcare provider if you have an upcoming surgery, as it is recommended to stop taking nefazodone before surgery.
- Nefazodone is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using nefazodone during pregnancy (see Serzone and Pregnancy for more information).
- It appears that nefazodone passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using nefazodone.