What Is Nefazodone Used For?
It is not entirely clear how nefazodone works. There are no other medications that work exactly like nefazodone. Nefazodone acts on specific chemicals within the brain known as serotonin and norepinephrine. Serotonin and norepinephrine are chemicals used to send messages between nerves; when serotonin and norepinephrine levels become unbalanced, however, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Nefazodone helps to block the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine so that more is available for the nerves in the brain, returning the serotonin back to its "normal" levels. However, unlike selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Nefazodone may also block certain types of serotonin receptors.
Nefazodone is not approved for use in childhood depression. In two studies, nefazodone was not shown to be effective for treating depression in children. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using nefazodone in children with depression.
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend nefazodone for treating something other than depression. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, there are several off-label nefazodone uses, including the treatment of:
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Social anxiety disorder (social phobia).