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Related to nefazodone: trazodone


an antidepressant, used as the hydrochloride salt.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


(neff-a-zoe-done) ,


(trade name)


Therapeutic: antidepressants
Pregnancy Category: C


Major depression.Panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Inhibits the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine by neurons.
Antagonizes alpha1-adrenergic receptors.

Therapeutic effects

Antidepressant action, which may develop only after several weeks.


Absorption: Well absorbed but undergoes extensive and variable first-pass hepatic metabolism (bioavailability about 20%).
Distribution: Widely distributed; enters the CNS.
Protein Binding: ≥99%.
Metabolism and Excretion: Extensively metabolized. One metabolite (hydroxynefazodone) has antidepressant activity.
Half-life: Nefazodone—2–4 hr; hydroxynefazodone—1.5–4 hr.

Time/action profile (antidepressant action)

POdays–wkseveral wkunknown


Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity;Concurrent MAO inhibitor therapy;Active liver disease or baseline ↑ serum transaminases.
Use Cautiously in: May ↑ risk of suicide attempt/ideation especially during dose early treatment or dose adjustment;History of suicide attempt or drug abuse;Underlying cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease;History of mania; Obstetric: Safety no established; Lactation: Discontinue drug or bottle-feed; Pediatric: Safety not established in children; suicide risk may be greater in children and adolescents ; Geriatric: Initiate therapy at lower doses.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

Central nervous system

  • suicidal thoughts (life-threatening)
  • dizziness (most frequent)
  • insomnia (most frequent)
  • somnolence (most frequent)
  • agitation
  • confusion
  • weakness

Ear, Eye, Nose, Throat

  • abnormal vision
  • blurred vision
  • eye pain
  • tinnitus


  • dyspnea


  • bradycardia
  • hypotension


  • hepatotoxicity (life-threatening)
  • constipation (most frequent)
  • dry mouth (most frequent)
  • nausea (most frequent)
  • gastroenteritis


  • erectile dysfunction


  • rash


  • decreased hematocrit


Drug-Drug interaction

Serious, potentially fatal reactions may occur during concurrent use withMAO inhibitors(do not use concurrently or within 2 wk of MAO inhibitors; discontinue nefazodone at least 14 days before starting MAO inhibitor therapy).↑ CNS depression with other CNS depressants including alcohol, antihistamines, opioid analgesics, and sedative/hypnotics.May ↑ blood levels and effects of alprazolam or triazolam.May ↑ serum digoxin levels.Additive hypotension may occur with antihypertensives, nitrates, or acute ingestion of alcohol.May ↑ risk of myopathy with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.↓ antidepressant action with concomitant use of carbamazepine.May ↓ clearance of haloperidol, so haloperidol dose may need to be ↓.↑ risk of serotonin syndrome with St. John’s wort and SAMe.Kava-kava, valerian, or chamomile can ↑ CNS depression.


Oral (Adults) 100 mg twice daily initially; may be ↑ weekly up to 600 mg/day in 2 divided doses.
Oral (Geriatric Patients) 50 mg twice daily initially; may be ↑ weekly as tolerated.

Availability (generic available)

Tablets: 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess mental status (orientation, mood, behavior) frequently. Inform health care professional if patient demonstrates significant increase in anxiety, nervousness, or insomnia.
  • Assess suicidal tendencies, especially in early therapy. Restrict amount of drug available to patient.
  • Monitor BP and pulse before and periodically during therapy.
  • Monitor liver function tests prior to and routinely during therapy. Obtain LFTs at first sign of hepatic dysfunction (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fatigue, anorexia, dark urine).
  • Assess for sexual dysfunction throughout treatment.
  • Lab Test Considerations: May cause decrease in hematocrit and leukopenia.
    • Monitor liver function periodically. If serum AST or ALT levels are >3 times the upper limit of normal discontinue nefazodone.
    • May also cause hypercholesterolemia and hypoglycemia.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Ineffective coping (Indications)
Risk for injury (Side Effects)


  • Do not confuse Serzone (nefazodone) with Seroquel (quetiapine).
  • Discontinue nefazodone prior to elective surgery to prevent potential interactions with general anesthesia.
  • Oral: Administer doses twice daily.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to take medication as directed. Several weeks may be required to obtain a full antidepressant response. Once response is obtained, therapy should be continued for at least 6 mo. If a dose is missed, take as soon as possible unless almost time for next dose. Do not double doses.
  • May cause drowsiness or dizziness. Caution patient to avoid driving or other activities requiring alertness until response to the drug is known.
  • Advise patient to make position changes slowly to minimize orthostatic hypotension.
  • Encourage patient and family to be alert for emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, impulsivity, akathisia, hypomania, mania, worsening of depression and suicidal ideation, especially during early antidepressant therapy. Assess symptoms on a day-to-day basis as changes may be abrupt. If these symptoms occur, notify health care professional.
  • Caution patient to avoid taking alcohol or other CNS depressant drugs during therapy and not to take other prescription, OTC medications, or herbal products without consulting health care professional.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional immediately if signs of liver dysfunction (jaundice, anorexia, GI complaints, malaise, dark urine) occur.
  • Inform patient that frequent mouth rinses, good oral hygiene, and sugarless gum or candy may minimize dry mouth. If dry mouth persists for more than 2 wk, consult health care professional regarding use of saliva substitute.
  • Instruct patient to notify health care professional of signs of allergy (rash, hives) or if agitation, blurred or other changes in vision, confusion, dizziness, unsteadiness, difficult or frequent urination, difficulty concentrating, or memory problems occur.
  • Instruct female patient to inform health care professional if pregnancy is planned or suspected or if breast feeding.
  • Emphasize the importance of follow-up examinations to monitor progress.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Increased sense of well-being.
    • Renewed interest in surroundings. May require several weeks of therapy to obtain full response. Need for therapy should be periodically reassessed. Therapy is usually continued for 6 mo or more.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners


Serzone® Psychiatry An anxiolytic serotonin antagonist reuptake inhibitor Adverse effects Sedation, vertigo, weakness
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Nefazodone is effective for PTSD but is associated with rare but serious hepatotoxicity.
* 7 were case reports related to using sertraline (13), fluvoxamine (14), sibutramine (15), nefazodone (16,17), venlafaxine
Open trial of nefazodone for combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder.
The combination of the prokinetic medication cisapride and the antidepressants fluvoxamine and nefazodone is of particular concern.
(22) A retrospective study of nefazodone also has suggested that it may be an option for treating CSB.
The researchers looked at amitriptyline, citalopram, clomipramine, desipramine, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, imipramine, mirtazapine, nefazodone, nortriptyline, paroxetine, sertraline, and venlafaxine (Lancet.
In addition to venlafaxine, the researchers looked at amitriptyline, citalopram, clomipramine, desipramine, duloxetine, escitalopram, fluoxetine, imipramine, mirtazapine, nefazodone, nortriptyline, paroxetine, and sertraline (Lancet.
If activation occurs, he advised switching patients to a nonactivating antidepressant, such as duloxetine, nefazodone, or a tricyclic agent, rather than rechallenging them with another SSRI.
Other recommended second-tier medications for PTSD, in addition to mirtazapine and adjunctive atypical antipsychotics, include the tricyclic antidepressants, nefazodone, prazosin when prescribed for sleep problems or nightmares, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
A crossover RCT compared 12 weeks of the cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP) in 61 patients who had failed to respond to a 12-week course of nefazodone with 12 weeks of nefazodone treatment in 79 patients who hadn't responded to 12 weeks of CBASP.
The drugs include bupropion (Wellbutrin), mirtazapine (Remeron), nefazodone (Serzone), and trazodone (Desyrel).