Nefazodone treats depression. It may take several weeks or longer for you to feel the full benefit of nefazodone.

Nefazodone Overview


Nefazodone is a prescription medication used to treat depression. Nefazodone belongs to a group of drugs called serotonin modulators. These work by increasing serotonin in the brain that maintains mental balance. 

This medication comes in an oral (by mouth) tablet form and is usually taken 2 times a day, with or without food. 

Common side effects of nefazodone include nausea and constipation.

Nefazodone can also cause dizziness and blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how nefazodone affects you.

Nefazodone Genetic Information

CYP2D6 is a protein in your body that is involved in the elimination of nefazodone and other drugs from your body. Some patients have less of this protein in their bodies, affecting how much of the drug gets eliminated. Levels of CYP2D6 can vary greatly between individuals, and those having less of this protein are known as "poor metabolizers." 

CYP2D6 testing is done to determine whether you are a poor metabolizer. If you are a poor metabolizer, the levels of nefazodone in your blood can become too high. As a result you may be at an increased risk of having more side effects from nefazodone. 

Your doctor may adjust your dose of nefazodone if you are a poor metabolizer.

How was your experience with Nefazodone?

First, a little about yourself

Tell us about yourself in a few words?

What tips would you provide a friend before taking Nefazodone?

What are you taking Nefazodone for?

Choose one
  • Other
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Stress Disorders, Post-traumatic

How long have you been taking it?

Choose one
  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

How well did Nefazodone work for you?

Did you experience many side effects while taking this drug?

How likely would you be to recommend Nefazodone to a friend?

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Nefazodone Cautionary Labels


Uses of Nefazodone

Nefazodone is a prescription medication used to treat depression. 

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Nefazodone Brand Names

Nefazodone may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Nefazodone Drug Class

Nefazodone is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Nefazodone

Serious side effects have been reported with nefazodone. See the "Nefazodone Precautions" section.

Common side effects of nefazodone include the following:

  • nausea
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • lightheadedness
  • blurred vision and/or abnormal vision
  • confusion
  • weakness
  • sleepiness

This is not a complete list of nefazodone side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Nefazodone Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Many medicines can interact with nefazodone. Talk to your doctor if you take one of the following medicines:

  • antifungal medicine (ketoconazole, itraconazole, fluconazole)
  • warfarin (coumadin)
  • antidepressants
  • MAO inhibitors such as such as Nardil or Parnate
  • digoxin
  • phenytoin
  • Tegretol (carbamazepine)
  • HIV medicines
  • Halcion (triazolam)

These are not all the possible drug interactions with nefazodone. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information

Nefazodone Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with nefazodone including the following:

Important Information about antidepressant medicines, depression and other serious mental illnesses, and suicidal thoughts or actions:

  1. Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults within the first few months of treatment.

  2. Depression and other serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) bipolar illness (also called manic-depressive illness) or suicidal thoughts or actions.

  3. How can I watch for and try to prevent suicidal thoughts and actions in myself or a family member?

  • Pay close attention to any changes, especially sudden changes, in mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings. This is very important when an antidepressant medicine is started or when the dose is changed.
  • Call the healthcare provider right away to report new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings.
  • Keep all follow-up visits with the healthcare provider as scheduled. Call the healthcare provider between visits as needed, especially if you have concerns about symptoms.

Call a healthcare provider right away if you or your family member has any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you:

  • thoughts about suicide or dying
  • attempts to commit suicide
  • new or worse depression
  • new or worse anxiety
  • feeling very agitated or restless
  • panic attacks
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • new or worse irritability
  • acting aggressive, being angry, or violent
  • acting on dangerous impulses
  • an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
  • other unusual changes in behavior or mood

More information about antidepressant medications:

  • Never stop an antidepressant medicine without first talking to a healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause other symptoms.
  • Antidepressants are medicines used to treat depression and other illnesses. It is important to discuss all the risks of treating depression and also the risks of not treating it. Patients and their families or other caregivers should discuss all treatment choices with the healthcare provider, not just the use of antidepressants.
  • Antidepressant medicines have other side effects. Talk to the healthcare provider about the side effects of the medicine prescribed for you or your family member.
  • Antidepressant medicines can interact with other medicines. Know all of the medicines that you or your family member takes. Keep a list of all medicines to show the healthcare provider. Do not start new medicines without first checking with your healthcare provider.
  • Not all antidepressant medicines prescribed for children are FDA approved for use in children. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider for more information.

Nefazodone can also cause dizziness and blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how nefazodone affects you.

  • Nefazodone can cause a decline in liver function. Tell your healthcare provider about any signs or symptoms of liver damage, which include the following:
    • loss of appetite or start losing weight (anorexia)
    • nausea or vomiting
    • feel tired
    • stomach pain or tenderness
    • dark urine or light colored stools
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
    • fever or rash
  • Nefazodone can cause priapism. Tell your healthcare provider if you have an erection that lasts too long.
  • Nefazodone can cause seizures (convulsions). Tell your healthcare provider if you a seizure. 
  • Nefazodone can cause orthostatic hypotension (decreased blood pressure). Lightheadedness or fainting can occur when rising too quickly from a sitting or lying position.

Tell your doctor right away about any side effects that you have or discomfort that you experience. Do not change your dose or stop taking nefazodone without talking with your doctor first.

Do not take nefazodone if you

  • are allergic to nefazodone or the related medicine Desyrel (trazodone).
  • are taking Orap (pimozide) used to treat Tourette’s syndrome or Tegretol (carbamazepine) used to control seizures.
  • currently have liver problems or have had liver injury while using nefazodone
  • are taking or have taken within the last 14 days one of the medicines for depression known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as Nardil or Parnate.

Nefazodone Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods.

In the case of nefazodone, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Inform MD

Before taking nefazodone, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

Be sure to tell your doctor if you:

  • have ever had liver problems
  • are taking any other medicine, vitamin supplement, or herbal remedy, including those sold without a prescription (over-the-counter)
  • have heart problems or have had a heart attack or stroke
  • have had manic episodes (extreme agitation or excitability)
  • have ever attempted suicide
  • have had convulsions (seizures)
  • are pregnant or breast-feeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Nefazodone and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Nefazodone falls into category C. In animal studies, pregnant animals were given this medication and had some babies born with problems. No well-controlled studies have been done in humans. Therefore, this medication may be used if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn child.


Nefazodone and Lactation

It is not known if nefazodone crosses into human milk. Because many medications can cross into human milk and because of the possibility for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants with use of this medication, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or stop the use of this medication. Your doctor and you will decide if the benefits outweigh the risk of using nefazodone.

Nefazodone Usage

Take nefazodone exactly as prescribed.

Nefazodone comes in tablet form and is taken twice a day, with or without food. 

Nefazodone Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

The recommended dose of nefazodone for the treatment of depression is starting at 100mg twice daily to a maintenance dose of 150mg to 300mg twice daily.

Nefazodone Overdose

If you take too much nefazodone, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Store nefazodone at room temperature.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.

Nefazodone FDA Warning

Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of nefazodone hydrochloride tablets or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. Nefazodone hydrochloride tablets are not approved for use in pediatric patients.

Warning- Liver Failure

Cases of life-threatening hepatic failure have been reported in patients treated with nefazodone hydrochloride tablets. The reported rate in the United States is about 1 case of liver failure resulting in death or transplant per 250,000 to 300,000 patient-years of nefazodone hydrochloride treatment. The total patient-years is a summation of each patient’s duration of exposure expressed in years. For example, 1 patient-year is equal to 2 patients each treated for 6 months, 3 patients each treated for 4 months, etc.

Ordinarily, treatment with nefazodone hydrochloride tablets should not be initiated in individuals with active liver disease or with elevated baseline serum transaminases. There is no evidence that pre-existing liver disease increases the likelihood of developing liver failure, however, baseline abnormalities can complicate patient monitoring.

Patients should be advised to be alert for signs and symptoms of liver dysfunction (jaundice, anorexia, gastrointestinal complaints, malaise, etc.) and to report them to their doctor immediately if they occur.

Nefazodone hydrochloride tablets should be discontinued if clinical signs or symptoms suggest liver failure (see PRECAUTIONS, Information for Patients). Patients who develop evidence of hepatocellular injury such as increased serum AST or serum ALT levels ≥ 3 times the upper limit of NORMAL, while on nefazodone hydrochloride tablets should be withdrawn from the drug. These patients should be presumed to be at increased risk for liver injury if nefazodone hydrochloride is reintroduced. Accordingly, such patients should not be considered for re-treatment.