Q: What is the most important information I should know about Serzone?
A: In rare cases, treatment with Serzone has been associated with serious liver problems, sometimes resulting in liver transplants or death. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience early signs of liver problems such as: yellowing of the skin or eyes; unusually dark urine; loss of appetite that lasts several days or longer; severe nausea; or stomach pain. Also, do not take Serzone if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in the last 14 days, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Note that on May 19th, 2004 Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that due to declining sales, Serzone will no longer be sold in the U.S. after June 14th, 2004. This action did not affect sales of generic versions of Serzone (nefazodone).
Q: My husband is suffering health problems that I believe were caused by Serzone. What can I do?
A: If you or a loved one have taken Serzone and experienced any unusual side effects or suffered injury, you should contact a physician for proper medical attention. In addition, you should contact an experienced product liability attorney, who will assess and protect your legal rights. While almost all medications have some anticipated side effects, under product liability law, a drug manufacturer has a duty to adequately inform physicians and consumers regarding the known risks associated with its drugs. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be held responsible to patients who are injured as a result.
Q: What should I tell the doctor if I suspect I have depression?
A: A major depressive episode usually interferes with daily functions for at least two weeks. Tell the doctor if you have had any of the following symptoms: depressed mood, loss of interest in usual activities, significant change in weight and/or appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, a suicide attempt or thoughts of suicide.
Q: Why would Serzone be prescribed instead of another antidepressant?
A: Serzone is chemically different from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressants. It inhibits the uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine and blocks one type of serotonin receptor. It is thought that this blocking effect greatly decreases the insomnia, weight gain and lack of sexual interest common in patients taking other antidepressants.
Q: What should I tell the doctor if he/she intends to prescribe Serzone to me?
A: Before taking Serzone, you should tell the doctor if you:
- Have heart disease, high or low blood pressure, or irregular heartbeats;
- Have seizures;
- Have had manic episodes (extreme agitation or excitability);
- Have kidney disease;
- Have liver disease;
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Q: What questions should I ask before leaving the doctor's office for treatment of depression?
A: What are the advantages and disadvantages of my various treatment options? When might I expect to start feeling better? What can I expect over the coming months/years? Under what circumstances should I call his/her office?
Q: What are the possible side effects of Serzone?
A: The most common side effects of Serzone are sleepiness, dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, constipation, weakness, lightheadedness, problems with vision, and confusion. If you experience any of the following symptoms while taking Serzone, call your doctor or healthcare professional immediately - yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice); loss of appetite that lasts for several days or longer; abdominal (lower stomach) pain; unusually dark urine; or nausea.
Q: What should I avoid while taking Serzone?
A: Serzone may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking Serzone. Avoid alcohol during treatment with Serzone. Other drugs that you take, including aspirin, may interact with Serzone. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription, overthecounter medicine, or herbal product.