What Is Serzone?

What is serzone? An easy to understand overview of the applications for, and side effects of this relatively new antidepressant used to treat anxiety and sleeplessness often seen in depressions.

Serzone (generic name nefazodone hydrochloride) was approved by the FDA for use in the United States for the treatment of depression in 1994. It has been prescribed in Europe for over 15 years with no long term side effects reported thus far.

An anti-depressant in a class of its own in terms of its structure and composition, Serzone shares some characteristics with other serotonin uptake inhibitors like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft. It is most often used to treat a specific form of depression without some of the side effects so commonly experienced by users of other similar drugs.

Serzone is effective in treating people with depression that includes anxiety and insomnia. Approximately 70% of users report it to be effective when used as directed. However, it is most important to realize that while improvements may be seen in the early days of treatment in the episodes of anxiety and sleeplessness, its effects on the underlying depression, sadness, and inability to concentrate and focus may take up to 6-8 weeks to be evidenced and stabilized.

Unlike other anti-depressants Serzone does not cause weight gain in the majority of users, although it can increase appetite. While Zoloft and Prozac can often cause insomnia, tiredness, restlessness and loss of libido, Serzone has the opposite effect and does not aggravate existing sleep problems; indeed it often encourages and supports better sleep patterns. Likewise, Serzone is not associated with a decrease in libido or sexual functioning.

The most common side effects experienced in the first week or two of usage include: dry mouth, dizziness, lightheadedness, drowsiness, sleepiness, nausea and constipation. Most of these will cease as the body adjusts to the dosage.

It is crucial to increase the twice daily doses incrementally over time until the lowest effective dose is established. The recommended beginning dose is 100 mg twice daily, 200 mg/day total. The maximum recommended dose is 300 mg twice per day, 600 mg/day total. This drug will not eventually lose its effectiveness; a higher dose may be required but users will not develop a resistance to the medication, nor will they become addicted to it or see changes in their basic personality.

As with all medications, it is imperative to consult a physician for possible interactions between Serzone and other drugs, vitamins, herbs, and over-the-counter medicines. Serious toxicity, even coma, may result if it is taken with MAO inhibitors. At least 14 days must pass when stopping an MAO inhibitor before beginning a Serzone program of treatment.

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