Serzone and Liver Failure
Certain side effects or complications may occur with the use of Serzone. Liver failure is a problem that has been reported with the medication. Compared to the general population, people who are taking Serzone are three to four times more likely to develop liver failure. If you notice any signs of liver damage, such as yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, or digestive problems, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Serzone® (nefazodone hydrochloride) is a prescription medication approved to treat depression. Bristol-Myers Squibb voluntarily stopped making Serzone a few years ago, due to possible problems with liver damage. However, generic Serzone is still available.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a special warning (called a black box warning) about Serzone and liver damage. There have been cases of liver failure reported with Serzone. Some of these cases have resulted in death or the need for a liver transplant. It appears that people taking Serzone have about three to four times the risk of liver failure, compared with the general population.
You should not take Serzone if you already have liver problems, such as cirrhosis. If you have elevated liver enzymes (found using a blood test), you should not take Serzone. You should let your healthcare provider know right away if you notice any signs of liver damage, such as:
- Loss of appetite
- General ill feeling
- Dark urine
- Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)
- Upper right abdominal pain
- Other digestive problems.
Because there are so many available alternatives to Serzone for treating depression (see Serzone Alternatives), many healthcare providers have chosen to stop prescribing Serzone altogether. Talk with your healthcare provider if you are interested in using an alternative to Serzone.