FDA BLACK BOX WARNING
Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs
Compared with placebo, antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of nefazodone 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 with placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared with 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 is not approved for use in pediatric patients.
OTHER IMPORTANT WARNINGS
Cases of life-threatening hepatic failure have been reported in patients treated with SERZONE. The reported rate in the United States is about 1 case of liver failure resulting in death or transplant per 250,000–300,000 patient-years of Serzone 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 SERZONE 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. SERZONE should be discontinued if clinical signs or symptoms suggest liver failure. Patients who develop evidence of hepatocellular injury such as increased serum AST or serum ALT levels .5 (greater than or equal to) 3 times the upper limit of NORMAL, while on SERZONE should be withdrawn from the drug. These patients should be presumed to be at increased risk for liver injury if SERZONE is reintroduced. Accordingly, such patients should not be considered for re-treatment.