Serzone is a prescription medication that is given to patients who are seriously depressed (Dysthymia,Major Depression, and Bipolar Disorder) to alleviate the symptoms of depression such as sleep and eating habits, changes in weight, coordination, fatigue, unjustified feelings of worthlessness or suicidal thoughts which prohibit normal functioning. It balances levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain which doctors think will help alleviate symptoms of depression much like the phenylpiperazine antidepressant, Trazodone (Desyrel).
Between nerve endings in the brain, there are synapses. When a signal is transmitted, you feel it when chemicals are released from one nerve to another. Seratonin is a brain chemical associated with happiness. When these chemicals are released they are either taken in by the next nerve, thus continuing the signal, or if the next nerve doesn't absorb them and they are left in the synapse, the nerve that released them will re-absorb them and the signal doesn't pass. Some antidepressants work by blocking the reabsorbing (reuptake) of Seratonin by the releasing nerve. That means that more Seratonin stays in the synapse for a longer amount of time and the hope is that it increases the chances for it to be absorbed by the new nerve which, in the case of Seratonin, would continue the signal of happiness.
A serious side effect of this drug was shown to be liver failure. Signs of impending liver failure include a loss of appetite, an upset stomach, or a jaundicing (yellowing) of the skin and eyes. Two women who had taken Serzone for just 14 to 28 weeks had such severe liver damage that they suffered liver failure and needed immediate transplants. Serzone Lawsuits have been filed charging that Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (Serzone's manufacturer) knew and ignored the life-threatening aspect of their drug. However patients taking Serzone weren't aware that the drug had such serious side effects even though studies conducted prior to the release of the drug clearly indicated the likely chance of their occurrence.
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