Trazodone belongs to the drug class phenylpiperazine antidepressants and is used for the treatment of major depressive disorder and other conditions, including dysthymia, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, chronic pain, neuropathic pain and, in some cases, dysmenorrhoea, snoring, migraine, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), addiction, dependence, and sleep disorders.
It affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression and may be prescribed alone or in combination with other medications.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
It may require long-term treatment and most people with this condition feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both. An example of antidepressant medication is Trazodone, also known as “mood elevator.” It increases a chemical in the brain called serotonin and when its levels are increased, it helps regulate the mood and stabilize depression.
Trazodone is available in tablet or an extended-release tablet. Your doctor will tell you how much trazodone to take and when to take it. The doctor may also advise you to take trazodone shortly after a meal or a light snack. It is important to take trazodone at the same time each day. Do not take more doses of trazodone than directed. Do not stop taking trazodone suddenly, except on the advice of your doctor. Stopping this medicine too quickly may cause serious side effects or your condition to worsen. Always follow your doctor’s instructions.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose and gradually increase overtime. It is important to allow enough time for it to take effect. Do not stop taking trazodone without talking with your doctor first.
Side Effects, Cautions, and Precautions
- Before taking Trazodone, talk to your doctor about any health conditions you have or have had in the past.
- Inform the doctor if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Trazodone should not be taken if you are allergic to it or to any of its component. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking including herbal medicines, vitamins, supplements, and over-the counter-medications.
- Discuss with your doctor any side effects which are bothersome or seek emergency help if you notice any sudden, new, or worsening depression; extreme changes in mood; or suicidal thoughts, impulses, or actions.
- Serious side effects include:
- Confusion, weakness, or decreased coordination
- Stiff, rigid muscles or uncontrollable muscle twitching or tremors
- Fever, sore throat, or other signs of infection
- Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- Painful, prolonged erection
- Extreme dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
- Less serious side effects include:
- Drowsiness or sleepiness
- Mild headache
- Stomach upset, nausea, or vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Trouble sleeping
- Blurred vision or trouble focusing
- Dry mouth
- Signs of allergic reaction are: itching or hives; swelling or tingling in the face, lips, mouth, throat, or hands; chest pain or tightness; or difficulty breathing or swallowing.
- This is not a complete list of side effects and precautionary measures. Always seek emergency help with any serious side effects or allergic reaction. Report to your doctor any bothersome or alarming side effects you experience while taking this medication.
- Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how trazodone affects you.
- Make sure all your doctors including your dentists know that you are taking trazodone as this may interact with other medications and procedures.
- Inform the doctor of any change or worsening symptoms over time.
- Do not give this medicine to anyone younger than 18 years old without the advice of a doctor. Trazodone is not approved for use in children.
- Take only as prescribed and do stop using this medication without doctor’s advice. This may lead to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
- Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.