Trazodone – Uses and Side Effects

Type of Drug:

Antidepressant; mood-elevating agent.

How the Trazodone Works:

It is not known how trazodone works to relieve depression. It is believed trazodone modifies the chemical balance in the brain, which changes behavior. It does not stimulate the brain.

Uses of The Trazodone:

To relieve mental depression.

Unlabeled Uses: Occasionally doctors may prescribe trazodone for cocaine withdrawal, to manage aggressive behavior when used with other medications, and to treat patients with panic disorder or agoraphobia (fear of open or public places) with panic attacks.


Do not use in the following situations: Allergy to trazodone or any of its ingredients.

Priapism: If you experience prolonged or painful penile erection, discontinue use immediately and consult your doctor. Permanent damage of normal penis function and impotence have occurred.

Pregnancy: There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Use only if clearly needed and potential benefits to the mother outweigh the possible hazards to the fetus.

Breastfeeding: It is not known if trazodone appears in breast milk. Consult your doctor before you begin breastfeeding.

Children: Safety and effectiveness in children younger than 18 years of age have not been established.

Lab Tests: Lab tastes may be required to monitor therapy. Tests include blood counts.

Drug Interactions:

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or if you are planning to take any over-the-counter or prescription medications or dietary supplements with trazodone. Doses of one or both drugs may need to be modified or a different drug may need to be prescribed. The following drugs and drug classes interact with trazodone:

  • Anesthetics CNS depressants (eg, alcohol, barbiturates, narcotics)
  • Digoxin (eg, Lanoxin)
  • Phenytoin (eg, dilantin)
  • Warfarin (eg, Coumadin)

Side Effects of Trazodone:

Every drug is capable of producing side effects. Many trazodone users experience no, or minor, side effects. The frequency and severity of side effects depend on many factors including dose, duration of therapy, and individual susceptibility. Possible side effects include:

Digestive Tract: Upset stomach; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; constipation; decreased appetite; dry mouth.

Nervous System: Anger; hostility; sleeplessness; nightmares or vivid dreams; confusion; disorientation; decreased concentration; dizziness; drowsiness; excitement; fatigue; headache; tremor; impaired memory; nervousness; incoordination; lightheadedness.

Circulatory System: Changes in blood pressure; pounding in the chest; fast heartbeat.

Senses: Ringing in the ears; blurred vision; red, tired, itching eyes; nasal or sinus congestion.

Other: Shortness of breath; weight changes; swelling; aches and pains; fainting; bad taste in the mouth; abnormal skin sensations; general body discomfort; feeling of heaviness or fullness in the head; prolonged painful erection; decreased sex drive; clamminess; sweating; orthostatic hypotension (dizziness or lightheadedness when rising from a sitting or lying position).

Guidelines for Use:

  • Dosage is individualized.
  • Dosage will be initiated at a low level and increased gradually by your doctor.
  • Take shortly after a meal or snack.
  • If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless advised to do so by your doctor. If more than one dose is missed, or it is necessary to establish a new dosage schedule, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • May cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. Use caution while driving or performing other tasks requiring alertness, coordination, or physical dexterity.
  • Avoid alcohol or other drowsiness-causing medications (eg, antihistamines, barbiturates, narcotic pain relievers) while taking trazodone.
  • Notify your doctor if you experience drowsiness, sore throat, fever, or any signs of infection.
  • Male patients with prolonged and painful erections (priapism) should immediately discontinue the drug and consult their doctor.
  • Lab tests may be required to monitor therapy. Be sure to keep appointments.
  • Store at controlled room temperature (59 0 to 86°F).

Tagged under:, , , ,

Leave a Comment

Name: (Required)

E-mail: (Required)