The Uses and Effects of Trazodone

This sedative antidepressant that causes drowsiness, especially at the beginning of treatment. How does it work? What are its adverse effects of trazodone? Find out in the following article.
The Uses and Effects of Trazodone

Last update: 18 December, 2020

Trazodoe is a drug that’s mainly used to treat depression. It belongs to the group of drugs called antidepressants and comes in tablets for oral administration.

How is it administered? What are the side effects of trazodone?

We’ll tell you in the following article.

What is trazodone used for?

Trazodone is a sedative antidepressant that causes drowsiness, especially at the beginning of treatment. It’s used for the treatment of major depressive episodes and mixed states of depression and anxiety.

Trazodone may control depression but it doesn’t cure it. Furthermore, it may take two weeks or more to begin to take effect. Even if you’re feeling well, you shouldn’t stop taking trazodone suddenly, as you may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Sometimes doctors also prescribe trazodone for people who have insomnia, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that results in altered and unusual thoughts, loss of interest in life, and strong emotions.

It can also be useful for treating uncontrolled movements that are a side effect of treatment with other medications.

A man burrying his face in his hands.
Trazodone is an antidepressant used as part of the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, and schizophrenia.

Doctors often recommend an initial dose of 100-150 mg per day, spread over several doses after meals. Another possibility is to take a single dose before sleeping. Doctors may gradually increase the amount to a maximum of 400 mg a day.

Usually, the dose increase is 50 mg a day, every three or four days. In the case of hospitalization, doctors may increase the dose to a maximum of 600 mg per day, divided into several doses.

Once specialists find the appropriate dose of trazodone, the patient should maintain it for at least four weeks. After that, the doctor will gradually reduce the dose, depending on the therapeutic response.

Then, the patient will maintain treatment until the patient has been well for a period of four to six months. Then, the doctor will gradually reduce the amount until it’s low enough to stop treatment.

What to do in case of an overdose?

In case of overdose or accidental ingestion, immediately consult your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room indicating the medication and the amount you ingested.

The most frequent overdose symptoms are drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. In more severe cases, the patient may go into a coma, or experience convulsions, hyponatremia (low blood sodium concentration), hypotension, tachycardia, and respiratory failure.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, you shouldn’t take a double dose to make up for the one you missed. However, you should take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, don’t take the one you missed.

Various blister packs of pills on a night stand, with a woman laying in bed looking distressed in the background.
If you miss a dose of trazodone treatment, don’t take twice as much to make up for it.

Possible side effects of trazodone

Like all medications, trazodone can produce adverse effects, although not everyone experiences them. Go to your nearest doctor or hospital when you experience any of these effects:

  • Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, face, lips, or throat. (this could be an allergic reaction)
  • Painful erection of the penis, without sexual intercourse, that doesn’t go away
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • More frequent infections. This could be from a blood disorder (agranulocytosis)
  • Bruising may also occur more easily than usual, which could be due to a blood disorder (thrombocytopenia)

Also, if there are pain and swelling of the abdomen, vomiting and constipation may be signs that the intestine isn’t working properly.

Other side effects of trazodone

You must contact your doctor if you notice the following adverse effects:

  • Self-injurious thoughts
  • Convulsions or attacks
  • Rashes or unusual skin sensations such as numbness, prickling, burning, or tingling
  • Sensations of confusion, restlessness, hallucinations, pulled muscles, and rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing and walking
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Fluid retention, which can cause swelling of the arms or legs
  • Involuntary muscle movements, especially in the arms and legs


Trazodone is an antidepressant medication. In low doses, it’s useful in some sleep disorders such as insomnia. However, don’t forget that there should always be medical supervision of treatment.

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