Generic Name: Trazodone Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is trazodone used for?

Trazodone is commonly used to treat depression. It may help to improve your mood, appetite, and energy level as well as decrease anxiety and insomnia related to depression. Trazodone works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural chemical (serotonin) in the brain.

How should I take trazodone?

Take this medication by mouth, usually once or twice daily after a meal or snack or as directed by your doctor. If drowsiness is a problem and you are taking 1 dose daily, take it at bedtime. If you are taking 2 doses each day, it may help to take 1 of the doses at bedtime. Follow your doctor’s directions carefully.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may start you at a low dose and gradually increase your dose.

Take this medication exactly as prescribed. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and the risk of serious side effects may be increased.

It is important to continue taking this medication as prescribed even if you feel well. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Anxiety, agitation, and trouble sleeping can occur if the drug is suddenly stopped.

It may take 2 to 4 weeks before you notice the full effects of this medication. Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

How do I store trazodone?

Trazodone is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store trazodone in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of trazodone that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush trazodone down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using trazodone?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of trazodone or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Do not use trazodone if you have taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, and tranylcypromine. After you stop taking trazodone, you must wait at least 14 days before you start taking an MAOI.

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using trazodone. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Taking an SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy may cause serious lung problems or other complications in the baby. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking trazodone. Do not start or stop taking this medicine during pregnancy without your doctor’s advice.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using trazodone during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking trazodone. Trazodone is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from trazodone?

Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:

Stop taking trazodone and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • Extreme mood swings, restlessness, or sleep problems
  • Dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Agitation, hallucinations, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination
  • Very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out
  • Headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, seizure, shallow breathing or breathing that stops
  • Chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling

Stop taking trazodone and call your doctor at once if you have a penis erection that is painful or lasts 6 hours or longer. This is a medical emergency and could lead to a serious condition that must be corrected with surgery.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with trazodone?

Trazodone may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Any other antidepressant
  • Anagrelide
  • Droperidol
  • Methadone
  • Ondansetron
  • An antibiotic–azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, pentamidine
  • Cancer medicine–arsenic trioxide, vandetanib
  • Anti-malaria medication–chloroquine, halofantrine
  • Heart rhythm medicine–amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, dronedarone, flecainide, ibutilide, quinidine, sotalol
  • Medicine to treat a psychiatric disorder–chlorpromazine, haloperidol, pimozide, thioridazine

Does food or alcohol interact with trazodone?

Trazodone may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with trazodone?

Trazodone may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Behavior or mood changes (e.g., aggression, panic attacks)
  • Bipolar disorder (mood disorder with mania and depression)
  • Glaucoma (angle closure type)
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., QT prolongation)
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Mania or hypomania (mood disorders)
  • Priapism (painful or prolonged erection of the penis)
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Heart rhythm problems (e.g., QT prolongation)
  • Hypokalemia (low potassium in the blood)
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood)

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using trazodone.

What is the dose of trazodone for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Depression:

Immediate-release tablets:

  • Initial dose: 150 mg per day in divided doses.
  • Maintenance dose: May be increased by 50 mg per day every 3 to 4 days. The maximum dose for outpatients usually should not exceed 400 mg per day in divided doses. Inpatients may be given up to but not in excess of 600 mg per day in divided doses.
  • Trazodone should be taken shortly after a meal or light snack.

Extended-release tablets:

  • Recommended starting dose: 150 mg once daily
  • Maintenance dose: The dose may be increased by 75 mg/day every three days (for example, start 225 mg on day 4 of therapy).
  • Maximum daily dose: 375 mg

Usual Geriatric Dose for Depression:

Immediate-release tablets:

  • Initial dose: 150 mg per day in divided doses.
  • Maintenance dose: May be increased by 50 mg per day every 3 to 4 days. The maximum dose for outpatients usually should not exceed 400 mg per day in divided doses. Inpatients may be given up to but not in excess of 600 mg per day in divided doses.
  • Trazodone should be taken shortly after a meal or light snack.

Extended-release tablets:

  • Recommended starting dose: 150 mg once daily
  • Maintenance dose: The dose may be increased by 75 mg/day every three days (for example, start 225 mg on day 4 of therapy).
  • Maximum daily dose: 375 mg
  • Trazodone extended-release tablets should be taken orally at the same time every day, in the late evening preferably at bedtime, on an empty stomach. Once an adequate response has been achieved, dosage may be gradually reduced, with subsequent adjustment depending on therapeutic response.

What is the dose of trazodone for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is trazodone available?

Trazodone is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet 150 mg; 300 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of trazodone, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: July 31, 2017 | Last Modified: July 31, 2017

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