Mental Podcast Show

Trazodone is an antidepressant medication that’s typically prescribed to treat depressive disorder and anxiety disorder and is used off-label for insomnia sleep disorder. Trazodone works by changing serotonin levels in the brain to improve mood and sleep quality. While Tradozone use can be beneficial, there are common side effects and risks to understand and consider like with every medication.

Knowing the side effects of Trazodone medicine is critical if you’re considering taking this drug to change your serotonin levels — keep reading to learn more. We’re covering each common side effect, severe but rare effects to be aware of, and how to manage any adverse effects you might experience after you start taking this drug.   

Common Side Effects of Trazodone

The most prominent Trazodone side effect is drowsiness. In fact, the drug is often used off-label to treat insomnia. Other common side effects of Trazodone can include:

Nausea

Vomiting

Dry mouth 

Throat irritation

Headache

Abdominal pain

Constipation

Low blood pressure

Itchy eyes

Disorientation

Blurred vision

Coordination issues

Fainting

Less Common Side Effects of Trazodone Weight gain 

Does Trazodone cause weight gain? Gaining weight is rarely experienced when taking Trazodone medicine. Clinical trials suggested that just 1% of people might gain weight after taking it. However, some later research shows both weight gain and loss are possible. 

Incontinence

Incontinence is another rare side effect of high doses of Trazodone. Research suggests that people with urinary incontinence should seriously consider this and perhaps consult with a healthcare provider before taking Trazodone. 

Sexual dysfunction

According to studies, an estimated 1.5% of people taking Trazodone will have decreased sex desire due to the drug. Most people see a return of sexual desire and genital sensitivity in time, though. 

Serious Side Effects of Trazodone

Serious side effects from taking Trazodone include suicidal thoughts, worsening symptoms of depression, and decreased immune system efficiency. 

“There are a couple of side effects of Trazodone that we need to watch. The first one is an abnormal heart rhythm, too fast or too slow. It can also decrease the immune system’s efficiency, leading to more colds and infections. Bowel movement and urination irregularities can also be cause for concern. Unexplained bruising, headaches, aches and pains, confusion, nervousness, fainting, coordination issues, and blurred vision that pick up in frequency should be monitored.”

Talkspace therapist Meaghan Rice, PsyD, LPC

Other reactions can occur as a result of Trazodone use, including: 

Seizures 

Chance in heart rate (quickening or slowing irregular heartbeat)

Changes in behavior, such as aggression or agitation

Hallucinations

Difficulty breathing

If you see any of these signs affecting mental health such as suicidal thoughts while on Trazodone, contact your doctor immediately.  

Do Trazodone Side Effects Go Away?

The good news is that most of Trazodone’s side effects will resolve as your body adjusts to having the drug in your system. However, if any common side effect persists or worsens, you should ask your doctor or healthcare provider about changing your dosage or switching medications altogether.

How long do Trazodone side effects last?

While most people find adverse side effects begin to subside in time, some may experience them for extended periods and want to talk to their doctor. 

How to Manage Trazodone Side Effects

If you’re experiencing any unpleasant side effects related to Trazodone, your doctor can give you ideas on how you can manage each adverse side effect. 

For example, simple ways to combat Trazodone side effects include:

Monitoring your symptoms

Adjusting dosage amount

Changing the time of day you take it, or whether you take it with food or without 

Making lifestyle modifications such as yoga, meditation, and exercising regularly  

Hydrating

Using natural remedies like drinking ginger tea for nausea or taking probiotics for gut health

“Managing Trazodone side effects could include drinking additional water, supporting a healthy lifestyle, eliminating drug use — especially NSAIDS and cigarette smoking — limiting or eliminating caffeine and/or alcohol, telling your doctor anything and everything you’re already taking, being careful about risky activities that don’t allow room for the sedative effect of Trazodone, and making sure your doctor knows everything about previous medical conditions.”

Talkspace therapist Meaghan Rice, PsyD, LPC

See If Trazodone Is Right for You with Talkspace Psychiatry

Trazodone side effects can range from mild to severe, and it’s important for anyone considering this medication to be aware of them. Though most side effects are temporary, knowing that they may still occur is essential. This is especially important if you’re considering stopping medication as there is a chance of experiencing Trazodone withdrawal symptoms. 

If you’re looking into whether Trazodone may be a good fit for your mental health needs, Talkspace online psychiatry services offer personalized assessments with licensed professionals who can help determine if this or any other medication could benefit you. Get help  today.

Sources:

DailyMed – Trazodone Hydrochloride Tablet. U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=71961ab1-951d-1493-f76c-2ff25cca2a85. Accessed March 10, 2023. 

Gica S. Investigation of the effect of Trazodone on spontaneous and acetylcholine-induced bladder detrusor smooth muscle contractions. Dusunen Adam:The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences. 2022. doi:10.14744/dajpns.2022.00170. https://dusunenadamdergisi.org/storage/upload/pdfs/1649333605-en.pdf.  Accessed March 10, 2023. 

Trazodone hydrochloride – Drug Summary. Trazodone Hydrochloride (trazodone hydrochloride) dose, indications, adverse effects, interactions… from PDR.net. https://www.pdr.net/drug-summary/Trazodone-Hydrochloride-trazodone-hydrochloride-3033.1692. Accessed March 10, 2023. 

The post Side Effects of Trazodone to Be Aware of appeared first on Talkspace.

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