Trazodone Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Warnings & Dosing

Uses

Depression can be treated with this drug. Mood, appetite, and energy levels may all improve, and depression-related anxiety and insomnia may be alleviated. Trazodone is effective because it helps the brain produce more of a natural substance that regulates mood (serotonin).

How to use Trazodone HCL

Trazodone comes with a patient information leaflet called a Medication Guide that should be read before starting treatment and again if a refill is requested. Questions? Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

This drug is to be taken orally, usually once or twice day, after a meal or snack. If you are only going to be taking one dose per day because of sleepiness, take it right before bed. Taking one of your daily doses before night can be helpful if you need to take two. Pay close attention to your doctor’s advice.

Your illness and how well you respond to treatment will determine the best course of action in terms of dosage. Your doctor may choose to start you on a low dose and gradually raise it if he or she is concerned about possible adverse effects.

Don’t change the way you’re taking this prescription. Please follow the recommended dosage and schedule for using this medication. There will be no accelerated recovery, and you may be exposed to more harmful consequences.

Even if your symptoms have subsided, it is still important to complete the full course of this medication. Taking it at the same time(s) every day will assist you remember to do so. You should talk to your doctor before deciding to stop taking this medicine. Stopping the medicine abruptly can cause anxiety, irritability, and sleep problems.

Some medications take two to four weeks to take action. If your symptoms persist or worsen, be sure to let your doctor know.

Side Effects

Trazodone
Trazodone molecule. It is antidepressant, used to treat major depressive disorder. Molecular model. 3D rendering. Illustration

See also the Warning section.

 

Side effects may include sickness, diarrhoea, drowsiness, weariness, blurred vision, changes in weight, soreness or aches in the muscles, headache, dry mouth, poor taste in the mouth, stuffy nose, constipation, and a loss of desire in or ability to engage in sexual activity. Get in touch with your doctor or pharmacist immediately if any of these symptoms persist or worsen.

If you suffer from dry mouth, try sucking on (sugar-free) hard candy or ice chips, chewing (sugar-free) gum, hydrating with water, or using a saliva substitute.

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When getting up from a seated or sleeping position, do it gradually to lessen the possibility of dizziness and fainting.

It is important to keep in mind that your doctor ordered this drug after carefully weighing the benefits and risks of giving it to you. In many cases, there are no noticeable adverse reactions to this medicine.

Tremors, nightmares, ringing in the ears, incontinence, blood in the urine, symptoms of infection (such as sore throat that doesn’t go away, fever), shortness of breath, and stomach/abdominal pain are all major side effects that need to be reported to a doctor immediately soon.

Warning! Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these potentially life-threatening adverse effects: chest pain, jaw pain, left arm pain, fainting, fast or irregular heartbeat, seizures, eye pain, swelling, redness, widened pupils, or changes in vision (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night).

Rarely, serotonin syndrome/toxicity, a potentially fatal illness, has been linked to this medicine due to its potential to raise serotonin levels. It’s also important to tell your doctor or pharmacist about any additional serotonin-boosting medications you’re taking because doing so can reduce the risk of serious side effects (see Drug Interactions section). If you notice any of the following symptoms, such as a rapid heart rate, hallucinations, lack of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, or extreme agitation/restlessness, get immediate medical attention.

Erections that continue for four hours or more are quite unusual among men. If this happens, you should seek medical attention immediately and discontinue use of the medicine.

Extremely severe allergic reactions to this medication are unusual. If, however, you get a severe allergic reaction, including a rash, itching/swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or difficulties breathing, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Please note that this list of potential adverse effects is not exhaustive. Get in touch with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any side effects that were not mentioned above.

Precautions

If you have an allergy to trazodone, nefazodone, or any other part of trazodone, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking it. This product’s inactive components could potentially trigger allergic reactions or other health issues. The pharmacist will be able to give you all the specifics.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have or have ever had any other types of health problems, especially if any of the following apply to you: bipolar disorder (personal or family history), suicidal thoughts or actions (personal or family history), heart problems (including irregular heartbeat, heart attack), liver problems, kidney problems, high blood pressure, glaucoma (personal or family history), or if you have ever had any of these (angle-closure type).

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This medication could cause you to feel lightheaded, sleepy, or distort your vision. Both alcohol and weed increase the effects of these dizziness and sleepiness. Don’t get behind the wheel, stay away from heavy machines, and rest up until you can safely operate them. Reduce your alcohol intake. If you are smoking marijuana, you should consult your doctor (cannabis).

The antidepressant trazodone has been linked to arrhythmias (QT prolongation). In extremely rare cases, QT prolongation can result in potentially fatal fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that require immediate medical intervention.

Patients with preexisting illnesses or those taking additional medications that may cause QT prolongation may be at a higher risk. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications you’re currently taking, as well as any medical conditions you have, including a history or current symptoms of heart problems such as heart failure, slow heartbeat, or QT prolongation on an electrocardiogram (ECG), or a family history of heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).

QT prolongation risk may also be increased by low serum potassium or magnesium levels. Taking certain medications (such diuretics/”water pills”) or experiencing conditions like profuse sweating, diarrhoea, or vomiting may raise this risk. Discuss with your healthcare provider the best way for you to take trazodone.

Tell your surgeon or dentist about any and all medications or supplements you use before surgery (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Side effects such as sleepiness, dizziness, and QT prolongation have been reported more frequently among the elderly (see above).

Taking this drug while pregnant should be done so only when absolutely necessary. Tell your doctor what you’re worried about and what you think the benefits might be.

Don’t stop taking this medication until your doctor tells you to; untreated mental/mood issues (such depression) can be life-threatening. Discuss the potential advantages and dangers of using this drug during pregnancy with your doctor as soon as possible if you are planning a pregnancy, get pregnant, or suspect you may be pregnant.

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Breast milk contamination by this drug is possible. Before starting to breastfeed, you should see a doctor.

 

Interactions

In other cases, drug interactions can even increase the risk of harmful side effects or alter how your prescriptions work altogether. All probable medication interactions are not listed here. Share with your doctor and pharmacist everything you put into your body, including medications, vitamins, and supplements. Never adjust the dose of any medication you’re taking without first consulting your doctor.

Digoxin is one possible drug-to-drug interaction with this medication.

An extremely dangerous (even fatal) drug interaction could occur if this medication is used with an MAO inhibitor. Do not use this drug if you are also taking an MAO inhibitor (isocarboxazid, linezolid, metaxalone, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, tranylcypromine). It’s also not a good idea to use most MAO inhibitors for two weeks before or after taking this drug. Determine the best time to begin and end treatment with this drug by consulting your doctor.

It’s possible that trazodone’s effectiveness will be diminished if you take it along with other drugs that interfere with its elimination from your system. Azole antifungals (like itraconazole, ketoconazole), HIV protease inhibitors (like ritonavir, indinavir), macrolide antibiotics (like erythromycin), rifamycins (like rifampin), and seizure medications (like phenytoin) are just a few examples.

Taking many medicines that raise serotonin levels simultaneously raises the danger of serotonin syndrome/toxicity. St. John’s wort, certain antidepressants (such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs] like fluoxetine/paroxetine, and SNRIs like duloxetine/venlafaxine), and the illicit substance MDMA/”ecstasy” are just a few examples. When starting or increasing the dose of these medications, the risk of serotonin syndrome/toxicity may increase.

If you are also using alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine), medications for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, or opioid pain relievers, you should inform your doctor or pharmacist of this (such as codeine).

Many over-the-counter medications (such as those for allergies or the common cold) have components that can impair your ability to drive, so be sure to read labels carefully. If you have any questions about the appropriate use of these items, see your pharmacist.

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