Articles, DRUGS

Trazodone – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

Depression and pain affects everyone at some point of life. The question that arises next is how to overcome the situation. Anti-depressants can look like the better answer, however not only are they slow, but also have more side effects.  Which is where steps in Trazodone.

The drug Trazodone, commonly known as Trazodone HCL, is a treatment for improving your mood, increasing appetite, energy booster and to fix depression troubles. People suffering from insomnia can benefit from Trazodone as well. The medicine works by restoring chemicals balance in the brain. The main natural chemicals that are worked on are serotonin and oxytocin. The drug benefits the patient if used regularly and at least 2 hours before bedtime.



Trazodone for insomnia is usually available in tablet form and the medication is to be taken by mouth, as prescribed by your doctor. It is usually either once a day or twice each day after or before a meal. Drowsiness from insomnia can be a problem as well and if the suggestion for Trazodone is for the same, take 1 dose directly at bed time. Swallow the medicine whole and never crush it, as it might lose effectiveness. Another important thing to keep in mind is to store the medicine at the right place as discussed later. The medicine should be taken exactly as prescribed since condition will only degrade if an overdose occurs. Other fatal effects include death and coma. It is important to continue your medication even if you feel fine. Timing is an important factor and try to repeat the dosage same time every day instead of an irregularity. This reduces the extra anxiety that your body forces out when expecting the drug. Another important thing about the usage of Trazodone is to make sure that it is never stopped suddenly. It may be about a few weeks before you begin to notice the changes, hence don’t stop the dosage unless advised by your doctor.


Usual Adult Dose for Depression

Immediate-Release Tablets:

Trazodone 5 mg tablets are to be taken orally. The dosage is divided and may be increased by 10 mg more each day for the next 4 days. A maximum dose of 400 mg daily should be administered to outpatients and 600 mg to inpatients staying at the rehabilitation center with serious cases of depression.

Extended-Release Tablets:

These tables are given as Trazodone 150 mg orally at least once a day. It is usually broken down into 15 mg tablets if it is easier to find at the stores and the adjustments accordingly in the dose is done by the doctor. The dosage may be increased by Trazodone over a span of 3 day, so by the 4th day, the dosage should be over Trazodone 200 mg. The maximum dosage per day should not cross 375 mg per day as beyond that it might lead to harmful side effects.

Renal Dose Adjustments:

Trazodone  used for renal impairment treatment are film coated 150 mg tablets, that can be broken down into two doses. While administering, a split half of Trazodone 80 mg is given first after a meal, and the other left half of the dose is given after the second meal.

Liver Dose Adjustments:

Hepatic impairment dosage include 30 mg doses per day as these are maintenance dosage and not the immediate main dose.

While discontinuing the medicine, the patient should be continuously monitored to look for withdrawal symptoms, especially the first few days after stopping. The dosage can also be reduced by the doctor if desired, however, the immediate release tablets should be taken after light snacks and meals. The extended release tablets on the other hand should be taken empty stomach, preferably either at bedtime or almost near bedtime in the late evening.


Being an antidepressant drug in basic along with improved functionality, the main usage remains the same, much like the precautions that are to be exercised. Let us take a look.

  • Antidepressants usually increase the risk of suicide when taken for a short time as it might trigger a major depressive disorder instead of treating it right away. Which is why, there should always be someone closely monitoring the patient, just to be sure.
  • The drug should be weighed out for benefits, especially if being administered to a child or a young adult. Irrespective of the clinical need, it is hard to deny that there is an increased risk when given to a child below 12 or an adult above 65, although for the latter its mostly because of their health. For cases like this, visit the doctor for frequent checkups.
    The drug is not allowed for paediatric patients in a lot of cases, so an alternative should be looked for. If the condition worsens, it is best to get the doctor to look into the matter and decide if a change in the medication is needed.
  • Tablet should not be chewed or split unless advised. In such cases, a score line in the tablet is where the split should be done to make sure the dose stays even.
  • Your medical history should be made known to the doctor, especially if there is a history of mental illness like bipolar disorder, suicide attempts or so on.
  • The medicine might make you drowsy, hence do not drive or stay around machines. Limit all activities when under the influence of the drug, along with alcohol intake.
  • Trazodone may lead to increased heartbeat which should be brought to medical attention right away to avoid risks of QT prolongation.
  • Let your doctor know of your medicine in case you are about to undergo surgery as it might tamper with the condition that needs to be achieved.
    Do mention about the Trazodone intake before drug tests as it might lead to a false positive otherwise.
  • Pregnancy is a hard time for you and the risks cannot be ignored. Talk to your doctor about your condition to know if it will cause risks. Also check if it is okay to breastfeed your baby while on the medication.


Of the many side effects that we speak of the most common ones triggered by Trazodone are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, issues with vision, weight changes, a stuffy nose, tastelessness, constipation, loss of sexual interest, dry mouth.

To relieve your dilemma with these Trazodone side effects, lay low for a while and make sure to suck on ice chips and drink lots of water. Your pharmacist will see to it that you get rid of your side effects before you can make you fall sick, thereby increasing the depression. Light-headedness is a common complaint received as well for this medication and the answer to it should be resting for a while.

The more severe serious side effects that needs the doctor’s attention right away are shaking tremors, nightmares, urinating problems, infections, shortness of breath, chest pain, eye redness, fainting. These can get worse if left untreated and should hence be taken care of in the early stages of manifestation itself. Even though the medicine might not lead to a serious condition if dosage is taken care of, a major risk is that of serotonin toxicity. This issue causes side effects like hallucinations, coma, loss of coordination and can even prove to be worse than the initial depression being treatment. It is although an unlikely event and can hence be treated if noticed right away. Keep your doctor informed about side effects and allergies as and when they show up. This would make it easier to keep it in control later, so you only get better without the hassle.

Medical attention is also advisable if you are using more than one drugs at one time, since it can be an issue of another medicine that you are having. There is no certain way to tell except tests from your physician. Let your doctor know of all the side effects in detail so it is easy for them to recognize your condition and why the side effects are being triggered. You might have to take medications to reduce the side effects such as constipation or so, but never do so without the approval of your doctor.


Drug interactions interact with the way your medicine work and hence put you to risk for serious side effects. Not all drug interactions can be listed, however, Trazodone being a prescription drug is relatively high on interactions, which is why it is advisable that you don’t change the dosage or add new medication with the drug without consulting your doctor and getting an approval.

A few of the medical product that are known to interact with Trazodone are Digoxin, MAO inhibitors like tranylcypromine , isocarboxazid, methylene blu,e linezolid, rasagiline , moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline. These drugs can cause serious drug interactions and problems internally if taken along with Trazodone. Which is why you will probably be advised against inhibitors if you are about to begin a Trazodone dosage.

Avoid cough syrups on a whole as they are known to interact with anti-depressants as well and should not be administered together. Other anti-depressants have composite ingredients that might interact with the composition of Trazodone and should not be taken together. It might also get difficult to identify the source of all side effects since all the medications have almost same issues. There is also a chance of overdose if you take more than one medication to treat the same condition without consulting your doctor. Try talking to your therapist or counsellor first as well to check if they suggest you need the medicine or you are better off without it. There is no requirement for useless treatment for a cause that is already improving after all.


If adverse reactions are noted after an overdose, a call to the poison control center should be carried out right away. The center will work on the dose and try to reverse it as effectively as other. To prevent overdose, do not give away your medicine dose to others. It might so be your condition is different and needs a varying dose much like the other person needs a different dose.

Missed Dose:

For a missed dose, the medicine should be taken right away when remembered. However, there is no choice but to skip if you are close to your next dose. Resume the next dosage and talk to your doctor about when to catch up with the previous dose. Do not double up the dose as Trazodone side effects await you otherwise, which can get out of hand in case of an over dosage.


Light and moisture should be entirely avoided when it comes to anti-depressants. Neither should medicines like Trazodone be stored in the bathroom where there’s too little light. Medicines should be kept away from children and pets.

Do not flush medicines and discard them properly once the expiry date has arrived. You can always contact the local disposal company personally for added precaution. Do not burn off the medicine or throw it at a place where it can easily be picked up.

You must have by now gotten a hold of the fact that you need Trazodone for times when you have trouble sleeping or need to get over a traumatic incident or are depressed. However, the misuse of the medicine can prove to be worse and hence it is only ideal that you get your condition tested out first instead of self prescribing the medicine, since it is a drug and can lead to side effects that aren’t desirable. Consult your doctor and don’t stop the dosage abruptly. Always take the medication as the last resort as there might be withdrawal symptoms that you need to take care of on a whole.