Trazodone Side Effects, Withdrawal Symptoms & Timelines
Trazodone is an antidepressant primarily indicated for use in treating major depressive disorder but perhaps more commonly used off-label for managing insomnia. As an atypical antidepressant, trazodone does not fit neatly into some of the more standard antidepressant classes (e.g., SSRIs, MAOIs, tricyclic antidepressants, etc.).
Like most medications, trazodone use may have side effects, and long-term use can result in trazadone withdrawal, if a person suddenly attempts to stop or cutback on their use. Read on to learn more about the potential side effects of trazodone use, withdrawal symptoms, and treatment options for prescription drug addiction.
Trazodone Side Effects & Risks of Use
Trazodone use may have certain side effects. The most common adverse reactions include:
- Blurred vision.
While these symptoms are relatively mild, trazodone use can, in rare cases, can cause more serious side effects. It is important to note the warnings and risks associated with trazodone use before you take it. These include:
- A slight risk of serotonin syndrome, a potentially fatal condition characterized by changes in mental status, as well as neuromuscular and autonomic hyperactivity.
- Heart rhythm abnormalities. Patients with underlying cardiac conditions should discuss the risks of trazodone with their physicians.
- Orthostatic hypotension (drop in blood pressure upon standing) and fainting.
- Prolonged, painful erections (priapism) in some males.
- Abnormal bleeding, especially when combined with NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
- Activation of mania/hypomania states, among patients with bipolar disorder.
- Worsened symptoms of depression and increased risk of suicidal thinking or behaviors.
These warnings apply to individuals taking trazodone as prescribed. Abuse of the drug may make an individual more likely to experience one or more of the above issues.
Long-Term Side Effects of Trazodone Use
While trazodone is generally safe and effective when used as directed for its intended purpose, someone who misuses trazodone for extended periods of time may be at risk of experiencing more intense side effects. These can include:
Additionally, an article in the Journal of Sleep Research states that prolonged use of trazodone can also cause the following:
- Short-term memory dysfunctions.
- Verbal learning issues.
- Equilibrium disruption.
- Next-day memory performance problems.
- Difficulties with arm muscle endurance.
Long-term prescription use carries its own set of risks that may be outweighed by the benefits; however, if you are abusing the drug, you may be placing yourself at greater risk and an increased risk of overdose.
What Happens If You Take Too Much Trazodone?
Taking too much trazodone at one time can be dangerous. Trazodone overdose symptoms include:
- Hypotension (low blood pressure that may result in fainting).
- Chest pain.
- Trouble breathing.
- Cardiac arrhythmias.
Learn More about the risks of a trazodone overdose.
Is Trazodone Addictive?
While most people don’t misuse trazodone, it does happen. Due to the fact that the abuse potential of trazodone is relatively low, it is difficult to find any legitimate information about signs of trazodone addiction. However, if you are concerned about your or a loved one’s trazodone use, some of the general signs of prescription drug misuse are:
- Taking the drug in a dose other than what is prescribed.
- Taking someone else’s prescription.
- Taking the drug in ways other than prescribed.
- Taking the drug to feel pleasurable side effects, such as euphoria or sedation.
If you are worried about your prescription drug use but need to manage symptoms of depression, anxiety, and insomnia, Greenhouse Treatment Center can help. Our licensed clinical team specializes in co-occurring disorders, treating patients’ mental and behavioral health conditions alongside substance use disorder.
Our compassionate team cares about treating the whole person, not just their drug use. If you’d like to learn more about treatment options for you or someone you know, call us at today.
According to an article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, trazodone is thought to have a lower abuse liability than benzodiazepines like triazolam or other hypnotics prescribed for insomnia, which may be why its off-label use for the treatment of insomnia has surpassed its use for the management of major depression.
Trazodone and Alcohol Use
Trazodone and alcohol make a dangerous combination. The drug’s FDA label cautions patients against drinking alcohol while taking trazodone. The medication can make the patient feel sleepy or dizzy, and alcohol can worsen those side effects.
Trazodone may also enhance the effects of alcohol, which may be particularly dangerous if you are drinking heavily or binge drinking. Combining trazodone and alcohol may be fatal in some cases.
If you need help with poly-substance use, such as trazodone and alcohol, please reach out to us anytime at . You can also get support online below.
Trazodone Withdrawal Symptoms
When a person abruptly stops or reduces their use of trazodone, they may feel generally unwell or experience withdrawal. The symptoms of trazodone withdrawal syndrome may be worse for those who take more than the recommended dose.
Duration of use plays a role in how uncomfortable the withdrawal symptoms are as well, with those who use the drug for greater lengths of time potentially experiencing more intense symptoms.
Symptoms of withdrawal from trazodone may include:
- Rapid mood swings.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Blurred vision.
Because the drug is used to treat depression and insomnia, some symptoms of depression and sleep disturbances may return after stopping the drug.
Trazodone Withdrawal Timeline & Treatment
Because withdrawal symptoms from trazodone can be uncomfortable and may occur when someone suddenly stops taking the drug, doctors generally recommend that a person slowly taper or gradually reduce the medication’s dosage over a period of weeks to months. A tapered approach helps minimize the symptoms of trazodone withdrawal.
The amount of time it takes to safely withdraw or taper off trazodone will vary from person to person. Your doctor or treatment team can discuss the potential timeline with you and let you know what to expect.
In the case of poly-substance abuse, or if someone is abusing several substances at the same time, medical detox may be recommended to manage severe symptoms and prevent any medical complications. Medical detox can also help a person prepare for more comprehensive addiction treatment, which is where a person can fully address the thoughts and behaviors underlying their addiction(s).
Get Help at Greenhouse
If you or a loved one has long control of their prescription drug use, there is hope. Greenhouse Treatment Center offers different types of addiction rehab and personalizes its treatment plans to meet the individual needs of each patient.
To learn more about our programs, ways to pay for rehab, or using insurance to pay for rehab, call us at . Our admissions navigators are available around the clock to answer your questions and help start the admissions process.
You can also check your insurance coverage by filling out this simple and secure .
Don’t let your addiction reach rock bottom. If you are struggling with the devastating side effects of addiction and unsure where to turn, our rehab center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is ready to help you get the treatment you need today.
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