Trazodone is used to treat depression. Trazodone is in a class of medications called serotonin modulators. It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.
Side Effects Of Trazodone
Trazodone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- bad taste in the mouth
- changes in appetite or weight
- weakness or tiredness
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- feeling unsteady when walking
- decreased ability to concentrate or remember things
- muscle pain
- dry mouth
- changes in sexual desire or ability
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- numbness, burning or tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet
- decreased coordination
- tired, red, or itchy eyes
- ringing in ears
Some side effects of trazodone can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING or WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS sections, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- chest pain
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- loss of consciousness (coma)
- shortness of breath
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- Trazodone can cause painful, long-lasting erections in males. In some cases emergency and/or surgical treatment has been required and, in some of these cases, permanent damage has occurred. Talk to your doctor about the risk of taking trazodone.
Trazodone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking trazodone,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to trazodone or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin); antidepressants; antifungals such as ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), or voriconazole (Vfend); aspirin and other NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); certain medications for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) such as atazanavir (Reyataz), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), and saquinavir (Invirase); cimetidine (Tagamet); cisapride (Propulsid); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); danazol (Danocrine); delavirdine (Rescriptor); dexamethasone (Decadron); digoxin (Digitek, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac); diuretics; disopyramide (Norpace); dofetilide (Tikosyn); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid); medications for allergies, cough or colds; medications for anxiety, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, mental illness or pain; medication for seizures such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), ethosuximide (Zarontin), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), and phenytoin (Dilantin); linezolid (Zyvox); methylene blue; metronidazole (Flagyl); muscle relaxants; nefazodone; oral contraceptives (birth control pills); procainamide (Procanbid, Pronestyl); quinidine; rifabutin (Mycobutin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); sedatives; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) and fluvoxamine (Luvox); sleeping pills; tranquilizers; sotalol (Betapace, Betapace AF); telithromycin (Ketek); thioridazine; troleandomycin (TAO); verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan); or zafirlukast (Accolate). Also, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the following medications, called MAO inhibitors, or if you have stopped taking them within the past 2 weeks: isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). Your doctor may need to change the dose of trazodone or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea or vomiting or think you may be dehydrated or if you have recently had a heart attack. Also, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had high blood pressure, sickle cell anemia (a disease of the red blood cells), multiple myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells), leukemia (cancer of the white blood cells) cavernosal fibrosis, Peyronie’s disease (a condition that affects the shape of the penis such as angulation), or heart, liver or kidney disease.
- Trazodone may cause QT prolongation (an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to fainting, loss of consciousness, seizures, or sudden death. Tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has or has ever had long QT syndrome (an inherited condition in which a person is more likely to have QT prolongation) or if you have or have ever had low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood or an irregular heartbeat.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking trazodone, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking trazodone.
- you should know that trazodone may make you drowsy and affect your judgment. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking trazodone. Alcohol can make the side effects of trazodone worse.
- you should know that trazodone may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
- you should know that trazodone may cause angle-closure glaucoma (a condition where the fluid is suddenly blocked and unable to flow out of the eye causing a quick, severe increase in eye pressure which may lead to a loss of vision). Talk to your doctor about having an eye examination before you start taking this medication. If you have nausea, eye pain, changes in vision, such as seeing colored rings around lights, and swelling or redness in or around the eye, call your doctor or get emergency medical treatment right away.
Trazodone comes as a tablet and as an extended-release (long-lasting) tablet to take by mouth. The tablet is usually taken with a meal or light snack two or more times a day. The extended-release tablet is usually taken once a day at bedtime on an empty stomach, either one hour before or two hours after a meal. To help you remember to take trazodone, take it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take trazodone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it, take it more often, or take it for a longer time than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole or broken in half on the score mark; do not chew or crush them.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of trazodone and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 3 to 4 days. Your doctor may decrease your dose once your condition is controlled.
Trazodone controls depression but does not cure it. It may take 2 weeks or longer before you feel the full benefit of trazodone. Continue to take trazodone even if you feel well.
Do not stop taking trazodone without talking to your doctor. If you suddenly stop taking trazodone, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, or difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription of trazodone.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.