Trazodone (Atypical Antidepressant)
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What is Trazodone?
Trazodone is an atypical antidepressant, used to treat depression. Depression, or major depressive disorder is a long-term mental health condition whereby a person may feel very unhappy or sad for extended periods of time. This is often for no particular reason. Trazodone may make these symptoms better.
Additionally, Trazodone is used to treat other conditions, such as bipolar disorder, panic attacks or anxiety disorder.
Trazodone is only available on prescription. It’s usually prescribed when other antidepressants have been ineffective or have caused side effects. You must have a prescription from your doctor or pharmacist before you buy Trazodone. Alternatively, we can prescribe it to you online after a brief assessment. Contact us to find out more. Trazodone is available as a generic drug, or under the brand name Molipaxin.
For more information on Trazodone, please read the patient information leaflet.
How it works
Trazodone, much like other antidepressants, alters the neurotransmitters such as serotonin in the brain. It is thought that an imbalance of these chemicals is what causes depression, so by altering their levels in the brain, the effects of depression are reduced.
Trazodone is quicker to begin working than other antidepressants and should begin to take effect after one or two weeks. However, it can take up to six weeks for you to feel the full benefit of Trazodone.
Before you take it
You should speak with your doctor to discuss an alternative to Trazodone if you find that you are allergic to any of the ingredients contained within the medication. This includes Trazodone Hydrochloride, the active ingredient.
If you’re using medication to treat insomnia such as Zopiclone or Zolpidem, they can affect the way in which Trazodone works. Call your doctor or health care professional for advice if you’re taking any medication to help you sleep. Alcohol withdrawal is advised when using Trazodone, as alcohol and Trazodone can make you feel sleepy.
Trazodone can be used during pregnancy, if your doctor decides it’s appropriate. Trazodone has been linked with a small risk of increased problems for your unborn baby. However, if your depression remains untreated during pregnancy, this can also affect your baby. Your doctor will discuss with you to decide the best course of treatment for you during pregnancy.
If you suffer from the eye condition angle closure glaucoma, Trazodone can increase the pressure in your eye. Speak with your doctor before you take Trazodone. Trazodone can also affect your blood glucose levels, so if you are diabetic it is important that you monitor your blood sugar levels very closely.
Trazodone passes into breast milk in very small amounts, but it has not been associated with a risk of any serious side effects for your baby. It is generally safe to breastfeed while taking Trazodone.
Trazodone can make you feel worse before it makes you feel better. It can also increase the likelihood that you will experience a change in mood, thoughts of suicide or thoughts of harming yourself. If you experience this while taking Trazodone, you must first talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. Clinical trials have shown this to be more likely in young adults under 24 years. You should tell your doctor if you have a history of suicidal tendencies.
There is little evidence to suggest that Trazodone is addictive, but it will cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly. You should not stop taking Trazodone without your doctor’s advice, even if you feel better.
If you have a history of heart problems, such as heart disease, or liver or kidney problems, speak with your doctor before you take Trazodone.
Trazodone can cause sleepiness or drowsiness. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery or do anything that requires a lot of concentration or that might endanger your or anyone else’s safety until you are fully aware of how Trazodone affects you. Trazodone is safe to take long term, over a period of months or years, to manage your depression.
Trazodone may cause drug interactions with other medications. It is very important you inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs:
- Any other antidepressant medication, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), MAO inhibitors, phenelzine, tranylcypromine or isocarboxazid
- Any sleeping pills or sedatives
- Medicines for high blood pressure
- Heart medications such as digoxin
- Antibiotics such as Erythromycin
- Warfarin, aspirin, or any other medicines used to thin the blood
- Medications used to treat psychiatric disorders
This is not an exhaustive list of warnings or medicines that may cause interactions with Trazodone. For a complete list, check the patient information leaflet.
You must always take Trazodone according to your doctor’s instructions. Never exceed the prescribed dose.
Adults usually start on 150 mg per day to treat depression. It’s possible that your doctor may increase this to up to 300 mg depending on the severity of your condition.
Trazodone is for oral use. Take the tablets by mouth with plenty of water. Do not chew, suck on or crush them. You should take Trazodone with or after food. You may need to take Trazodone as divided doses, or as one dose per day. Your doctor will tell you.
If you are elderly or have kidney problems, you may be required to take a low dose to monitor how your body reacts to Trazodone, possibly 75 mg - 100 mg per day.
If you have been told to take Trazodone once per day, you should take it before bedtime, as it can make you feel drowsy.
Store Trazodone at room temperature, out of the reach of children and pets.
Common Side Effects of Trazodone
There are common side effects associated with Trazodone. They are generally mild to moderate in nature and will go away on their own, as your body becomes used to the medication. However, if they persist, or they concern you, contact your doctor for advice. Possible side effects include:
- Drowsiness and sleepiness, or trouble sleeping
- Dry mouth or sore throat
- Weight gain or loss
- Constipation, diarrhoea or urinary retention problems
- Dizziness when you stand up
- Chest pain
- Itchiness or skin rash
- Mania, delusions or worsening depression
- Decreased sex drive
There is a risk of side effects of a more serious nature when taking Trazodone. Again, these are rare, but if you experience any of them, you must tell your doctor right away. These symptoms may include:
- Bruising more easily than usual
- Severe abdominal pain or bloating
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin
- Painful erection lasting several hours, unrelated to sex
- Convulsions or seizures
- Hallucinations or blurred vision, suicidal thinking
- Difficulty controlling movement, jerkiness
- Shortness of breath or a general feeling of being unwell
It’s possible for a severe allergic reaction to Trazodone to occur in some patients. This is extremely rare, but any kind of allergic reaction is an emergency, and you should immediately seek medical attention if you believe you are having an allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
- Nettle rash or hives
- Trouble breathing or speaking
- Tightness in the throat or chest
- Swelling of the face, tongue, lips, mouth or throat
This is not a full list of reported side effects. A complete list is contained within the patient information leaflet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Trazodone safe for children?
No. Trazodone is only suitable for those over 18 years of age. We do not prescribe any medication to under 18s.
I’m pregnant. Can I take Trazodone?
Generally you should not take Trazodone while pregnant unless your doctor specifically advises you to. Trazodone has been linked to a very small risk of birth defects. However, your doctor may decide that the benefits of taking Trazodone outweigh the risks. Ask your doctor for more advice, and make sure you inform your doctor if you become pregnant while taking Trazodone.
What happens if I miss a dose?
If you miss your usual dose of Trazodone, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is nearly time for your next dose. If this is the case, skip the missed dose, and continue as normal with your next dose. Do not take two doses at once, and never double up to compensate for a missed dose.
What happens if I take too much?
If you have taken more Trazodone than you should, this can cause serious adverse effects. These include vomiting or feeling sick, feeling dizzy or faint, convulsions or a irregular heart rate. It can also increase your risk of serotonin syndrome. If you believe you have overdosed on Trazodone, visit your local hospital casualty or A&E department immediately.
|Dosage Instructions||Take ONE as directed by your doctor.|