Generic name: Trazodone hydrochloride
Trazodone medication: Why is this medication prescribed?
Trazodone medication is prescribed for treatment of depression. In addition to its antidepressant properties, sometimes it is also prescribed to assist people with their sleep.
Trazodone medication: What are some important things for me to know?
Trazodone medication does not give immediate relief, but may take up to four weeks before you actually begin to feel better. Most patients notice some improvement within approximately 2 weeks however.
When should trazodone medication not be prescribed?
If you’ve ever been sensitive or allergic to trazodone or similar medications, you should probably not take this antidepressant. You should always make sure that your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you experience when on this or any medications.
What if I am pregnant or breast-feeding?
The effects of trazodone medication have not been adequately studied during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant in the near future, you should talk to your physician immediately. This medicine may appear in breast milk. If trazodone medication is absolutely essential to your health, your doctor may recommend that you discontinue breast-feeding your baby until your treatment with trazodone medication is complete.
Trazodone side effects: An overview
Trazodone side effects usually cannot be anticipated. If you notice any Trazodone side effects however, you should notify your physician immediately. Along with the benefits of any medicine, there are almost always some unwanted effects. While many or most of these effects may not occur, if they do you should call your physician or get medical attention immediately.
Trazodone side effects that require immediate attention:
Painful and inappropriate erection of the penis continuing for an extended period of time. In this case you should stop taking this medicine and check with your doctor immediately.
You need to check with your doctor as soon as possible if any the following Trazodone side effects occur:
Fainting; muscle tremors; confusion
Unusual excitement; skin rash: fast or slow heartbeat
Symptoms of overdosage of Trazodone
Loss of muscle coordination; nausea and vomiting; drowsiness
While many other Trazodone side effects may occur that usually do not require medical attention, these side effects may go away as treatment progresses and your body adjusts to the medicine. However, you should check with your doctor if the following Trazodone side effects continue or become more bothersome:
Unpleasant taste; nausea and vomiting; dryness of mouth; dizziness or lightheadedness; drowsiness
Unusual tiredness or weakness; muscle aches or pains; constipation; blurred vision; diarrhea
While other Trazodone side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients, if you notice any other side effects while taking Trazodone or any other medicine you need to check with your doctor immediately.
Trazodone dosage: How much is too much?
Trazodone dosage: Important information
Your Trazodone dosage should be taken with or shortly after a meal or snack to reduce any dizziness or lightheadedness or to lessen stomach upset. Your Trazodone dosage should always be taken precisely as recommended by your doctor without deviation to gain the maximum benefit of this depression medicine. Some patients have reported that it may take as long as four weeks before you begin to feel better although some report improvement within two weeks.
Trazodone dosage: Specific amounts
Although your dose of Trazodone may be different from other individuals, you need to follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label of your medication. The following information includes only the average Trazodone dosages. If your dose is different always follow exactly what your doctor tells you to do.
Adult Trazodone dosage
The usual starting dosage is 50 mg per dose taken three times a day or 75 mg per dose taken two times a day. Your physician may increase the dosage as he or she believes will benefit your condition.
For children up to the age of six years old, dosage should be determined by your doctor. For children between the ages of six and 18 years old, your doctor will determine the oral dosage to be taken based upon your body weight.
Trazodone dosage for the elderly
The usual starting dosage is 25 mg per dose taken three times a day. Your doctor may than increase your dosage as needed.
Storage of Trazodone:
Always keep this depression medication out of the reach of children, away from heat and direct sunlight. You should never store this medicine in the bathroom or other damp area or near any type of heat or moisture, which may cause this medication to break down. Also, you should never keep this or any other medication any longer than needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.
Missed Trazodone dosage:
If you ever miss your Trazodone dosage you need to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is within four hours of your next dosage you will need to get back on your regular routine schedule. Never take double doses of Trazodone or any other medication for that matter.
Trazodone medication: What are some of the special precautions?
Trazodone medication: Special precautions
The use of Trazodone medication will require regular visits to your doctor to monitor your progress. Your physician will continue to check the effects of your Trazodone medication and adjust the dosage as necessary. You should never quit taking this medication without checking with your doctor first. Frequently the doctor will reduce the amount of this medication gradually before you stop it completely.
Trazodone medication- Other special precautions:
While taking Trazodone medication, always let your doctor or dentist know before having any emergency, dental or medical surgery. Taking this medicine while having surgical or dental treatments may interact negatively with medicines that are used during dental or emergency services and increase the depressant effects on the central nervous system.
Trazodone medication has also been known to cause people to become irritable and agitated, as well as to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies, and to actually become more depressed. If you or your family members notice these effects you should notify your doctor immediately.
This depression medicine will add to the effects of alcohol or other central nervous system depressants, possibly causing drowsiness. Common examples of central nervous system depressants are antihistamines or medicines for allergies, colds, tranquilizers, and sleeping medicines. Other very common central nervous system depressants also include pain medicines or narcotics, medicine for seizures, muscle relaxants, anesthetics and barbiturates.
Trazodone may cause some people to become drowsy or less alert than normal. You should always make sure you know how you will react to this medication before you drive or operate heavy machinery or do anything that may be dangerous if you’re not completely alert. Dizziness, fainting or lightheadedness may occur when you attempt to get up from a lying or sitting position. Many doctors recommend getting up slowly to help with this sensation. If this lightheadedness or dizziness problem continues or gets worse you should talk to your doctor immediately.
Trazodone medication has also been known to cause dryness of the mouth. Sugar, gum, hard candy or small pieces of ice may provide some relief for you. However, if your mouth remains dry for more than two weeks, you should talk to your physician or dentist immediately. A continuing dryness of the mouth may result in dental disease, tooth decay, gum disease or other fungus infections as a result of taking Trazodone medication.
Information adapted from Consumer Reports Consumer Drug Reference
Additional information by Paul Susic Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist