How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Trazodone belongs to the class of medications called antidepressants. It is used to treat symptoms of depression. It works by affecting the balance of chemicals in the brain that are associated with depression. It may take up to 4 weeks before the full beneficial effects of this medication are seen.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each round, pale orange, biconvex tablet, scored and engraved "APO" over "T50" on one side, contains trazodone HCl 50 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, sodium lauryl sulfate, and sodium starch glycolate.
Each round, white, biconvex tablet, scored and engraved "APO" over "T100" on one side, contains trazodone HCl 100 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, sodium lauryl sulfate, and sodium starch glycolate.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of trazodone ranges from 150 mg to 300 mg daily, taken in 2 or 3 divided doses with a meal or light snack.
The dose is usually started at a low level and increased gradually until the best dose is found.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Trazodone should not be taken by anyone who is allergic to trazodone or to any of the ingredients of the medication.
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- painful, inappropriate erection of the penis (continuing)
- symptoms of a serious allergic reaction (swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, wheezing, or itchy skin rash)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Behaviour changes and suicidal thoughts: This medication may worsen symptoms of depression, including thoughts of suicide or wanting to harm themselves or others. It may also cause agitated or aggressive behaviour. If you experience these symptoms or any other behaviour change while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately. Family members or caregivers of people who are taking this medication should contact the person's doctor immediately if they notice unusual behaviour changes.Heart rhythm: Trazodone can cause changes to the normal rhythm of the heart, including an irregular heartbeat called QT prolongation. QT prolongation is a serious life-threatening condition that can cause fainting, seizures, and sudden death. If you are at risk for heart rhythm problems (e.g., people with heart failure, angina, low potassium or magnesium levels), discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Blood pressure: Trazodone may cause low blood pressure and possibly cause a feeling of lightheadedness when moving from a sitting or lying position to a standing position.
Dizziness: Trazodone can cause severe dizziness, especially when rising from a sitting or lying position. People taking medications that can cause dizziness should rise slowly from sitting or lying down to reduce the possibility of severe dizziness or fainting
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Trazodone may impair the mental or physical abilities required for potentially hazardous tasks, such as driving or operating machinery. Avoid undertaking such activities while taking trazodone until you determine that you are not affected in this way.
Priapism: Trazodone has been associated with prolonged or inappropriate erections (priapism) for a number of men taking this medication. If this occurs, stop taking the medication immediately and contact your doctor.
Seizures: Seizures have been reported for a small number of people taking trazodone. Most of these people were already taking medications for a previously diagnosed seizure disorder.Serotonin Syndrome: Rarely, severe, life-threatening reactions are possible when trazodone is combined with other medications that act on serotonin, such as tricyclic antidepressants and serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are other medications used to treat depression. This is called serotonin syndrome. These combinations should be avoided. Symptoms of a reaction may include muscle rigidity and spasms, difficulty moving, changes in mental state including delirium and agitation. Coma and death are possible.
Pregnancy: The safety of trazodone for use during pregnancy has not been established. It should not be used by women who may become pregnant unless, in the opinion of their doctor, the expected benefits outweigh the potential risks. If you are or may be pregnant, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.
Breast-feeding: This medication should not be used by breast-feeding mothers unless the benefits outweigh the risks to the child. If you are breast-feeding, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this medication.
Children and adolescents: The safety and effectiveness of trazodone have not been established for people less than 18 years of age.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between trazodone and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.