Trazodone Needs to be Taken As Prescribed

What is Trazodone?

Trazodone is among a class of medications used to treat depression, insomnia, schizophrenia, and anxiety. But the AASM (American Academy of Sleep Medicine) does not recommend this drug for insomnia without depression. Despite this reality, trazodone is prescribed (the length of time it stays in the body). Trazodone used for insomnia is a Non-FDA-approved use. Additional uses of trazodone may be seen in managing alcohol dependence withdrawal. There can be side effects, such as hallucinations, when combined with alcohol. (Discussed later)

What is Habit Forming vs. Addictive

While trazodone may not be considered addictive, it can become habit-forming. Habit forming means you continue to take the medication though the problem may have been resolved. When using drugs, whether prescribed by a doctor or not, one crosses a fine line when taking medication beyond its original intention and outside of the way it has been prescribed. Once the use of the drug/medication becomes a motivating factor every day, it takes priority over work, school, family, hobbies, and friends. In other words, the person compulsively seeks the drug. That is addiction!

How does Trazodone work?

Trazodone is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor related to SSRIs, commonly referred to as a SARI.

“SSRIs treat depression by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is one of the chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) that carry signals between brain nerve cells (neurons).

SSRIs block the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin into neurons. This makes more serotonin available to improve the transmission of messages between neurons. SSRIs are called selective because they mainly affect serotonin, not other neurotransmitters

Uses of Trazodone (SARI) and SSRIs to Treat Anxiety

Trazodone is now preferred over benzodiazepines, an older class of narcotic drugs that are highly addictive. SARI and SSRIs are now commonly used to treat various anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. The use of trazodone must be under the supervision of a medical physician.

Effects of Mixing Medications and Illegal Substances

Trazodone has a numbing effect on many people. Central nervous system (CNS) depressants mustn’t be combined with other drugs. Drugs that impact the CNS in combination can cause life-threatening respiratory depression or the cessation of breathing. Additionally, the combination of various drugs can cause blood pressure problems and irregular heartbeats.

How Trazodone is taken

Trazodone is an oral medication that comes in tablet form (25 mg, 50mg, 100mg, 150mg, and 300mg strength) in capsules (50mg and 100mg strengths) and liquid form (10 mg or 20 mg in every 1ml.) A long list of drugs should not be combined with trazodone, including anticoagulants, aspirin, Advil and Motrin, Aleve, diuretics, fentanyl, lithium, pain medications, migraine medication, and other SSRIs such as Celexa, Lexapro, fluoxetine. Because trazodone causes drowsiness, it is usually taken in the evening after eating a meal.

Side Effects of Taking Trazodone

  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Weakness
  • Itching feelings
  • Dry mouth
  • Trouble seeing
  • Constipation
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Hearing loss
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Sexual Dysfunction

As with many medications, a sudden ceasing of the medication can lead to many intense side effects. Stopping the use of trazodone abruptly is not recommended. You should seek medical attention first.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Trazodone

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Pain
  • Frenzied mood
  • Sweating
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Irregular heartbeat

In children and young adults, taking trazodone has been associated with increased suicidal thoughts. Additionally, this medication will increase the impact of central nervous system drugs such as alcohol, antihistamines, allergy medication, sedatives, and other medications. These include over-the-counter medications, illegal drugs, and certain supplements. St. John’s Wart is known to increase the side effects of trazodone.

Other side effects that require immediate medical attention.

  • Skin rash, red, swollen, blistered skin
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest or throat
  • Difficulty breathing and speaking
  • Mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat swell
  • Priapism (a prolonged erection of the penis that continues for hours and is not caused by sexual stimulation but can cause long-term damage to the penis)
  • Hyponatremia (low sodium levels in elderly (over 65), which can lead to life-threatening conditions

People with existing cardiovascular conditions should be cautious before taking trazodone. The drug can cause heartbeat irregularities.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, if you suffer from bipolar disorder, you should be aware that manic episodes can occur because of this medication. Additionally, changes in feelings, such as aggression, impulsivity, and restlessness, can be signs of unwanted side effects.

If you have the conditions already mentioned, you should be wary of taking drugs like trazodone. If there are kidney or liver problems, taking trazodone can cause toxicity to occur, worsening the conditions. If your kidney or liver is compromised, and you are using drugs such as trazodone illegally, you would be wise to seek medical attention. A baseline liver function test should always be done before taking trazodone. Once therapy has begun, it should be followed by periodic monitoring. There are no positive benefits to the casual usage of trazodone.

Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin syndrome is a drug reaction caused by medications that build high levels of serotonin in the body. Combining drugs that are known to increase serotonin levels will lead to serotonin syndrome. The symptoms can be:

  • Agitation
  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Shivering
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Diarrhea

More several symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • High fever
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unconsciousness
  • Blood in urine
  • Ringing in the ears

People with neurological disorders can experience visual hallucinations. In some instances, trazodone, in combination with other drugs, such as alcohol, other antidepressants, CNS depressants, and migraine medications, can cause visual hallucinations. Some people have experienced auditory hallucinations and a disorganized type of psychosis which included hallucinations.

Using trazodone with drugs such as cannabis can increase the side effects of dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion. Some of the multiple side effects mentioned throughout the blog can also occur. It has been well documented that using trazodone has resulted in an increased propensity to fall, especially among older users.

If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse and is mixing drugs, call for help now. If you or a loved one has been inappropriately taking trazodone, alone or in combination with other drugs (legal or illegal), call for help now. One of our trained staff can answer all your questions and assist you on the road to recovery.

References:

Connor Barton
Connor Barton
2022-06-03
The staff here is amazing. Caring and attentive. I finally kicked the sticks and couldn’t be happier.
Jacob Rashid
Jacob Rashid
2022-06-03
So nice to have Grandma back to her old self. She has struggled with xannies for as long as I can remember. The staff were so attentive and met her where she was, not where they wanted her to be. Thank you Coastal Detox!
Tara Payne
Tara Payne
2022-05-20
I struggled with alcohol addiction for most of my life. After many tries nothing worked.It was my 43rd birthday and I wasn't gonna see 44 if I didn't get help. I called around and found Coastal. So glad I did. I am so grateful for EVERYONE there. This beautiful facility is not just a detox. They actually have programs to help you learn to live a sober life and enjoy being yourself again! Entire staff is awesome! (Ms Diana ❤️ and Mrs Karen ❤️)They really understand how your feeling as most are in recovery also. If your looking for some help please give them a call. I give them 10+stars. Five months sober now!!! Thank you Coastal!!!
Bob Hawkins
Bob Hawkins
2022-05-04
The entire staff of Coastal is great, the therapists, the nurses, the techs, everyone. It’s a great environment to begin your recovery in. As an added perk, the food is some of the best you’ll ever have thanks to the chefs.
Tony Givens
Tony Givens
2022-05-04
My experience at coastal detox was very good, the staff there is terrific. They helped me get through the process of detox in a safe and professional manor.
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
2022-03-21
It been almost a year!! Thank y’all
Matthew Mcnulty
Matthew Mcnulty
2022-03-07
This is the top tier Rehab/Detox center in Southeast FL. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. Their attention to detail is impressive. They specialize in treating alcohol abuse among several other conditions. If you or a loved one are looking for a blueprint on how to sober up…Coastal Detox will lead you there.
Mary Katz
Mary Katz
2022-02-26
My experience with Coastal has been one of empathy, kindness and family. From Admissions to Nurses to techs I have never felt so cared for. Food and drink 24/7. Coastal is a place I went twice. First time 14 days next 6days later for another 11. At 59 and umpteen detoxes Coastal by far is Heaven Sent! As a Nutritionist and Trainer, I'm so happy to be back....the Mary ,who was lost:)
vicky ehr
vicky ehr
2022-01-29
Great place . Helped me so much I am a 64 year old woman and this place got me sober with dignity and kindness. I highly recommend it plus the food is incredible. Rooms are really well laid out. 2 guys to a room . Each bed has its own t.v with head sets so you dont bother your roomate. Take an extra pillow and comfort blanket from home. At least 3 pairs of pj’ s sock and shoes and comfortable clothing fit. You do your own laundry there. I will send you the link to look at. After thinking all morning this is hands down the place for you. Lots of young people and fantastic therapists. For my wonderful son who suffers. From addiction the way I do.

No products in the cart.