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Trazodone (Desyrel) – Side Effects, Interactions, Uses

Post written by BFH Staff Writer on February 9, 2024
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Trazodone, commonly known by its brand name Desyrel, is a medication that is often prescribed for various conditions, including sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression. In this article, we’ll explore key aspects of Trazodone, from its uses and dosage to potential side effects and interactions.

Is Trazodone a Controlled Substance?

No, Trazodone is not classified as a controlled substance. It belongs to a class of medications known as atypical antidepressants and is generally considered safe when taken as prescribed.

Trazodone Mechanism of Action

Trazodone works by affecting neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly serotonin. This mechanism of action contributes to its antidepressant and anxiolytic properties.

Trazodone Interactions

Before taking Trazodone, inform your healthcare provider about all the medications, supplements, and medicinal herbs you are currently using. Trazodone may interact with certain drugs, potentially affecting their effectiveness or causing unwanted side effects.

These include medications that affect serotonin levels, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It’s crucial to identify potential interactions to avoid adverse effects.

Side Effects of Trazodone

Like any medication, Trazodone may cause side effects. Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth. In many cases, side effects of Trazodone may diminish as your body adjusts to the medication. If you experience persistent or severe side effects, consult your healthcare provider for guidance.

Some individuals may experience sexual side effects while taking Trazodone. If you notice changes in libido or sexual function, discuss these concerns with your doctor to explore potential solutions.

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Trazodone for Anxiety

Besides its sleep-inducing properties, Trazodone is also utilized to manage anxiety. Your doctor will determine the appropriate dosage based on your individual needs and medical history.

Trazodone for Sleep (Dosage)

Trazodone is frequently prescribed to address sleep disorders. The typical dosage for improving sleep is in the range of 50 to 100 mg taken before bedtime. However, it’s crucial to follow your doctor’s recommendations for the most effective and safe results.

Can You Overdose on Trazodone?

While it’s generally safe when taken as prescribed, overdosing on Trazodone can be dangerous. Never exceed the recommended dosage, and seek immediate medical attention if you suspect an overdose. Symptoms may include dizziness, fainting, and difficulty breathing.

Can You Take Trazodone and Alcohol?

Combining Trazodone with alcohol is strongly discouraged due to the potential for increased risk of adverse effects. Both Trazodone and alcohol are central nervous system depressants, meaning they can slow down brain activity and impair cognitive and motor functions. When taken together, they can potentiate each other’s effects, leading to heightened drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired coordination. This can significantly increase the risk of accidents, falls, and other dangerous situations. Moreover, the combination may also exacerbate Trazodone’s sedative properties, potentially leading to excessive drowsiness or even loss of consciousness.

Trazodone and Pregnancy

The use of Trazodone during pregnancy requires careful consideration, as it involves weighing potential benefits against risks to both the mother and the developing fetus. Each pregnancy is unique, and healthcare providers conduct individualized risk assessments to make informed decisions. 

The decision to use Trazodone hinges on factors such as the severity of the mental health condition, the necessity of treatment, and the availability of alternative, safer options. If Trazodone is deemed necessary, close monitoring and regular follow-up appointments are crucial to assess the medication’s impact and address any emerging concerns promptly. It is essential for individuals planning to become pregnant to discuss their medication plan in advance, allowing for proactive adjustments and ensuring that mental health needs are met while minimizing potential risks. 

Open communication with healthcare providers, access to educational resources, and a collaborative approach empower individuals to make informed decisions regarding Trazodone use during pregnancy.


Trazodone, marketed as Desyrel, is a versatile medication used to manage various conditions. While effective, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects, interactions, and proper usage. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs.

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