Trazodone: everything you need to know

Trazodone is an antidepressant medication. Specific, belongs to the family of second generation tricyclic antidepressants. As the name implies, it is very effective in the treatment of depression.

However, trazodone also It is indicated for the treatment of other diseases such as insomnia and some anxiety disorders. It can be given alone or in combination with other medications, as directed by the doctor.

Too It can be used as adjuvant therapy in some psychiatric disorders, as cases of manias, Tourrette syndrome or schizophrenia, although the efficacy to treat the latter disease is still under study.

Definitely, Anxiolytic, sedative and hypnotic properties have been attributed to this tricyclic antidepressant.. It was synthesized in 1966 in Italy and was approved by the FDA in 1982.

How does trazodone exert its effect on the body?

In addition to being a second generation tricyclic antidepressant, as we have mentioned, It is also cataloged within the antidepressants that exert a dual action in the body to achieve its therapeutic objective.

In this sense, presents an agonist action on serotonin 5-HT2a receptors and, at the same time, it inhibits the reuptake of this neurotransmitter so implicated in depressive clinical conditions.

However, The mechanism of this medicine is not yet known with certainty, since some authors suggest that the main mechanism of action of trazodone is presynaptically established and involves a serotonin transporter.

On the other hand, trazodone has no effect on cholinergic receptors, unlike many other antidepressants. In this way, it is exempt from triggering the adverse effects associated with the activation of this type of receptors.

Recommended dosage and dosage

One of the disadvantages of trazodone compared to other types of antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, is its dosage regimen. In this sense, Trazodone should be taken several times a day. On the contrary, SSRIs only require a daily dose to trigger their antidepressant action.

This disadvantage is supplemented by the price, which is much lower than that of the SSRIs. As usual, an initial dose of 150 mg is prescribed per day and then gradually increases, as directed by the doctor.

Also read: Antidepressants and alcohol: what effects does your combination have?

Adverse reactions of trazodone

Trazodone, like all medicines that are on the market, is not exempt from producing a series of side effects which are important when starting treatment with this medicine.

In this sense, the most common adverse reactions With treatment with this medicine are:

  • Drowsiness: It is very important not to take this medicine if you are going to drive dangerous machines or drive a vehicle.
  • Dizziness
  • Sickness.
  • Headache.

Also liver toxicity cases have been reported in clinical trials conducted with this medicine, when they were administered to patients for a long time.

Likewise, They have also been reporting cases of delayed dystonia and late sensory syndrome, in addition to hyponatremia (low sodium levels) and seizures when a patient suffers from an overdose.

Adverse reactions are surely caused by such high doses that are used in the administration of this medicine. So, further studies have to be carried out in order to try to reduce doses in long-term administrations, obtaining good clinical efficacy and reducing adverse effects.

Serotonergic syndrome

This disorder occurs when drugs that increase the concentration of serotonin are administered in high doses, such as trazodone (tricyclic antidepressants) or other antidepressants. This syndrome is highly dangerous since it can cause the death of the patient. Therefore, it is essential not to self-medicate or take more doses than the doctor tells you.

Serotonergic syndrome It is characterized by a series of symptoms such as:

  • Changes in mental state: confusion or agitation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Shaking chills.
  • Fever.
  • Uncoordination in movements.

These side effects are due to a pharmacodynamic interaction., which is the product of common actions on the same neurotransmission system, and of competing pharmacokinetic interactions of cytochrome isoenzymes. Thus, Plasma levels of antidepressants are greatly increased.

Discover: Risks of self-medication


Trazodone is a medicine that belongs to the family of tricyclic antidepressants. Caution should be taken with this type of medication and never self-medicate. Misuse of trazodone can lead to the death of the person involved. Always follow the doctor's instructions.