Trazodone Side Effects: Signs of Trazodone Abuse

Trazodone is a prescription medication commonly used to treat depression. It belongs to a class of drugs known as serotonin receptor antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs). Unlike traditional sleep medications, Trazodone doesn’t directly induce sleep but works by regulating serotonin levels in the brain. By influencing serotonin levels in the brain, it helps improve mood, alleviate anxiety, and promote better sleep.

In this guide, we’ll dive into the impact of trazodone in the body by understanding its side effects, risks, and the dangers of trazodone addiction.

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Signs of Trazodone Abuse

Trazodone is generally considered safe and effective when taken as prescribed. However, like any medication, it can cause side effects, and in some cases, misuse can lead to dependence and addiction. Signs of trazodone abuse can include:

  • Using the medication without a prescription
  • Increasing dosage without consulting a doctor
  • Taking the drug for non-medical reasons, such as to feel sleepy or to experience a high
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home due to trazodone use
  • Developing a tolerance, requiring more of the drug to achieve the same effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking trazodone

Trazodone Side Effects

Trazodone can cause a range of side effects, some of which may require medical attention. When users take the drug at recommended doses, they may experience mild and temporary side effects. However, once these short-term side effects become severe or persistent, it’s crucial to consult a doctor.

Common Side Effects of Trazodone

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Icon Dry Mouth

Dry Mouth

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Nausea and Vomiting

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Icon Showing Constipation


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Blurred Vision

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Muscle Aches

Severe Side Effects of Trazodone

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Irregular Heartbeat

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Shortness of breath

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Severe dizziness



Persistent nausea or vomiting

Unusual bleeding or bruising

Trazodone Long-Term Side Effects

Long-term use of trazodone can lead to additional health issues. Chronic users may experience dependence on the drug. This makes it difficult for them to stop using without experiencing withdrawal symptoms

Some people may also experience cognitive impairment, such as memory problems or difficulty concentrating on tasks. Mood swings and an increased risk of substance use disorders can also occur. Additionally, some chronic users can also experience sexual dysfunction, including decreased libido and erectile dysfunction.

These long-term side effects underscore the importance of using trazodone only as prescribed and under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Does Trazodone Cause Weight Gain?

Weight gain is not a common side effect of Trazodone. However, Some patients may report an increase in appetite and subsequent weight gain while taking the medication. This could lead to weight gain if not managed with a healthy diet and exercise. Weight gain is not universal, and some individuals may experience weight loss instead.

How Long Does Trazodone Take To Work?

The time it takes for trazodone to start working can vary depending on the condition being treated and individual factors such as:

  • Dosage: The dose prescribed can influence how quickly the medication starts to work. Adjustments may be needed to find the most effective dose.
  • Individual Differences: Age, weight, metabolism, and other individual health factors can impact how quickly trazodone takes effect.
  • Consistency: Taking the medication consistently as prescribed, usually at the same time each day, helps maintain stable levels in the body and can influence how quickly it starts to work.

General Timeline of Onset of Action

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  • Initial Effects: Trazodone may start to show some initial effects on mood and anxiety within 1 to 2 weeks of starting the medication.
  • Full Effects: It can take 4 to 6 weeks to experience the full antidepressant effects of trazodone.
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Trazodone generally works quicker when used for insomnia. Many people find that it helps them fall asleep within 30 minutes to 2 hours after taking it. The sedative effects are often felt the same night it is taken.

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  • Initial Effects: Like with depression, it may take a few weeks to start noticing improvements in anxiety symptoms.
  • Full Effects: People might experience the full effects within 4 to 6 weeks.

Trazodone can interact with a number of medications, which highlights the importance of healthcare consultations. Before starting with Trazodone treatment, it is essential to disclose and talk to your doctor about the medications you are taking.

Common Trazodone Drug Interactions

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These medications can cause a serious reaction called serotonin syndrome if taken with trazodone.

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Trazodone can increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood thinners, such as warfarin or heparin.

Trazodone can increase the drowsiness caused by other sleep medications.

Some antihistamines can also affect the level of drowsiness when users take them with Trazodone.

Can You Overdose on Trazodone?

Yes, it is possible to overdose on trazodone. Common symptoms of trazodone overdose include extreme drowsiness or sedation, seizures, respiratory distress, slow or irregular heartbeat, and coma. A trazodone overdose can be life-threatening and requires prompt medical attention. Call your doctor immediately if you suspect an overdose for early intervention.

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While trazodone can be an effective treatment for depression and other conditions, it is essential to be aware of the potential side effects and risks associated with its use. Recovery from trazodone addiction is possible with the right treatment and support. If you or a loved one is struggling with trazodone abuse or addiction, it is crucial to seek professional help.

The Hope House is a luxury rehab facility located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Our team of trained professionals can help you explore comprehensive treatment options that are suited for your needs. Treatment options for substance abuse may include a combination of medical detox, therapy, counseling, and support groups.

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