DA Trazodone for Sleep

Are you taking trazodone for sleep? This medication is commonly prescribed by medical professionals for the treatment of insomnia. While you should consult with your doctor before you take this medication, its helpful to have an understanding of the benefits and risks of taking trazodone. Trazodone may be considered safer than other sleep medication, however, it does come with the risk of side effects.


Trazodone is an antidepressant that can be prescribed for the treatment of insomnia. This generic antidepressent can help you to get a good nights rest because drowsiness is one of its side effects. This medication has been on the market for decades, which means that its well-known by medical professionals. A few studies have shown the efficacy of this medication and there are an increasing number of doctors who prescribe trazodone for sleep problems.

How Can Trazodone Help Me?

Trazodone can be prescribed by medical professionals for the treatment of depression as well as for insomnia. This medication can help to provide relief from the symptoms associated with depression, including low mood and low energy levels as well as disrupted sleep patterns. Trazodone functions by helping to balance serotonin levels in the brain. This medications is not classified as being at risk for dependency and abuse which reduces the level of control that is placed on prescribing trazodone for sleep. It may be believed that trazodone is a safer alternative to other medications because of its lower risk for dependency but there is little research to support this. Another advantage of trazodone is that it is a more affordable option when compared to other sleep medications. Other sleep medications run the risk of memory loss while trazodone is not associated with this side effect. While it is believed that there is a reduced risk for reoccurring insomnia once you stop treatment, not enough research has been conducted to support this claim.

Trouble Falling Asleep

Trazodone can help you to get a good night’s rest. If you struggle to fall asleep, you can take this medication a few hours before you go to bed.

Trouble staying Asleep

Disrupted sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health if its an ongoing problem. If you have difficulty staying asleep, you can take trazodone half an hour before you go to bed.

Brand and Generic Names

While trazodone is the generic name for this medication, it is sold under various brand names across the globe. Big international brand names are Desyrel and Trittico. This medication is sold as Oleptro in the US.

Before Taking Trazodone

Before you take trazodone, make sure that your doctor is aware of any allergies that you have as well as your medical history. Its important to make your doctor aware of of any incidences of heart disease or suicidal behavior in your personal or family history. Incidences of liver or kidney disease could also influence your doctor’s decision to prescribe this medication to you. Blood pressure problems are another important part of your medical history that you will need to discuss with your medical professional before starting a treatment of trazodone for sleep.

Allergy Information

Allergic reactions to trazodone are uncommon but you should consult with your medical health professional immediately if you have an adverse reaction to this medication. Negative responses may include rashes or itching. Advise your medical health professional of any allergies that you have before starting treatment. Let your doctor know if you’re allergic to nefazodone. There may  also be inactive ingredients in this medication which can result in allergic reactions.

Common Interactions

Its important to be aware of the other medications that interact with trazodone. These interactions can decrease the efficacy of your medication. In some cases they can intensify the side effects that are associated with the medication that you’re on. Write down the medications that you’re taking and share the list with your medical professional. They will be able to advise you on which medications should not be taken together. Don’t adjust your medication yourself without seeking advice from your doctor first. Taking trazodone with digoxin and other MAO inhibitors can be dangerous. There is a risk of drug interaction if MAO inhibitors are ingested two weeks prior to starting your treatment with trazodone. There is also an increased risk of developing severe side effects if MAO inhibitors are taken in the two weeks following your treatment. Taking azole antifungals or macrolide antibiotics can impact how trazodone functions. HIV protease inhibitors and rifamycins call also impact the efficacy of your trazodone treatment. You will be at a higher risk for serotonin syndrome if you take St. John’s wort with this medication. Illegal drugs that elevate the level of serotonin in your brain, such as ecstasy, can also put you at risk for serotonin syndrome when you’re being treated with this medication. Certain antidepressants may have a negative interaction with trazodone. Check the labels of your other medications to assess whether they can lead to drowsiness or not. Cough medicine that causes drowsiness can be problematic when taken at the same time as trazodone. You should also be cautious about taking allergy medication or anxiety medication when you’re taking trazodone. You’ll need to inform your medical practitioner if you’re taking marujana products for advise on possible negative interaction. Avoid alchol during your treatment.

Adult Dosing

Your health professional will decide on the dosage that’s right for you. When prescribing trazodone for sleep, a lower dosage is typically recommended. Your family history as well as the intensity of your sleep problems will be taken into account when your doctor is recommending a dosage. They’ll look at your medical history to see if you are at a higher risk for any of the side effects that are associated with trazodone. They’ll also take into account any possible interactions between trazodone and the other medication that you’re on. Your doctor will consider your personal preferences when making a recommendation. If you’re struggling with other mental health challenges, such as depression, this will influence what dosage of medication your doctor prescribes. Lower dosages of 25 to 150 mg are prescribed for sleep problems when compared to the 200 to 600 mg that are recommended by doctors for the treatment of depression.

Black Box Warnings

A blackbox warning for trazodone is that it can put children and teenagers at a higher risk for suicidal thoughts and increase the possibility of suicidal behavior. Other antidepressants are also associated with an increased risk of suicide

Side Effects

Side effects of trazodone include nausea and vomiting. Diarrhea, constipation and dizziness are other side effects that are associated with this medication. People who are taking this medication may also experience drowsiness and tiredness as well as headaches. Other possible side effects include blurred vision and muscle pain. This medication can also have an impact on your weight as well as your sexual interest and ability. If you’re experiencing side effects from trazodone, you should consult with your medical health professional. Getting medical support is important if the side effects that you’re experiencing become more severe. You’ll need immediate medical attention if you experience more severe side effects, such as tremors or blood in your urine. An irregular heartbeat or seizures are also among the more severe side effects that are associated with trazodone. While there is a risk of experiencing these side effects, many people use trazodone successfully without experiencing severe problems. Be aware that when you’re taking trazodone for sleep, you have an increased risk of being drowsy the next day which puts you at a higher risk for being part of a collision if you drive.

How Should I Take Trazodone for Sleep?

Trazodone should be taken according to your medical health professional’s recommendations. Its also advisable to read the guidelines that come with your medication when you purchase it from the pharmacy. If you have additional questions, you can contact your health care professional for advice.  It usually takes two to four weeks after you start taking trazodone for you to experience the full benefits of the medication. Its important to follow the guidance of your doctor and to consult with them first before your reduce or increase your dose. Exceeding the dosage that is prescribed by your doctor can aggravate the side effects that are associated with trazodone. If your symptoms are alleviated, you’ll need to continue to take the medication or consult with your doctor for advice on whether to reduce the dosage or not. Stopping the medication abruptly without consulting with your health care professional can result in insomnia and anxiety. This medication needs to be taken at the same time daily. Contact your health care professional if there are any changes in your condition. Its important to follow your doctor’s instructions and trazodone is typically ingested orally once or twice a day following food. Your medical health professional will recommend a dosage in accordance with the severity of the problems that you’re facing. Your response to the medication will also be taken into account. Your doctor may choose to prescribe a low dosage to start with to decrease the chances of you experiencing side effects. They may increase the dosage over time depending on whether the medication is offering you relief from your symptoms or not.

What Do I Do If I Miss a Dose?

If you forget to take your medication, take the next dose as soon as possible. However, if you only remember to take your medicine close to the time when you should be taking the next dose, leave the missing dose and continue with your regular schedule. Avoid taking double the prescribed medication to make up for a missed dose. Its advisable to set a reminder so that you can remember to follow your dosing schedule. If you have concerns about missing a dose, contact your doctor for their advice.

What Happens If I Overdose?

If you overdose and experience severe symptoms, you’ll need to call an ambulance. Symptoms of an overdose include struggling to breathe and seizures. Passing out or irregular heartbeats are other symptoms that you’ve taken too much of this medication. Vomiting is another symptom that is associated with an overdose.

Efficacy Concerns

Trazodone was approved in 1981 for the treatment of depression and since then doctors have been prescribing it for a range of other conditions. While medical health professionals can legally prescribe this medication to help people sleep, there us limited evidence of its suitability for this application. A few studies have revealed the efficacy of this medication on providing relief from insomnia over a two week period. However, the limitation of this research is that the efficacy of this medication hasn’t been approved over longer periods. There is is little evidence to support the prescription of trazodone for sleep problems. Research has also not established what the effective dosage of trazodone is for this application. Lower dosages are usually prescribed to offer relief from insomnia. Despite the lack of evidence, medical health professionals support the use of this medication for people who have problem sleeping even if they don’t suffer from depression.


If you’re pregnant, consult with your medical health professional before taking trazodone. Likewise, if you’re trying to get pregnant, you should speak to your doctor before taking this medication. Your doctor will be able to explain the risks and advantages of taking trazodone. This medication is transmitted into breast-milk so you will need to speak to your mental health professional prior to breast feeding.

Other Uses

Typical Uses

Trazodone is typically prescribed for depression and insomnia. It is also commonly used in the treatment of anxiety.

Off-Label Uses

While prescriptions of trazodone for sleep problems and depression are common, this medication also has off-label uses. Its used in the treatment of bulimia as well as dementia.It can also be prescribed to people who are struggling with alcoholism.

If you’re suffering from insomnia, you can discuss taking trazodone with your doctor so that you can get a better nights sleep. The suitability of this medication will depend on your medical history as well as any other medication that you’re taking.


  1. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-11188-89/trazodone-oral/trazodone-oral/details 
  2. https://www.consumerreports.org/insomnia/trazodone-for-insomnia-should-you-take/ 

    3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5842888/ 

    4. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-power-rest/201704/is-trazodone-the-new-brain-wonder-drug

     5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trazodone

    6. https://www.selfhacked.com/blog/uses-of-trazodone/

author avatar
Angel Rivera
I am a Bilingual (Spanish) Psychiatrist with a mixture of strong clinical skills including Emergency Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison, Forensic Psychiatry, Telepsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry training in treatment of the elderly. I have training in EMR records thus very comfortable in working with computers. I served the difficult to treat patients in challenging environments in outpatient and inpatient settings
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