Trazodone (Desyrel, DesyrelDividose, Oleptro, Trazodone D) Side Effects

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Trazodone (brand names:  Desyrel, DesyrelDividose, Oleptro and Trazodone D) is a drug used to treat major depressive disorder as well as commonly being prescribed for sleep.

It is available in tablet form from a variety of manufacturers in the following dosages:  50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg and 300 mg.

As with any prescription medication, trazodone may cause certain side effects.

Most Common Side Effects

The following side effects are those most commonly reported by people who use trazodone:

  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Blurry vision

This list does not include all possible side effects.  You should consult with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your own particular case.

More Serious Side Effects

Certain side effects, while rare, can represent a threat to your life and health.  You should speak with your doctor immediately if you experience any of these more serious side effects:

  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Serotonin syndrome (Symptoms include agitation, hallucinations, problems with coordination, rapid heartbeat, tight muscles, problems walking, upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea.)
  • Mania (Symptoms include euphoric mood, grandiose thinking, racing thoughts, irritability, high energy, excessive talking, inability to sleep and risky behavior)
  • Irregular or rapid heart beat
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Low blood pressure (Symptoms including feeling dizzy or fainting when rising from a seated position.)
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Priapism (Priapism is an abnormal, persistent erection of the penis and can be quite painful.  It can also damage the penis if not treated in a timely manner.)
  • Low sodium in the blood (Symptoms of this condition include:  headache; weakness; confusion; problems with thinking, concentration and memory.)
  • Severe allergic reaction (Symptoms can include:  swelling of the face, tongue, eyes or mouth; itchy rash, hives or blisters, alone or with joint pain; or difficulty breathing.)

What You Should Do If You Experience Side Effects

The majority of people who use trazodone will not experience any serious side effects.  In addition, any side effects that they do experience will lessen over time as they become acclimated to the medication.  However, if you are finding that you are experiencing side effects which are particularly bothersome to you, you should consult with your doctor for advice.  She may be able to help you find ways to either lessen or eliminate these side effects.  And, if you simply can't find a way to cope with them, she will be able to prescribe a different medication which you may be able to better tolerate.

In the event that you experience any of the more serious side effects of trazodone, it is of utmost importance that you speak with your doctor immediately.  Prompt treatment is important in order to prevent any damage to your health.

When side effects occur it can be tempting to stop taking the medication altogether.  However, you should never suddenly stop taking an antidepressant without first consulting with your physician.  First of all, you risk experiencing a return of or worsening of your depression symptoms.  Secondly, you could experience symptoms of discontinuation syndrome, such as headache, nausea and unusual neurological sensations.  Your doctor can help you avoid these problems by advising you how to properly stop or change your medication.

Sources:

"Overview:  Trazodone Hydrochloride."  Drugs@FDA.  U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Accessed:  October 31, 2014.  http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/drugsatfda/index.cfm?fuseaction=Search.Overview&DrugName=TRAZODONE%20HYDROCHLORIDE

"Prescribing Information:  Trazodone."  Apotex, Inc.  Revised:  August 2014.  Accessed:  October 31, 2014.  http://www.apotex.com/us/en/products/downloads/pil/traz_imtb_ins.pdf

"Trazodone.." AHFS Consumer Medication Information. Bethesda, MD : American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 2013. Revised: January 15, 2014. Accessed:  October 27, 2014. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a681038.html

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