Trazodone Addiction

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Trazodone Addiction

Authored by Pin Ng PhD

Edited by Philippa Gold

Reviewed by Michael Por, MD

Trazodone is known by a number of brand names including Desyrel, Dividose, Oleptro, and Desyrel. All of these brand names simply offer users the same antidepressant medication. Doctors prescribe Trazodone to patients suffering from depression. Trazodone isn’t simply used for mild or low forms of the mental disorder.


The drug is prescribed to patients suffering from major bouts of depression that they struggle to overcome. Oftentimes, patients suffer anxiety along with depression and Trazodone can help both disorders. Along with depression, Trazodone can be prescribed to patients off-label to treat insomnia and alcoholism.


Like other antidepressants, Trazodone is extremely addictive and users can become dependent on the medication. Trazodone is known as a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI). Drugs that fall into the SSRI category alter the brain’s chemical balance. Serotonin regulates emotions and people with low levels of it can experience depression and/or other mental disorders.


Trazodone enables users to have more serotonin in their brains. The increased amount of serotonin enables users to be healthier and capable of overcoming disorders that produce depression, insomnia, and anxiety.


How is Trazodone taken?


Health practitioners can prescribe Trazodone in 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg tablets. The medication is then taken orally and daily dosage is based on the user’s response to the medication. Patients should take Trazodone with food.


Although addiction and dependency can be created by taking Trazodone, it is claimed to be relatively safe for users. Research has found Trazodone to be very effective in the treatment of depression and sleep disorders such as insomnia. Misuse is often the reason patients can experience addiction, withdrawal when they stop taking it, and death if they overdose on it.


Although Trazodone is said to be safe, there is a risk of dependency on the drug. Patients who misuse Trazodone and do not take it as prescribed, addiction can be created.

Although addiction and dependency can be created by taking Trazodone, it is claimed to be relatively safe for users. Research has found Trazodone to be very effective in the treatment of depression and sleep disorders such as insomnia.

Understanding Trazodone Addiction


Patients who take Trazodone will use the medication for long periods as it is prescribed as a long-term medication for depression. Medicines that are taken long term do run the risk of being addictive. Patients who consume Trazodone to avoid going through withdrawal symptoms or to feel balanced are said to be addicted to the medication.


The dependency and addictiveness of antidepressants is highly debated. It is claimed that individuals do not crave antidepressants, therefore, they cannot be addictive. However, there are plenty of people who take antidepressants like Trazodone to feel normal or to stop withdrawal from occurring.


Individuals seeking an end to Trazodone medication should speak with a health professional about stopping their consumption of it. Quitting cold turkey can cause withdrawal to occur and using a tapering off method from the medication is the ideal way to stop use. Individuals addicted to Trazodone can treat their dependency with a combination of detox and therapy.


Trazodone addiction withdrawal


Once a patient stops taking Trazodone, they can experience signs of depression that look similar to depression and anxiety. When medication is stopped suddenly, these signs increase. Due to stopping Trazodone, individuals have a deficiency of serotonin in their brain. The body should adjust to the lack of serotonin but until it does, individuals can feel uncomfortable.


There is a difference between being addicted to a drug and dependent on it. Trazodone takers can be dependent on the medication while not being addicted to it. This means a person has a physical dependency on the medication rather than a mental one.


Signs of Trazodone addiction withdrawal


  • Dizziness/Vertigo/Difficulty walking
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Jittery
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Lack of concentration
  • Headaches
  • Short temper/Irritability
  • Cold/Goosebumps/Chills
  • Depersonalization


Trazodone users can avoid withdrawal by taking the medication as prescribed. Patients shouldn’t miss a dose as this can trigger withdrawal symptoms. Trazodone addiction withdrawal symptoms can begin just 24 hours after the last dose was taken and continue for up to three weeks. Tapering off the medication is the best way to end taking it.

Trazodone addiction withdrawal symptoms can begin just 24 hours after the last dose was taken and continue for up to three weeks. Tapering off the medication is the best way to end taking it.

Side effects and risks of Trazodone


Trazodone can cause side effects in individuals who take it. The good news for users is that Trazodone’s side effects are not life threatening nor long lasting. However, Trazodone’s side effects can be serious enough to require a medical professional.


The most common side effects of Trazodone are:


  • Blurred vision
  • Sleepiness, drowsiness, dizziness, or tiredness
  • Sweating
  • Swelling in the body and/or face
  • Weight loss without dieting
  • Stuffy/congested nose


Other side effects can occur due to taking Trazodone, however, these are less common.


Less likely to occur side effects include:


  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Painful and persistent erection of the penis or clitoris
  • Cardiac arrhythmia


There are some serious side effects of Trazodone that can occur in individuals. If any of these issues occur patients should contact a medical professional immediately.


Serious side effects of Trazondone addiction include:


  • Rashes/hives
  • Fast heartbeats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Feel like blacking out
  • Decreased heartbeat rate
  • Bruise easily
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Low sodium levels


Can a person overdose on Trazodone?


Users can overdose on Trazodone if the medication is not taking as prescribed. If too much Trazodone is taken, it can result in serotonin syndrome. This occurs when serotonin accumulates in the body.


Signs of serotonin syndrome include:


  • Agitation/anxious
  • Restlessness
  • Muscles twitch
  • Confusion
  • Increased/rapid heart rate/high blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold/chills/shivering/goosebumps


Patients who experience the following symptoms should seek medical help:


  • High fever
  • Seizures/convulsions
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Unconsciousness/coma


An overdose on Trazodone can be life threatening. The medication should not be mixed with alcohol as it can cause death. Individuals shouldn’t fear taking Trazodone if it is used as prescribed.


How to Treat Trazodone Addiction?


In an overwhelming number of instances Trazodone dependency will present alongside multiple other drugs. It is unusual for Trzodone to be used in isolation. Because Tranzodone addiction usually occurs alongside other pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs residential inpatient treatment can be useful. With an individualized treatment plan, people who want to break their addiction to Trazodone and continue to treat their mental health issues are given every resource to do so in an inpatient program.


Long-term Trazodone users should seek medical detox to wean themselves off of the addictive drug. Medication-assisted treatments (MAT) are available to users seeking to end their dependence on the drug. MATs stop intense withdrawal symptoms while detoxing. Individuals can focus on recovery and not the extreme debilitating aspects of it. MATs can potentially reduce a person’s chances of relapsing during detox. Detox should be followed by comprehensive therapy in all cases to rid an individual of their dependency.


Naltrexone for Trazodone Addiction


Although Naltrexone is commonly used to treat serious Trazodone addiction, it does not stop cravings for the drug. For this reason, Naltrexone treatment for Trazodone addiction usually begins after the detox and withdrawal phase, and only under medical supervision.


Naltrexone is a common brand name pill commonly prescribed under the brand names ReVia and Depade and available in the United States, Canada and Europe. The injectable, extended release form of the drug is often sold under the name Vivitrol and is available in a variety of forms depending on the amount of medication required per day.


Another form of Naltrexone is a type of implant used in treatment that is shaped like a small pellet and inserted into the lower abdominal wall. The device releases a constant amount of Naltrexone when implanted, and the drug can also be administered through a prolonged injectable release every month.

Last Updated 11th February 2022

Trazodone Addiction

Trazodone is an common antidepressant sold and prescribed under brand names such as Desyrel, Desyrel, Dividose, and Oleptro.

Trazodone is used to treat depressive disorders with or without a manifestation of generalized or acute anxiety. Trazodone is also used off-label to treat alcoholism and sleep disorders.

Generic Name


Brand Names

Desyrel®, Desyrel®, Dividose®, Oleptro®

Street Names

Sleeps, Sleepeezy, Traps, T-Zone

Trazodone in the News

Once again, antidepressants have been linked to an episode of horrific violence. The New York Times reports that Aaron Alexis, who allegedly shot 12 people to death at a Navy facility in Washington, D.C., earlier this week, received a prescription for the antidepressant trazodone… [Click to Read More]

Trazodone has a hidden risk that can make some patients more depressed. This isn’t about bipolar disorder or antidepressant-induced mania. It’s about a metabolite…[Click to Read More]

Three people are each facing 28 felony charges for their alleged roles in giving a child a drug prescribed to a dog at a residence on South Mountain Road in Quincy Township...[Click to Read More]