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  • Xanax and trazodone work on different pathways of the brain so, theoretically, they shouldn’t have an adverse reaction when taken together. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. 

    If the two medications are abused at the same time, the chances of serious health risks and adverse drug interactions increases. If you are prescribed both drugs, it’s important to take them as directed.

    Approved Uses Of Xanax & Trazodone

    Xanax is the brand name for alprazolam and is classified by the FDA as a benzodiazepine and central nervous system (CNS) depressant. 

    Xanax is prescribed to treat panic disorders and anxiety disorders. Because it can be habit-forming, it is likely used for short-term treatment. 

    Trazodone is the generic name for Desyrel and Oleptro and is classified as an antidepressant

    How Xanax Works

    Xanax works by attaching to the gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain. Once it attaches to these receptors, the drug has a calming effect on the brain and helps to relieve symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks.

    How Trazodone Works

    Trazodone works by regulating the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. It’s used to treat depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. It can also be used as a sleep aid to treat some sleep disorders like insomnia.

    While there is only a small potential for abuse with trazodone, it’s possible to get a euphoric feeling if taken in higher doses. As a result, abuse may occur.

    Side Effects Of Mixing Xanax & Trazodone

    While Xanax and trazodone don’t work on the same pathways in the brain, when mixed together, they can amplify the side effects of each other. Some of the serious side effects may include:

    • severe confusion
    • sedation
    • impaired coordination
    • impaired concentration 
    • drowsiness
    • blurred vision
    • low blood pressure
    • dry mouth
    • sleepiness
    • constipation
    • slurred speech
    • nightmares
    • irritability

    Health Risks Of Mixing Xanax & Trazodone

    If taken as directed by a healthcare provider, Xanax and trazodone likely won’t cause life-threatening reactions. But, when they are abused or taken with other substances, the combination can increase the risk of serious health conditions.

    Substance Use Disorder

    Since there is a potential for abuse with both Xanax and trazodone, taking both can lead to physical dependence and addiction. 

    Both prescription drugs also have the potential to develop physical dependence. When this happens, the body can no longer function properly without having the two drugs in your system. 


    Anyone who is mixing large amounts of Xanax and trazodone has an increased risk of overdose

    If you take too much  Xanax and that calming effect becomes so intense that it impairs your judgment, you may unknowingly take too much trazodone as well. This can lead to a potentially fatal overdose.

    Withdrawal Symptoms

    If you regularly mix Xanax and trazodone together and become physically dependent on this combination, suddenly quitting both drugs can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include:

    • headaches
    • muscle pain
    • tremors
    • diarrhea
    • sensitivity to light and sound
    • insomnia
    • heart palpitations
    • sweating
    • anxiety
    • irritability
    • depression
    • suicidal thoughts

    Treatment For Xanax & Trazodone Abuse

    The first step is likely a detox program where the patient can go through withdrawal symptoms in a safe environment. This is followed by inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment, which includes recovery services like behavioral therapy, peer support groups, and more.

    To learn about our substance abuse treatment options, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Xanax
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Alprazolam
    National Library of Medicine: PubMed Central - A Review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal
    National Library of Medicine: StatPearls - Trazodone

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on April 27, 2022
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