• For 24/7 Treatment Help Call

    (800) 526-5053

  • Trazodone is an antidepressant medication sold under the brand names Desyrel, Oleptro, and others. It is also available as a generic drug.

    As an antidepressant, trazodone is used to treat major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. It is also often used as a sleep aid to help treat sleep disorders and alcohol withdrawal symptoms due to its sedating effects.

    Trazodone Effects & Abuse Potential

    Trazodone is not a controlled substance and has a low potential for abuse and addiction. Nevertheless, trazodone may be misused, resulting in negative physical or mental health issues.

    Trazodone belongs to a family of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which act to increase serotonin levels in the brain to help stabilize a person’s emotional balance and mental health.

    Unlike more modern antidepressants, which can take 2-3 weeks to take full effect, trazodone’s initial effects can be felt within hours, offering quick relief for those struggling with depression or other mental health difficulties.

    This quick action means that trazodone is sometimes taken for the purpose of self-medication, a practice which can lead to adverse effects as well as physical dependence and eventual withdrawal symptoms.

    Trazodone Warnings

    A variety of warnings and precautions are included with trazodone, including:

    • trazodone should not be used by those who are allergic to it, or those who are being treated with methylene blue injection
    • trazodone should not be taken by those who have used a MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days due the potential for a severe drug interaction
    • trazodone may sometimes cause certain adverse reactions including suicidal thoughts, mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, and agitation, especially in young adults
    • trazodone is not approved for use in children and should not be given to those under 18 years old without the advice of a medical professional
    • women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should ask their healthcare providers about the risks involved in taking trazodone

    Side Effects Of Trazodone

    Common side effects associated with trazodone use include:

    • blurred vision
    • drowsiness, dizziness, or tiredness
    • dry mouth
    • sweating
    • swelling
    • weight loss
    • stuffy nose
    • diarrhea or constipation
    • sexual dysfunction

    Potential severe side effects include:

    • priapism
    • arrhythmias
    • skin rashes
    • easy bruising or unusual bleeding

    Learn more about the Trazodone Side Effects

    Signs Of Trazodone Addiction

    Because trazodone does not cause a drug high or generate cravings, even after periods of misuse, trazodone is not considered an addictive drug.

    However, if you feel that you need to take trazodone to feel normal, if going without it triggers withdrawal symptoms, or if you find your regular dose is less effective than it used to be, you have likely developed some degree of trazodone dependence.

    Other serious warning signs of trazodone drug abuse include:

    • experiencing a drug overdose involving trazodone
    • taking trazodone with other drugs or alcohol
    • purchasing trazodone online or through other backchannels
    • taking higher doses of trazodone than recommended
    • crushing and snorting trazodone

    Symptoms Of Trazodone Withdrawal

    Any prolonged trazodone use can trigger dependence and withdrawal symptoms, though these are typically more intense in cases of substance abuse.

    These temporary symptoms, also known as SSRI discontinuation syndrome (SSRIDS), likely involve feelings of depression, anxiety, and flu-like symptoms which emerge as the brain reacts to a sudden drop in serotonin levels.

    Other potential acute withdrawal symptoms, which can occur within 24 hours of your last dose and may last for 2-3 weeks, include:

    • agitation
    • chills
    • confusion
    • depersonalization
    • dizziness or vertigo
    • fatigue
    • insomnia
    • mood swings
    • muscle pain
    • muscle weakness
    • stomach pain
    • suicidal thoughts
    • sweating
    • tremors

    If dependence does develop, it’s strongly recommended that you work with a medical professional to taper off the medication gradually, reducing your dosage until you can safely discontinue the drug entirely.

    Learn more about Trazodone Withdrawal

    Trazodone Overdose

    Trazodone overdoses are not life-threatening, but they can occur if a person takes more of the medication than prescribed or takes repeated doses too close together. 

    This risk is also increased if a person takes other substances with trazodone, including other serotonergic prescription drugs or supplements which can lead to a dangerous condition known as serotonin syndrome.

    Symptoms of serotonin syndrome may include:

    • agitation or restlessness
    • confusion
    • diarrhea
    • elevated body temperature
    • goosebumps
    • increased heart rate and blood pressure
    • muscle twitching
    • shivering

    If you or someone around you experiences severe symptoms, including high fever, seizures, irregular heart activity, or loss of consciousness, call for immediate medical attention.

    Learn more about Trazodone Overdose

    Taking Trazodone With Other Substances

    Abusing trazodone in combination with other often-abused substances can cause dangerous or fatal effects besides serotonin syndrome. These high-risk substances include:

    • alcohol
    • benzodiazepines
    • opioids
    • barbiturates

    Taking these drugs in combination greatly increases the risk that a person will experience alcohol poisoning or other dangerous drug overdose effects or interactions, along with severe symptoms of:

    • intoxication
    • sedation
    • impaired coordination
    • impaired judgment
    • reduced inhibition

    Trazodone Addiction Treatment

    Formal detox and drug addiction treatment options are effective in treating trazodone dependence and addiction.

    Treatment will generally take place in an outpatient treatment center and may involve tapering, counseling, behavioral therapy, and other treatment program services as required.

    To explore available treatment options for yourself or a loved one, please contact Ark Behavioral Health helpline today.


    Is Trazodone A Controlled Substance?

    No, trazodone is not a controlled substance. While it can be abused like any medication, the DEA has not assigned trazodone a controlled substance schedule.

    To learn more, read Is Trazodone A Controlled Substance?

    What’s A Normal Dose Of Trazodone?

    An average dose of trazodone for an adult dealing with depression can be anywhere from 50-150 mg. How high the dose is depends on your symptoms, your weight, and your age.

    Learn more about Trazodone Dosage

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - TRAZODONE hydrochloride Label
    National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Trazodone
    Psychopharmacology - Acute behavioral effects and abuse potential of trazodone, zolpidem and triazolam in humans

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on October 25, 2022
    Questions About Treatment?

    Ark Behavioral Health offers 100% confidential substance abuse assessment and treatment placement tailored to your individual needs. Achieve long-term recovery.

    100% confidential. We respect your privacy.
    Prefer Texting?

    Our friendly support team is here to chat 24/7. Opt out any time.


    Our Facilities

    Premier Drug Rehab & Mental Health Care Facilities In Massachusetts & Ohio

    Bedrock Recovery

    Canton, MA

    • Medical detox
    • Inpatient & Residential Treatment
    • Primary Mental Health Care
    • Movie Theater & Fitness Center

    Learn More

    Northeast Addictions

    Quincy, MA

    • Day treatment program
    • Intensive Outpatient Program
    • Full-Day Group Therapy
    • Easy Access to Public Transit

    Learn More

    Spring Hill Recovery Center

    Ashby, MA

    • Residential Treatment
    • Gender-Specific Residencies
    • Outdoor Recreation
    • Expansive 70-Acre Campus

    Learn More

    Ohio Recovery Center

    Van Wert, OH

    • Medical Detox
    • Residential Treatment
    • Primary Mental Health Care
    • 55-Acre Campus

    Learn More

    For Immediate Treatment Help Call 800-526-5053