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Trazodone

Trazodone is a tetracyclic antidepressant. It is thought to increase the activity of one of the brain chemicals (serotonin), which helps elevate mood. The active ingredient in Desyrel®, Trazodone is a tolerable and chemically unique anti-depressant known to work within the first week of treatment!

Trazodone also marketed as:
Desyrel, Oleptro, Molipaxin,
Trittico.

Uses

Trazodone is used to treat depression. It may also be used for relief of an anxiety disorder (e.g., sleeplessness, tension), chronic pain or to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

How to take
Take Trazodone shortly after a meal or light snack. You may need to take this medicine at bedtime, because Trazodone can cause drowsiness. Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take this medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor.
Side effects

Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome: Blurred vision, constipation, decreased appetite, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, general body discomfort, headache, incoordination, light-headedness, muscle aches/pains; nausea, nervousness, sleeplessness, stomach pain, stuffy nose, swelling of the skin, tiredness, tremors.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur: Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blood in urine, chest pain, fainting, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat, light-headedness when rising from a lying or seated position; prolonged, inappropriate, or painful erections; seizures, shortness of breath, stroke, vomiting.

Symptoms of overdose may include drowsiness, weakness, low blood pressure, vomiting, penis erection that is painful or prolonged, slow heart rate, rapid or irregular pulse, seizure (black-out or convulsions), or breathing that slows or stops. Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of Trazodone can be fatal when it is taken with alcohol, barbiturates such as phenobarbital, or sedatives such as diazepam (Valium).

Precautions

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Trazodone.

Before using Trazodone, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • bipolar disorder (manic depression); schizophrenia, or other psychiatric illness; a history of drug abuse or suicidal thoughts; or if you have recently had a heart attack.
  • If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use Trazodone, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.
  • You may have thoughts about suicide when you first start taking an antidepressant, especially if you are younger than 24 years old. Tell your doctor if you have worsening symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts during the first several weeks of treatment, or whenever your dose is changed. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Your doctor will need to check you at regular visits for at least the first 12 weeks of treatment.
  • Trazodone may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Trazodone with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Trazodone; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness. Contact your doctor at once if new, worsened, or sudden symptoms such as depressed mood; anxious, restless, or irritable behavior; panic attacks; or any unusual change in mood or behavior occur. Contact the doctor right away if any signs of suicidal thoughts or actions occur.

If you need to have any type of surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using Trazodone.
You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time. It may take up to 2 weeks of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks of treatment. You may need to take Trazodone for several weeks or months to control your depression symptoms.

Drug interactions

Before taking Trazodone, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs: an HIV medicine such as indinavir (Crixivan) or ritonavir (Norvir); an antibiotic such as ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox); digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps); seizure medicine such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol) or phenytoin (Dilantin); warfarin (Coumadin); or if you have taken an MAO inhibitor within the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). You may not be able to take Trazodone, or you may require special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above. Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with Trazodone.

Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

Missed dose
If a dose is missed, take it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up. If more than one dose is missed, restart medication and advise your doctor or pharmacist at your next appointment.
Storage
Store Trazodone at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C) in a tight, light-resistant container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Protect from temperatures above 104 degrees F (40 degrees C). Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Trazodone out of the reach of children and away from pets.