Trazodone is a medication that contains psychoactive compounds with sedative and acts as an anti-depressant. It is believed to increase the activity of serotonin, a brain chemical. When the serotonin levels in the brain are unbalanced, it results in depression. Thus, this prescription drug is used in the treatment of depression. Many doctors prescribe it for generalized anxiety disorders like sleep deprivation, tension, and chronic pain.
It is also used to treat people with panic disorders, migraines, bulimia nervosa, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. People who are affected by bipolar depression, schizophrenia, recent heart attack, or have a history of drug abuse and suicidal tendencies should never take trazodone. One should always consult a doctor, who may prescribe a dose adjustment or decide whether it will be safe for one's health or not.
One of the important factors when taking this prescription drug is that one may develop worse symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts, during the first few weeks. Therefore, family members and caregivers always need to remain highly alert and monitor the change in mood of the affected person. The doctor must visit the affected person for check-up regularly for the first 12 hours after the first dose.
Pregnant women should inform their doctor regarding their state, before taking the drug. It is not known, about the effects of the drug on the fetus and thus, it is always better to speak to the doctor beforehand. Breastfeeding mothers should stop taking this medication, as it may pass on to the baby through milk. One should not give it to anyone younger than 18 years of age, without the advice of a doctor.
When one uses the drug too frequently, he/she may become addicted to it. People become dependent on the drug and it leads to many side effects. Some of them include:
- Dry mouth
- Stuffy nose
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Anger or hostility
- Fainting spells
- Fluttery heartbeat
- Fluid retention
There are many other serious side effects like erectile dysfunction and pain during penis erection, which can lasts for 4 hours or more. The other side effects are weight gain or weight loss, fever, chills, menstruation problems, prolonged erections, sweating skin, etc.
These infinite side effects are caused due to excessive use of trazodone without following the doctors recommended doses. Many times one may experience side effects even after following the doctor's advice. In such cases, stop taking the drug immediately and visit the doctor.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Trazodone
The withdrawal symptoms may include some of the following:
- Blurred Vision
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Lack of coordination
- Migraine headaches
- Stomach cramps
- Repetitive thoughts or songs
- Vivid dreams
- Worsened depression
- Over-reaction in simple situations
How Long do Trazodone Withdrawal Symptoms Last?
It has been observed that the withdrawal symptoms improve with time. One cannot stop taking the drug abruptly, when he/she has become addicted to it. Many systems and the brain are affected by trazodone and sudden discontinuation may lead to discontinuation syndrome.
One needs to speak to the concerned doctor and follow gradual dose reduction, also known as tapering. The doctor would gradually reduce the doses along with specific nutritional recommendation and help one's body overcome the withdrawal symptoms, as soon as possible.
Trazodone Overdose Treatment
If one experiences an overdose, contact the poison cell immediately. Its overdose may cause hypotension, excessive sedation, drowsiness, weakness, and even death. The treatment for trazodone overdose is not specific. This treatment would include symptomatic and supportive care. The affected person suspected with an overdose should be given immediate attention and a gastric lavage. It has been observed that forced diuresis helps in elimination of the drug from the body.
One should never attempt to continue the drug, beyond the prescribed dosage period as it may lead to dangerous consequences of the drug. Furthermore, one should consult or speak to the doctor regarding any doubts on trazodone withdrawal symptoms.
Disclaimer: This PsycholoGenie article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.