Drug and Alcohol

Trazodone Withdrawal: The Symptoms and Timeline for Withdrawal From Trazodone

What is Trazodone Withdrawal Like?

Trazodone withdrawal is rare, but unpleasant when it does happen. Our blog talks you through the process of withdrawal from trazodone and more.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

October 10, 2023

Trazodone is a commonly prescribed antidepressant that is used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and insomnia. While it can be an effective medication for many individuals, some may experience difficulties when they try to stop taking it.

This article will explore the symptoms and timeline associated with Trazodone withdrawal.

How Long Does It Take to Withdraw From Trazodone? A Trazodone Withdrawal Timeline

As mentioned before, quitting trazodone can lead to withdrawal effects. Withdrawal symptoms are the result of changes to our brains caused by drugs. Trazodone causes changes in our serotonin receptors. When Trazodone is used, our brain decreases the number of receptors.

When a person suddenly stops taking trazodone, the decreased receptors lead to a short-term deficiency of serotonin activity. Even though our body will restore this on its own, there is a possibility that the user might have to undergo uncomfortable effects and symptoms.

What Are Trazodone Withdrawal Symptoms?

Trazodone withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Nausea

  • Vertigo

  • Dizziness

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Headache

  • Depersonalization: Feeling like you’re detached from your body

  • Irritability

  • Chills

  • Suicidal ideation

Trazodone withdrawal can also cause antidepressant discontinuation syndrome (ADS). The symptoms of ADS resemble anxiety and depression. ADS symptoms can start even as soon as you quit the drug. One can avoid these symptoms by avoiding skipping the prescribed dosage.

If you need to stop trazodone, contact your healthcare provider and communicate openly. They can help you taper off trazodone safely.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Would you like more information about trazodone withdrawal? Reach out today.

How Long Does Trazodone Withdrawal Last?

Trazodone withdrawal is rare, but it can last up to one or two weeks. There have been a few rare cases where the symptoms persisted for more than one month. We don't have much data on the subject of trazodone withdrawal.

Still, most studies have indicated that the symptoms subside within three weeks maximum. This period can naturally change from one person to another and is not fixed. More research has to take place to arrive at a concrete conclusion. 

Trazodone Withdrawal: What Is Trazodone?

Trazodone is a widely used antidepressant medication known by various brand names like Olepro, Desyrel, and Divisdose. It comes under the category of drugs known as serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs). It is a market-approved medication prescribed to patients with depression and anxiety disorders.

Earlier, Barbiturates were prescribed to people as a sleeping aid. Today Trazodone has become an alternative to it. Many health practitioners prescribe this serotonin modulator for treating off-label conditions like insomnia. Being ranked 21st among the most prescribed medications in the country, Trazodone is a generic medication available in most drug stores.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Do you have more questions about trazodone withdrawal? Reach out.

Trazodone Withdrawal: What Forms Does Trazodone Come In?

Trazodone is an oral medication available in numerous strengths like 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg tablets. The dosage is typically determined by the response given by the patient to the medication. It can initially start with a daily intake of 150 mg tablets.

Trazodone is mostly safe. It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating major depressive disorder. However, various research studies have indicated that Trazodone carries a risk of misuse. 

Trazodone Withdrawal: Is Trazodone a Controlled Substance?

No. A prescription from a qualified doctor is required to obtain it. Trazodone is not a narcotic medication that can lead to the development of traditional dependence. Unfortunately, like many other medications, various cases are reported for misuse, addiction, withdrawal symptoms, and even overdose.

Since it is a non-narcotic drug, many underestimate its side effects and dangers.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Do you need advice about trazodone withdrawal? Reach out today.

Trazodone Withdrawal: What Is Trazodone Used For?

The full generic name of trazodone is trazodone hydrochloride. It is an antidepressant drug doctors prescribe to treat conditions like major depressive disorders and anxiety. Some doctors recommended these for off-label uses like generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders, insomnia, and alcohol dependency.

There has been a lot of debate regarding the addictive nature of trazodone. Technically, it is not a necrotic drug and thus cannot cause drug addiction. When a person frequently uses this antidepressant over a long period, there is a chance of developing dependency. Trazodone can also lead to withdrawal symptoms when a person stops using it.

The only safe way to stop is by consulting a medical professional who will work in tapering off until it's medically safe for you to quit. 

Trazodone Withdrawal: How Does Trazodone Work?

Trazodone is a serotonin modulator. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in stabilizing our mood. A low level of the chemical messenger can lead to mental health disorders like depression.

The SARI or Serotonin Antagonists and Reuptake Inhibitors like trazodone act on the serotonin receptors. It targets the 5-HT2A receptor responsible for blocking the reuptake of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. This medication allows these neurotransmitters to pass through the nerve cells. Trazodone intake restores the brain's chemical balance while regulating anxiety, depression, and sleep troubles. 

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Would you like more information about trazodone withdrawal? Reach out today.

Trazodone Withdrawal: What Are the Symptoms of Trazodone Abuse?

One cannot technically abuse Trazodone since it is not a controlled medication. The risk of abuse is low, but becoming used to the drug is not impossible. Despite not being a habit-forming medication, trazodone, like many other medicinal drugs, lead to dependency. People who take trazodone more often experience noticeable drowsiness during the daytime. It is also possible for them to undergo withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop using them.

Some commonly experienced symptoms of using trazodone are mentioned below. 

Physical Symptoms

There are a few physical symptoms that can be experienced by trazodone users. These include dizziness, a hungover feeling, daytime drowsiness, nausea, blurred vision, and lightheadedness. 

Psychological Symptoms

People experience several psychological symptoms after taking trazodone frequently. Since it is an antidepressant, users with anxiety would experience a bit of an enthusiastic and upbeat feeling. Patients who use Trazodone for managing bipolar disorder can experience hypomania/mania.  

Some people mix alcohol with trazodone. It is not safe or healthy to do such practice. Alcohol can worsen the effects of the medication and can lead to unpredictable side effects. The combination of antidepressants and alcohol can lead to the onset of depression and anxiety. Such polysubstance abuse can lead to overdose too. 

Trazodone Withdrawal: What Are Some Trazodone Side Effects?

Almost all medication has a risk of causing side effects, and trazodone is no different. Various side effects can happen as a result of trazodone abuse. Generally, the side effects commonly felt after its usage are neither long-term nor deadly. However, nothing can be said with certainty since the medication can lead to some severe side effects that may require medical attention.

Common Side Effects of Trazodone

Common side effects of using trazodone include swelling, sweating, blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, stuffy nose, and weight loss. 

Less Common Side Effects of Trazodone

There are less commonly experienced side effects that may require contacting healthcare professionals. These include dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, diarrhea, cardiac arrhythmia, and priapism. 

Serious Side Effects of Trazodone

Severe side effects may include skin rashes, slowed heartbeat, unusual bleeding, low sodium level, pounding heartbeat, sudden dizziness, and easy bruising. 

What Is a Black Box Warning?

A black box warning is information that makes the customer aware of the dangerous side effects of using the prescription drug. As per the label, Trazodone can cause suicidal feelings among children and young adults. It is recommended that pregnant women should ask their doctors about the side effects and risks involved while breastfeeding. 

It also noted that people who used MAO Inhibitors (MAOI) like Rasagiline, Linezolid, and Phenelzine should wait more than fourteen days before using Trazodone. It is rare to see a case where someone has had an allergic reaction to Trazodone. A few symptoms of an allergic reaction can be hives, swelling, and difficulty in breathing. You must stop taking the medication immediately and contact emergency medical services. 

Is Trazodone Addictive?

Before diving into the symptoms and timeline of Trazodone withdrawal, it's important to address a common misconception: Is Trazodone addictive?

The answer is no, Trazodone is not considered an addictive medication. However, like many medications used for mental health conditions, it can cause dependence.

This means that your body may become accustomed to the effects of Trazodone and may experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking it.

How Is Trazodone Dependence Treated?

If you and your doctor decide that it's time for you to stop taking Trazodone, they will likely recommend a gradual tapering off of the medication. This means slowly reducing your dosage over a period of time until you are no longer taking it.

This approach is typically recommended because it can help minimize the severity of withdrawal symptoms and allow your body to adjust to the changes in medication more gradually.

Drug rehabs can help people taper off medications like trazodone. In addition to gradual tapering, a rehab center can provide support and resources to help manage any withdrawal symptoms that may arise.

Trazodone addiction is not like traditional abuse. The intensity is mild compared to other forms, so it most often does not require inpatient care. People can complete their detox and continue their recovery treatment from either outpatient care or intensive outpatient programs (IPO). Both are effective in offering long-term recovery. 

Why Are Medications Like Trazodone Prescribed?

Antidepressant medications are commonly prescribed drugs in the United States of America.

It’s a drug class that helps the patient manage the symptoms of their mental health conditions like depression, anxiety disorders, and addiction. Even though mental illnesses like anxiety and depression have a long history in humankind, diagnosing rates have skyrocketed in recent times. Why? There can be many reasons behind this. First of all, active efforts have been made to destigmatize mental health problems, and many people have come forward with their problems. Secondly, many doctors and medical practitioners are misdiagnosing these conditions.

There is a strong connection between mental health and substance or alcohol abuse. There are so many out there who struggle with both these conditions simultaneously. Even separately, both these disorders are tough to overcome. Together, it becomes even more challenging to manage them, especially without receiving proper treatment. The origin of either of the conditions can be because of the other.

Struggling With Trazodone Withdrawal? The Edge Treatment Center Will Help

At The Edge Treatment Center, our team of mental health professionals understands the challenges that can come with trying to stop taking trazodone.

We offer a personalized approach to treatment, providing support and resources to help individuals manage their withdrawal symptoms and find alternative solutions for managing their mental health conditions.

If you are struggling with Trazodone withdrawal or have questions about how we can help, please reach out to us. We are here to support you on your journey towards better mental health and well-being. Remember, it's always important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your medication regimen. They can provide personalized guidance and support to ensure the best possible outcome for your health.

In addition, seeking support from therapy or a support group can also be beneficial during the Trazodone withdrawal process. These resources can provide a safe and understanding space to discuss your experiences and concerns, as well as offer coping strategies for managing any difficult symptoms.

Overall, while Trazodone may not be considered an addictive medication, it's important to approach stopping or changing its use with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. With the right support and resources, individuals can successfully navigate Trazodone withdrawal and find alternative solutions for managing their mental health conditions.

So, if you are struggling with Trazodone withdrawal, know that there is help available and you don't have to go through it alone. Talk to your doctor or reach out to The Edge Treatment Center today.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.