Trazodone is a medication that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and used to treat depression. It is a member of the class of drugs called serotonin receptor antagonists inhibitors and helps to restore the balance of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.
Physicians sometimes prescribe to treat insomnia associated with depression and to treat anxiety. Using an approved drug to treat a different condition is often called off-label use. This means prescribing a drug for something other than the indications for use approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In the case of Trazadone, the medical community recognized that the drug worked well in treating insomnia associated with depression and in the treatment of anxiety, which led to its off-label use.
Trazodone for Depression
Trazodone is an antidepressant medicine that works to balance chemicals in the brain. Trazadone is used to treat depression, anxiety, or a combination of depression and anxiety. It can help if you’re having problems like low mood, poor sleep and poor concentration.
Trazodone for Sleeping
A Study found that the off-label use of this medication for insomnia has surpassed its usage as an antidepressant. People often ask, “Is trazodone a controlled substance?” because it is prescribed by doctors for sleep-aid. The answer is no, it is not. In fact, Trazodone is widely used in insomnia in place of benzodiazepines, due to its anti-anxiety action and its ability to normalize sleep patterns, as demonstrated in depressed patients.
Relevant studies demonstrate that trazodone is effective in decreasing time to fall asleep and increasing sleep duration. Furthermore, trials with active treatment periods from 6 to 12 weeks reported significant improvement in quality of sleep. Since the 2000s, the utility of low doses of trazodone (25–100mg) has been expanded to treat secondary insomnia among the non-depressed population as well.
The findings in the above review showed that trazodone is a generally safe, therapeutic medicine that has been repeatedly proven as a good treatment for insomnia, particularly for patients with depression. Trazodone has been effective for insomnia across many different populations. While it is not currently a drug indicated for insomnia by the FDA, it is among the most common off-label choices for treating insomnia.
Trazodone for Anxiety
Trazodone is not approved by the FDA to treat anxiety, but doctors have been known to prescribe it off-label to patients with co-occurring conditions of major depressive disorder and anxiety. Patients with depression may often suffer from additional anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Due to its hypnotic/sedating effects, trazodone has been the subject of research over the years for the treatment of anxiety disorders and has been shown to be effective in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.
Is Trazodone Addictive?
Trazodone produces a low risk for being habit forming and addictive. Although, people taking trazodone may experience side effects if they stop taking it suddenly. Stopping trazodone abruptly can cause sleep problems. It can also cause a person to feel irritable and they may sweat more than usual. A person should never stop taking trazodone without speaking to their doctor. They will explain how to gradually reduce the prescribed dose.
Side effects for trazodone can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, blurred vision, changes in weight, headache, muscle ache/pain, dry mouth, bad taste in the mouth, stuffy nose, constipation, and change in sexual interest or ability. Trazodone can also cause painful, long-lasting erections in males, but the risk is low.
History of Trazodone
Trazodone was developed in Italy to treat depression in the 1960’s. It was approved by the FDA in 1981 and is currently available as a generic medication in the United States.
Recovery Centers of America is Here for You
If you feel you have developed a dependency on trazadone, have been thinking about entering treatment, or have a loved one that would benefit from inpatient treatment, Recovery Centers of America is here for you, 24/7. If you’re struggling or need help, call any time at 1-800-RECOVERY.