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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Trazadone


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 09/24/2000]
Question: I just started taking Trazadone to treat Insomnia.
Do the effects of this drug only last while taking it?
If I take this drug consistently for some time and finally quit, will my Insomnia (and/or depression) return?
Or, am I attempting a cure with this drug?
Do any drugs actually cure Insomnia? Money is the issue.

Answer: It will work as long as you take it and usually one does not develop tolerance. Harder to tell with the depression if it will return, depends on the type of depression you were experiencing.

[posted 09/26/2000]
Question: I have taken 150 mg. of trazadone at bedtime for several years.
Lately, I go to bed about 10:30 PM. For about the last 4-5
months, I have been waking up around 2:00 AM and have trouble
getting back to sleep and staying asleep until I get up at
5:50. Do the effects of trazadone decrease after long term
use, and if so, can I safely increase my dosage to 200 mg?
I have tried this and it helps, but I feel a little groggy
upon getting up.

Answer: Try taking it a little earlier in the evening to avoid the am drowsiness.

[posted 07/15/2000]
Question: My mother has narcolepsy and has taken Trazadone for years. Another person with Narcoplesy said that Trazadone is contraindicated for paitents with Narcolepsy. Is there data that says that Nact aelsy patients should not take Trazadone? If so, what kind of problems would it create?

Answer: Trazadone typically would increase Stage IV sleep and might help some with narcolepsy. Classical narcolepsy is best treated with amphetamines and avoidance of potentially sedative drugs(which some would have the next day with trazadone). Has she been in a sleep lab? That is really the only way to diagnose the problem and then determine the best drugs.

[posted 06/3/2000]
Question: I had back surgery 6 months ago to remove a portion of my L-5 disc. I had
a pinched nerve also.Since my surgery I have done months of physical
therapy but this did not help at all.Now my doctor put me on trazadone
Does this help back pain? I am tired alot because of this drug. Is there
any other side affects? When I wake up the pain is worse, does
this drug cause the extra pain in the moning?

Answer: Tradazone is used in chronic pain syndromes to lessen the severity/impact of the pain. It does not change the pain per se, but the response to the pain. It can be somewhat sedating and often constipating. Usually, one would use another analgesia(tylenol, tylenol plus codeine, motrin) along with the trazadone to get maximum pain relief.

[posted 04/24/2000]
Question: My psychiatrist put me on 100mg Trazodone for not onlt the antidepressive effects, but the drowsy side effects as well (I don't sleep well, so the drugs were supposed to help that). Problem is, my sleep hasn't been affected. I was going to increase the dosage, but I've also experienced an accelerated heartbeat (around 170 bpm or higher, which usually only happens when I run or something). Do I stop the drugs and risk mental collapse while preserving my heart? Or stay on them and just be careful? My doc is out of town, and being a private practice and all, is the only one I can talk to about this. Thanks!

Answer: If you are having cardiac irregularies, I would ensure your md knows this. Most mds would stop Trazadone for an irregular heart beat, some with accelerated rhythm. There are other medications that can be tried for sleep, I would not increase the dosage without discussing it with your md.

[posted 04/29/2000]
Question: Do you know of any long term studies to suggest that a patient taking Trazodone for insomnia with no adverse side-effects for several years should not continue with a low dose regimen (25 mgs) indefinitely? Could a person on Trazodone go from no ill-effects over a five year period to experiencing significant untoward effects after say 10, 15, or 20 years?

Answer: Not to my knowledge, you can check with the company for a complete dossier of this research- Geneva 800-525-8747.

[posted 04/4/2000]
Question: I would like to know the effects of mixing trazadone and alcohol.
My husband (now ex-husband) would drink alcohol and take trazadone.
It put him in a "stupor" and he could not even talk! I need to know
what kind of danger he could be in because my son has chosen to live
with his father. Isn't this a "life-threatening" mixture?

Answer: Not recommended and usually very sedating.

[posted 03/6/2000]
Question: I am a successful single mom, but do suffer bouts of severe
depression. I also suffer from some serious anxiety attacks.
Have also always had a bit of anxiety related insomnia. Finally
saw a Psychiatrist and she is putting me on Trazadone. I worry
about becoming dependent on an anti-depressent and have always
resisted this therapy but am going to start tonight. Will this effect
my sex drive? My ability to orgasm? After 5 years of celibacy
I am in a great relationship and ejoying sex for the first
time in my life. (Lots of it!) My only complaint is that I
take so long to orgasm. Usually need stimulation
with a vibrator to orgasm.
Will the trazadone make this worse?
Does Black Cohash or Soy help with this???
Embarrassed to ask these questions but really need to know.
Thanks!!


Answer: Trazadone can affect your sexual drive, arousal and climax. But, not as much usually as the SRI drugs(Prozac and the like). You will not become dependent on these drugs. But, most like to continue them if they help the depression. However, if you find that your sexual functions are decreased discuss this with your physician. A common problem with depression with or without medications.

[posted 11/23/1999]
Question: I have been taking Trazadone for insomnia for about a month and have noticed a slight increase in the frequency of migraine headaches. Can Trazadone cause this? Also, does Trazadone raise blood pressure - my doctor wants to put me on blood pressure medication to help decrease migraine occurrences. Is this a good combination? Thank you!

Answer: It would be unlikely to affect your migraines. The blood pressure pill is to treat your migraines not to treat your blood pressure. We commonly use beta blockers and calcium channel blockers to treat migraines in patients with normal blood pressure.

Trazadone and other medications [posted 1/14/99]
Question: While taking Trazadone, what other medications should I avoid? i.e. - Advil, Benadryl? Also, do I need to taper off when stopping the medication and will there be side effects with this?

Answer: Don't take anti-histamines(Benadryl, etc.), but Advil is ok. Tapering is usually not necessary, but some will experience psychological withdrawal not physical withdrawal.

Trazadone and headaches [posted 1/7/99]
Question: Can Trazadone cause headaches?

Answer: No.

Doing Without Trazodone [posted 12/01/98]
Question:  I have been taking trazadone for 9 months. I started with 2 tablets (l00mg) and weaned myself down to only l/3 of a 50mg. at this time. I have tried sleeping without taking this dose and cannot fall or stay asleep. I am currently taking 30mg of Paxil too. I hope to come off Paxil within the next 6 months as this is for my anxiety and panic attacks. My question to you is what if I can NEVER sleep without a small dose once I am off Paxil. Will I need t his for life?

Answer: Some patients will experience sleep disorders on the SRI antidepressants, this could be the problem. You'll need to see how you do off the Paxil.

Is Trazodone Known to Cause Memory Loss [posted 11/4/98]
Question: I am taking Trazadone 100mg per night to put me to sleep. Both my sisters were also on trazadone and experienced memory problems. The last time I was on it I thought I was also experiencing memory problems and changed to other medicine. Finally, 4 years later I am diagnosed with ADHD and back on trazadone. My question is does trazadone negatively effect memory. Given that I have ADHD with its attentdant memory problems the last thing I need is a drug that reduces what little memory ability I have left.

Answer: Nothing obvious.

Trazodone for Sleeping [posted 10/8/98]
Question:I am a male 23 years old that had a brain injury and has trouble slepping long, wake up every 2 hours. They gave me TRAZODONE 50 mg to help me on sleeping. Will it help me sleep only at night?

Answer: Should, but, some experience drowsiness all day. You'll have to try and see how it works for you.

Trazodone [posted 10/1/98]
Question: My son has panic attacks. He is 14 years of age. The doctor has perscribed trazadone which he takes at night. She has also perscribed xanax. What do these drugs do? Are both drugs anti-depressants. The pharmacist told me that trazadone was an anti-depressant but that xanex was not. Can you explain how each drug helps my son with panic attacks?

Answer: Trazodone (Desyrel) is an antidepressant which is in its own class of antidepressant activity. Xanax belongs to the class called benzodiazepines and is used to treat anxiety, stress reactions, etc. It is not an antidepressant, indeed, some patients will have worsening of depression on the drug. Trazodone works on the root chemical cause of the panic disorders, thought to center around serotonin in some manner and xanax is used to keep the symptoms under control. Very effective when used together for this problem. Xanax is potentially addictive, trazodone is not.

Trazodone [posted 8/13/98]

Question: My 10 year old daughter has been seeing a psychiatrist for educational problems. He recently started her on Ritalin extended release. She has been having a lot of difficulty falling asleep. She has had problems with this before, but it does seem worse now. He prescribed half a tablet of trazadone to help her sleep and try to get her back to a better sleep cycle. I can find little information on this, and would like to know possible side effects, as well as the possibility of her getting into a cycle where she would have to use the medicine to sleep. Is this too much for a 10 year old? She also takes asthma medications on and off, which contribute to the problem.

Answer: This is a common problem with Ritalin. Antihistamines are used with some effect and are not habit forming. Trazadone is not habit forming, but may produce day time somnolence. It is common with Ritalin to have to use a second drug to overcome some of its side effects. However, play with the dosage of Ritalin to see if you can achieve the needed concentration without the adverse side effects.

Trazodone and Hair Loss
Question: I have been losing a lot of hair and it appears to be worse now than ever before because my scalp is quite visible, especially around the bang area. Can Trazodone cause hair loss? I take 150 mg at bedtime every day.

Answer: Hair loss is not one of the usual side effects. Check for other causes with your doctor.

Zoloft and Trazadone
Question: How long does it take for these 2 drugs to leave the body? Do they leave the body completely, or is there any residue left anywhere (stored in fat?)? If so, where? If some residue exists, how long is it there, or is it always there? If someone took 150 mg of Zoloft and 175 mg of Trazodone over an 8 day time period, is there any health risk to any other part of the body? Should that person not have children after taking these drugs? If it's okay to have children, how long should they wait? Will having ever taken these drugs affect the fetus in any way? Does having taken these drugs alter the brain or body in any way? Is there anything else one should know about them?

Answer:Zoloft is cleared from the body after about three days. Trazadone varies more from individual to individual, but will usually be gone after three days. Trazadone is more likely to be stored in fat, but in negligible quantities. Neither of these drugs has a particular contraindication concerning pregnancy. However, no drug will say that it is completely safe. I would not be concerned about conception with either of these drugs. Each of these drugs affects the brain while one is taking the drug. That is their purpose. However, once the drug is cleared, there is no residual effects.




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