Trazodone is a non-narcotic medication used to control the side effects of other drugs such as insomnia. It is also used to treat mood disorders such as depression and, at times, anxiety.
What is Trazodone?
Trazodone is a tetracyclic antidepressant. Its primary effects are thought to be on the neurotransmitter serotonin. It is considered a serotonin modulator which, in turn, is a mood elevator. Trazodone use balances the neurotransmitters and decreases symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Uses of Trazodone
Trazodone is an antidepressant that works as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It is used for the treatment of insomnia because it is a sedative medication as well. Trazodone is also used to treat major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorder. The medication does not cure these disorders, but it does help manage their symptoms. Sometimes, Trazodone is used to control side effects of other medications, especially when an addict is going through withdrawal symptoms. Trazodone is regularly prescribed in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers for dual diagnosis treatment because it helps patients overcome insomnia caused by drug and alcohol withdrawal. Trazodone is non-narcotic, non-addictive medication.
Caution should be used by those are suffering from bipolar disorder, a heart condition or low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood who want to use Trazodone. Elderly patients should also take caution while using Trazodone. Trazodone has contraindications with many other medications.
Side Effects of Trazodone
Trazodone may cause side effects similar to other medications in the antidepressant class of drugs. These include but are not limited to:
- Muscle pain
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Profound nightmares
- Dry mouth
Notify your doctor if these side effects do not go away or are severe.
Trazodone is also known to cause priapism. Priapism is defined as a persistent, painful erection unrelated to sexual activity that lasts for more than four hours. Priapism without medical attention can cause permanent erectile dysfunction.
Some less common but more serious side effects of Trazodone are:
- Decreased coordination
- Swelling of face, throat, tongue, lips or eyes
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
Trazodone Withdrawal Symptoms
As with other antidepressants, many people experience withdrawal symptoms when stopping Trazodone. Consult your doctor before stopping Trazodone, as symptoms are decreased by slowly tapering off this medication. There are no withdrawal symptoms unique to this drug as they are the same as those in the antidepressant class of medications.
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