7 Scary Trazodone Side Effects


Suppose you are suffering from depression and are using Trazodone. In this case, you should beware of Trazodone side effects. 

Trazodone is an oral tablet available only as a generic drug. It is mainly used to relieve depression as it increases the serotonin level in the brain. 

The FDA does not classify Trazodone as a controlled substance; hence not considered to have a potential for misuse and abuse. Moreover, it has no prospect of causing addiction. 

Trazodone overview 

Trazodone is also used to treat chronic insomnia, especially for patients suffering from depression. This condition can cause sleeping problems for more than a month.  

Trazodone may be prescribed in such cases to help get the sleep schedule back on track. Trazodone is also used off-label for agitation in people with dementia. 

Dementia is a medical term that combines the following symptoms, loss of thinking ability, memory, attention, logical reasoning, and other mental skills. 

How to use Trazodone

Trazodone is usually prescribed for patients who can’t use other antidepressants because they’re ineffective or cause side effects that are too severe.

Trazodone is effective after about two weeks. However, the effects are fully felt after four weeks.

It’s best to take Trazodone just before bed because it can lead to drowsiness. As it works, your doctor recommends gradually reducing your dosage to avoid long-lasting adverse effects.

Only people over 18 should take Trazodone. Users who are allergic, pregnant, have suicidal thoughts, have kidney, liver, or heart problems, or have epilepsy should not take it.

However, Trazodone has several side effects that we cannot ignore. Some of the serious side effects are explained below. 

Trazodone side effects.

1. Sexual dysfunction.

The most rampant Trazodone side effect is sexual dysfunction. Most antidepressants are likely to cause genital sensitivity as they are frequently used off-label. However, this may be rare for patients using Trazodone. 

Even so, impotence cannot be ignored; hence it is important to consult with your doctor if you experience such a side effect. 

Some of the patients experiencing such side effects have problems with orgasms because of genital numbing, as well as a decrease in sexual desire. 

Despite that, the return of genital sensitivity is guaranteed when you stop taking Trazodone. If it doesn’t work for you, seek medical advice from your doctor. 

2. Priapism

Another one of Trazodone side effects sexually is priapism. Priapism is characterized by painful and prolonged penile erection in men, sometimes lasting up to 4 hours or more. 

However, some men may take this as a positive side effect, not knowing that it can cause permanent erectile dysfunction if ignored. 

Men are therefore advised to seek medical attention if the penile erection lasts 6 hours or longer after taking Trazodone. 

Clitoral priapism, or persistent genital arousal, is a common problem for female Trazodone patients. It affects the relaxation of genital muscles, which is associated with arousal. 

Trazodone causes persistent drug-induced enhancement of genital smooth muscle relaxation. These muscles are contained in the clitoris and vaginal erectile tissues. 

Nevertheless, women experiencing this problem can easily avoid it by quitting Trazodone. It is also important to consult with your prescriber when necessary. 

3. Urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence is another of the common Trazodone side effects. refers to the unintentional passing of urine.

Research shows that Trazodone is one of the antidepressants that can cause urinary incontinence, though rarely experienced. 

Trazodone can impair the bladder’s ability to contract, worsening symptoms of overflow incontinence because the bladder is not completely emptied when passing urine. 

For this side effect, one should be careful as sometimes it might have other causes other than Trazodone. Anyway, talk to your doctor if this persists. 

4. Loss of Coordination

Loss of coordination is commonly caused by low sodium in the body. The coordination problems include drowsiness, seizure, confusion, muscle weakness, and spasms. 

Suppose you are prescribed for anxiety, pain, or depression. In that case, it is important to note the sedative effects of Trazodone could as well result in loss of body coordination and unsteady. 

Therefore, it is not advisable to drive upon medication as it will affect your coordination and impair your reactions. Some of the symptoms might also include blurred vision and lightheadedness. 

If these symptoms intensify, talk to your doctor. They might change your dosage. You could also include fresh vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli, in your diet to raise sodium levels. 

To lower the chance of feeling dizzy, rise slowly if you have been lying or sitting down. Avoid going up and down stairs. Moreover, avoid alcohol when feeling sleepy or tired. 

Trazodone is, therefore, not recommended for professional drivers, machine operators, and those involved in tasks that require alertness. 

5. Bowel irregularities 

Another Trazodone side effect is its ability to trigger irregular bowel movements. Trazodone can affect your bowel movements. However, some people experience either diarrhea or constipation when taking Trazodone. 

Intestinal walls are usually lined with layers of muscle that contract and relax to move food through the digestive tract. 

Stronger contractions and those that last longer than usual can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Weak contractions slow food passage and lead to hard, dry stools.  


Antidepressants may cause an increase in suicidal thoughts or actions, especially in children, teenagers, and young adults. This risk is always higher in the first few months of treatment. 

Trazodone could cause other mental problems: panic attacks, mania, impulsiveness, agitation, and mood swings. 

Be alert if you or people close to you experience a sudden change in behavior, mood, feeling, or thoughts.

7. Serotonin syndrome.

Serotonin syndrome is caused by too much serotine in the body, usually because of a medication or combinations of medicines meant to increase serotine in the body. 

Such medications include migraine medication and antidepressants such as Trazodone. Research shows that a lack of serotonin leads to depression.

However, too much of it causes extreme nerve cell activity and dangerous symptoms. 

Trazodone is also likely to cause serotonin syndrome if taken with some medicines such as buspirone, fentanyl, Duragesic, lithium, and tryptophan. 

Therefore, it is important to avoid such medicines when taking Trazodone. Moreover, if you are using any of them, it is important to talk to your prescriber; they might suggest other options. 

Serotonin syndrome symptoms are evident within several hours of taking Trazodone. Some of the side effects include,  

  • Agitation or restlessness 
  • Insomnia 
  • Confusion 
  • Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure 
  • Dilated pupils 
  • Hallucinations 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Muscle rigidity 
  • Heavy sweating 
  • Diarrhea 

Lighter forms of serotonin syndrome may go away shortly after stopping the medications that cause symptoms. 


Trazodone side effects, such as weight gain and dry mouth, loss of taste, and headache, cannot be ignored.

 It is essential to consult a medical professional when experiencing the side effects mentioned above. Only take Trazodone under the prescription of a medical professional and avoid self-prescription. 

 It has been evident that many people take Trazodone, thinking it improves their sexual activity. On the other hand, some take it intending to be high.  

Though it has been classified by FDA to have a low risk of abuse, Trazodone can still be misused, thus leading to dangerous threats because of overdose. 

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