Trazodone is a prescription medicine sold under multiple brand names. It is a new generation non-SSRI antidepressant that may be prescribed to manage or treat depressive disorders. However, as Trazodone has a similar chemical profile to some hypnotic medicines, it can also have a sedative effect. For this reason, Trazodone may also be used to treat sleep disorders like insomnia and regulate the sleep/wake cycle.
How Trazodone Works
Trazodone 100mg tablets contain 100mg of the active ingredient Trazodone. This is derived from the Triazolopyridine antidepressant, and is classified as a serotonin receptor antagonist and reuptake inhibitor, or SARI. Unlike SSRIs, which work by inhibiting serotonin reuptake in the brain, SARIs both inhibit reuptake and prevent the serotonin transporter protein from directing serotonin – a mood-stabilising hormone – away from the brain. This increases the level of serotonin across the central nervous system.
Trazodone is often prescribed to treat:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Low mood and difficulty concentrating
- Sleep disorders such as insomnia
Trazodone may be prescribed in instances where SSRIs have been poorly tolerated.
Trazodone tablets should be taken by mouth, as prescribed by your doctor. As Trazodone can have a mild sedative effect, it is best taken before bed to reduce the risk of daytime drowsiness. Trazodone may take up to two weeks to start working, and it can take up to six weeks to feel the full effects of the medication, so it is important to complete the full course as prescribed. If a dose is missed, skip and take the next dose before bedtime as normal. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
Trazodone Side Effects
Trazodone is generally considered to be safe when taken as prescribed. However, as with many medications, some patients may experience mild side effects, including:
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Drowsiness or sleepiness
- Dry mouth
Some side effects may be alleviated by taking Trazodone on a full stomach.
It is important for patients to read the patient information leaflet in the packaging for a full list of possible side effects from taking Trazodone. Always consult with the prescribing doctor if side effects persist. If experiencing difficulty breathing, call 999 immediately.
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