Last Updated on December 12, 2023 by Dr. Alberto Solà

If you’ve never been diagnosed with depression, there’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of Trazodone. This drug is an antidepressant that is commonly used to treat people who are suffering from a major depressive disorder. It’s also sometimes prescribed for insomnia and for people who are struggling with alcohol dependence.

For the most part, this drug is considered to be a safe one and there is little Trazodone abuse potential. However, some addiction professionals have seen firsthand that Trazodone abuse does exist and there is some Trazodone addiction risk. Some people who try to quit using Trazodone after using it for a long time do experience some Trazodone withdrawal symptoms. It’s important to know that although Trazodone addiction is unlikely, it’s possible, so anyone using this drug or anyone who knows someone using this drug should be on the lookout for dependency. Read on to learn more.

What Is Trazodone?

Trazodone is a drug that is very commonly prescribed. Even if you haven’t heard of it before, all doctors who treat people for depression certainly have. The people who use this drug may also suffer from anxiety, but not all people who are prescribed Trazodone also have anxiety issues.

This drug is in the category of drugs known as serotonin agonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs). Serotonin plays a big part in stabilizing moods; if people are lacking in serotonin, they may experience depression and other mental health issues. SARIs work by helping serotonin receptors work more efficiently so that serotonin can reach the brain, thereby helping to regular depression, anxiety, and sleep issues. Many people report feeling happier and more balanced once they start taking Trazodone.

Trazodone is available in tablet form in quantities of 25mg to 300mg. Most people start with 150 mg per day, and doctors will adjust the dosage from there. For many, Trazodone has been a literal lifesaver. However, for others, it can be dangerous; some people do become dependent on it and stop taking it as directed.

Causes of Trazodone Addiction

When taken as directed, Trazodone is rarely addictive or abused. However, some people are so impressed by the ways this drug has helped them to feel better that they begin taking more and more. Further, some people become dependent on Trazodone simply because they use it as directed but use it for periods that are far too long. When doctors prescribe Trazodone, it is not their intention that patients continue to take it forever. Rather, it is supposed to be a temporary fix while patients continue to work on other strategies to combat their own depression.

Signs and Symptoms of Trazodone Addiction

People who are addicted to or dependent on Trazodone may not crave the drug. However, when they stop using it abruptly, they may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.  These feelings are often labeled Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome; it’s common when stopping any antidepressant quickly instead of tapering off from it, and it can be dangerous for people who struggle with depression. In severe cases, people who suddenly no longer have antidepressants in their system who need them may go far deeper into depression than ever before, and may end up harming themselves or attempting suicide.

There are many symptoms of Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome. People struggling with withdrawal from Trazodone may experience some or all of these symptoms. They may feel dizzy or lightheaded, they may feel nauseous or even vomit, or they may feel shock-like sensations all over their bodies. They may also have trouble concentrating, get headaches and chills, and may feel irritable. In severe cases, they may also feel vertigo or even have difficulty walking.

Withdrawal symptoms don’t always mean that someone is addicted to a drug, but they may have a physical dependency to it. The best way to stop using any drug, but specifically an antidepressant, is to taper off from it under a doctor’s supervision.

The Consequences of Trazodone Addiction and Abuse

People who use Trazodone for long periods may also experience some additional negative symptoms. Trazodone helps many people to feel better when they have been suffering from depression, so it’s very unfortunate that there are so many long-term side effects of the drug. It’s important to be on the lookout for these side effects though, so the user’s body doesn’t suffer any irreversible damage.

Most of the long-term negative side effects of Trazodone are bearable. Some users experience symptoms like stuffy nose, tiredness, sweating, and muscle swelling, all of which may not be intense enough to make someone want to stop using Trazodone for depression if it’s helping with the depression. However, as time goes on, side effects can become more severe. Weight loss and blurred vision are common; less common symptoms include sexual dysfunction, dry mouth, diarrhea or constipation, or even cardiac arrhythmia.

Can Trazodone kill you? Indirectly, it seems that it can. Cardiac arrhythmia can be very serious. And quitting Trazodone after a long period of taking it can lead to suicidal thoughts. If you are prescribed Trazodone or are taking it after a doctor suggested you taper off it, you should contact a medical professional if you experience skin rashes, fast or pounding heartbeats, shortness of breath, slow heartbeats, or easy bruising or unusual bleeding. These may be signs of a much bigger problem.

Treatment and Recovery from Trazodone Addiction

If you are struggling with a dependency or addiction to Trazodone, the first thing that you should do is talk to your doctor. He or she will help you to determine whether you simply need to taper off the use of this drug for your depression or other diagnoses or if you are truly struggling with addiction and need to seek additional help from an addiction recovery professional or facility.

In most cases, you should be able to taper off Trazodone safely with the help of your doctor. However, if this is just one of several drugs to which you feel addicted or dependent, then you may need to seek further help. At Clear Sky Recovery, we are standing by to help you break free from your addictions and to find the root of the problems that led to them in the first place. Our facility in Cancun, Mexico, is staffed with people who are experienced in addiction recovery services, and our innovative ibogaine treatment has helped many before you. We are standing by to answer any questions you have and we can’t wait to hear from you. Please contact us today.


How to taper off trazodone?

Gradually reduce the dose under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

What are trazodone withdrawal symptoms?

Symptoms can include anxiety, mood changes, sleep disturbances, and flu-like symptoms.

How long does trazodone withdrawal last?

Typically, several days to a few weeks, but the duration can vary based on individual factors.

What happens if you stop taking trazodone suddenly?

Stopping suddenly can lead to withdrawal symptoms and a potential rebound of insomnia or other symptoms it was treating. Always consult a doctor before making changes.

How long do trazodone headaches last?

The duration of headaches can vary depending on the individual, but they typically last for a few hours to a few days after taking the medication. If the headache persists or is severe, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider, as they may need to adjust the dosage or switch medications.

How long do trazodone side effects last?

Most side effects should diminish within a few days to a few weeks of starting the medication. But if side effects are persistent, bothersome, or worsen, it’s important to discuss this with a healthcare provider.

How much trazodone can you take?

The appropriate dosage of trazodone varies depending on the individual. The typical dose is usually not more than 400 mg per day.

How do you sleep after stopping trazodone?

To aid sleep after stopping trazodone, practice good sleep hygiene, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, avoiding caffeine and electronics before bed, and considering relaxation techniques or cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.