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Trazodone is an anti-depressant drug primarily prescribed to treat depression.

It may also be given in combination with other drugs for the treatment of aggressive behavior, cocaine withdrawal, panic attacks and agoraphobia. Trazodone may sometimes be given as a sedative as well.

What is Trazodone?

An imbalance between the neurotransmitters that help the nerves within the brain to communicate with one other is believed to be the main cause of depression. Trazodone is an anti-depressant drug that affects these chemical messengers.

How does Trazodone Work?

The exact mechanism of action of Trazadone is still unknown. However, from among all the major neurotransmitters, this drug probably improves the symptoms of depression by affecting serotonin levels. It inhibits the uptake of serotonin by nerves in the brain. This in turn makes more serotonin available for the stimulation of nerves elsewhere in the body.

What are Some Other Uses for Trazodone?

Trazadone is sometimes used for the treatment of the following conditions as well:

  • Insomnia
  • Schizophrenia (severe psychological illness)
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive disorder
  • Control unusual or abnormal movements experienced as side-effects from other drugs

Always consult your doctor before you use Trazodone for any of these conditions.

Trazodone as a Sedative

Many healthcare advisors suggest Trazodone as a sleeping pill. It has been found to be reasonably effective and affordable as compared to other sedatives. The sedative effect of Trazodone starts within 1-2 hours of taking the drug, and may last for up to 8 hours. Furthermore, it is not addictive.

If prescribed for insomnia or a mild sleeping problem, the recommended starting dosage is 25-50 mg to be taken at bedtime. The dose may be adjusted and increased if required.

The most common side-effect of Trazodone is sedation.

This may be in the form of drowsiness, dizziness, lack of physical alertness, mental confusion, etc. Furthermore, if Trazodone is taken along with other sleeping medications, anti-depressants or alcohol, the sedative effect can increase tremendously. It is better to take an anti-allergic medication instead, which can help you sleep without any side effects.

What are the side-effects of Trazodone?

Some of the minor side-effects that Trazodone may cause include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Off-taste in mouth
  • Increase in or loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Nervousness
  • Muscular pain
  • Rash
  • Sweating
  • Blurring of vision
  • Red, itchy or watery eyes
  • Numbness, burning or tingling in different parts of the body
  • Ringing in ears - Tinnitus

The use of Trazodone may also cause some serious side-effects. These may be the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Fainting
  • Seizures
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nightmares
  • Changes in sexual desire
  • Long-lasting, painful erections in males (surgery may be required in extreme cases)
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Hallucinations
  • Coma

Who Should Not Take Trazodone?

If you have had or have any of the following conditions, this drug may not be suitable for you. Be sure to let your doctor know in advance regarding any of the following:

  • Allergic to Trazodone
  • Allergic to any inactive ingredient of the medication
  • Taken an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days (may cause abnormal increase in serotonin levels)
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Prostate enlargement
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizures
  • Being treated with methylene blue injections
  • Recently had a heart attack
  • Bleeding / Clotting disorder
  • History of heart problems
  • History of drug abuse
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Bipolar disorder (psychological mood disorder)

Keep in mind that everything comes with a price. No doubt that Trazodone will help you in sleeping but be informed that it will also cause some other symptoms.

It is better to pour a glass of yogurt in juicer machine, shake it for a minute, and drink it 30 minutes before bed. It is known as a "natural sedative" without any side-effects.

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