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Trazodone Addiction & Abuse

What is Trazodone?

  • Trazodone is a serotonin modulator that has a number of functions that increase the amount of available serotonin in the central nervous system and other areas of the body. It primarily acts as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and serotonin antagonist.
  • Trazodone, which goes by the number of different brand names such as Oleptro or Desyrel, was initially designed to be used in the treatment of clinical depression.
  • The drug has significant sedating effects, and it is more often used as a sleep aid for people that have various psychological disorders, including depression, anxiety disorders, and psychological disorders that include restlessness and irritability.

Tablets white color referring to Trazodone

Trazodone Abuse

  • Certain classes of drugs have higher potentials for abuse and the development of physical dependence than others.
  • Though antidepressant medications, such as trazodone, are unlikely to be abused, in some cases individuals may take them excessively or inappropriately.
  • Individuals with substance use disorders who are unable to obtain their drug(s) of choice may abuse another type of drug or medication to try to achieve desired effects or to try to reduce withdrawal symptoms.

What is Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome (ADS)

Suddenly stopping an antidepressant may result in an antidepressant discontinuation syndrome.

A person may experience symptoms such as:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Symptoms like those from the flu
  • Hyperarousal
  • Trouble with balance
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Tiredness

However, this does not mean that a person was addicted to the medication. A person should talk with a healthcare provider before stopping or changing any medications, including trazodone.

Treatment for Addiction

Though addiction to trazodone is very unlikely, a person may be misusing trazodone because they are struggling with addiction to another substance. If you think you may have an addiction, or substance use disorder, seek help. If you think someone else may have an addiction, encourage them to see a healthcare provider for an evaluation.

About The Contributor
Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff, American Addiction Centers
The editorial staff of Greenhouse Treatment Center is comprised of addiction content experts from American Addiction Centers. Our editors and medical reviewers have over a decade of cumulative experience in medical content editing and have reviewed... Read More