Drug Class: Antidepressant, Miscellaneous

Table of Contents


Desyrel (trazodone) is used to treat all types of depression. It belongs to the SARI (serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor) class. It is also used to treat anxiety and insomnia related to depression. Your doctor may use this medicine to treat other conditions.

This medicine helps relieve depression by increasing the amount of a chemical called serotonin in the brain centers.

This information is for educational purposes only. Not every known side effect, adverse effect, or drug interaction is in this database. If you have questions about your medicines, talk to your health care provider.

How to Take It

This medicine should be taken with food and the tablet can be crushed. If it causes excessive drowsiness or dizziness the larger portion of it should be taken at bedtime and the rest should be divided into two or three doses for the daily usage.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • changes in weight, weight gain
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • lightheadedness

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • tremors or shaking
  • sore throat
  • trouble breathing
  • seizures
  • irregular or fast heartbeat
  • ringing in the ears
  • eye swelling or pain
  • blood in urine/problems urinating
  • nightmares
  • fever
  • fainting

Warnings & Precautions

  • Talk to your doctor before you take this medicine if you have a history of heart disease, epilepsy, alcoholism, liver or kidney disease, or if you are having general anesthesia.
  • DO NOT use trazodone if you are allergic to it or if you are being treated with methylene blue injections.
  • Alcohol can add to the side effects of this medicine and should be avoided.
  • This medicine causes dizziness or drowsiness. DO NOT drive, and restrict activities until you know how this medicine will affect you.
  • DO NOT use trazodone if in the past 2 weeks you have taken an MAO inhibitor.
  • A rare side effect causing a prolonged painful erection in males (priaprism) has occurred. If you experience this, stop taking the drug and contact your healthcare provider immediately.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

This medicine may increase the affects antihypertensive drugs, drugs with sedative effects, phenytoin (Dilantin) or fosphenytoin (Celebyx) and tramadol (Ultram).

Dosage & Missed Dose

Trazodone is available as an extended-release or regular release oral tablet. The tablets should not be chewed or crushed. They may be broken in half, depending on dose prescribed by your doctor.

Take regular tablets with food 2 or more times / day.

Take extended-release tablets, once / day at bedtime on an empty stomach.

If you miss a dose, take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


Lung problems or other complications in the baby may arise if you are taking this medication while pregnant. There is risk of depression relapse if you stop taking your antidepressant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking Trazodone. Do not start or stop taking this medicine during pregnancy without consulting your doctor.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a681038.html for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.