What does Trazodone treat?
What does trazodone improve?
Reduces anxiety and insomnia
What else does trazodone treat?
Trazodone increases the level of serotonin in the brain. serotonin is a natural substance in the brain that helps to maintain balance. Trazodone enhances the activity of serotonin and histamine and helps the person to fall asleep faster. this increases the duration of sleep and also treats depression. Trazodone shortens the time taken by the person to fall asleep and also decreases the waking up time during the night. It enables the person to sleep for longer duration. Trazodone improves sleep in patients showing other symptoms such as anxiety, aggressive behaviour, irritability and other emotional behaviour. First try to improve your sleep habits by developing good sleep habits and good sleep hygiene before you start this medication
Sometimes it is used to treat insomnia. Schizophrenia is mental illness. Its signs are disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, unusual thinking, strong emotions or inappropriate emotions. Trazodone is used to treat schizophrenia too. It is also used to treat anxiety. Side effects of some other medications such as abnormal, uncontrolled movements can be controlled by using trazodone.
Trazodone belongs to a class of medications called serotonin modulators which helps in treating depression. Trazodone is a prescription drug available in the form of oral tablet. Less costly ones are the generic drugs hitch are available as immediate-release oral tablet. They are available under the brand name Oleptro.
Trazodone belongs to antidepressants which is a class of drugs. These drugs belonging to the same class work in a similar manner and are often used to treat similar conditions. Exact mechanism of working of trazodone is not known yet. The health Canada has approved the use of trazodone in treating depression in adults but its use for treating sleep difficulties in children and adolescence has not been approved yet. This use is known as off label use. When the doctor determines that the benefits are greater than the risks then the doctor may prescribe this medication for off label use. Trazodone may be used to treat insomnia – sleep disorders, alcohol withdrawal, depression, aggressive behaviour and anxiety disorders.
Uses of trazodone
1. Anxiety disorder- it is characterized by significant fear and anxiety. It is a mental disorder. Symptoms include shakiness and fast heart rate. Causes of anxiety disorder could be due to environmental factors and genetic factors.
2. Unipolar depression- it is a mental disorder. signs include loss of interest in activities that are enjoyable, low mood, low energy, low self-esteem and pain without any specific cause. Some people may experience some periods of depression and some periods of normal behaviour. If it is not treated it may cause complication such as suicidal thoughts.
3. Insomnia- in this sleep disorder people experience trouble sleeping. People experience irritability, depressed mood, daytime sleepiness and low energy. It can be short term or long term. It may develop due to psychological stress, heartburn, hyperthyroidism, heart failure, restless leg syndrome and chronic pain.
However, its major use is in treating depression. Studies have showed that the effectiveness is similar to that of doxepin, amitriptyline and mianserin. Also it has low cardiotoxicity, anxiolytic properties. Also it is found to have minimal anticholinergic properties and anti-anxiety properties Also its side effects are mild. Trazodone is found to be helpful in geriatric patients those with depression, agitation and insomnia. early studies have showed that trazodone can improve obsessive compulsive disorder however later studies showed that it did not have antionsessional effects. For treatment of insomnia it is used as an alternative to benzodiazepines but in lower dose. Although its use is restricted to that of treating depression but studies have showed that it is the second most prescribed drug for treating insomnia.
Off label uses
These are non –FDA approved uses.
1. Fibromyalgia- in response to pressure the person experiences chronic pain, symptoms include sleep problems, memory trouble, tiredness. People also complain about bladder problems, restless legs syndrome and bowel problems, numbness and tingling. This condition is associated with depression and anxiety.
2. Complex regional pain syndrome- the pain is long term and with time it worsens. It is also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy. The person experiences out of proportion pain, swelling, changes in the skin and sensitivity. The pain starts in one limb and slowly spreads in the whole body.
3. Panic disorder- the person experiences panic attacks which are recurrent, sudden intense fear which includes sweating, palpitation, shaking, numbness and shortness of breath. The intensity of symptoms increases within minutes.
4. Control of nightmares
5. Bulimia nervosa- it is an eating disorder in which a person in a short time eats large amount of food. And then the person purges which means that tries to get rid of the food that is consumed by vomiting or by using laxatives or by trying to lose weight through the use of diuretics, water fasting, stimulants or excess exercise. This condition is associated with a mental disorder such as depression and anxiety. Such as person may harm themselves.
6. Alcohol withdrawal- symptoms of this include anxiety, sweating, shakiness, vomiting, heart beat becomes fast, mild fever. These symptoms occur after excess use. Sever symptoms may include delirium tremens, seizures.
7. Diabetic neuropathy- it is associated with diabetes mellitus. It is associated with nerve damaged disorder. It may occur due to damage to diabetic microvascular blood vessel that supplies nerves. it affects the peripheral nerves and the autonomic nervous system too. Symptoms include diarrhea, balance problems, numbness and tingling, dizziness.
8. Schizophrenia- the person shows abnormal social behaviour. it is a mental disorder. Symptoms include confused thinking, false belief, less social engagement, lacking emotional expression and motivation. Such people often develop depression and anxiety. Causes could include environmental and genetic factors.
9. Obsessive compulsive disorder- in this condition the person feels the need to perform certain rituals or things repeatedly. It is a mental disorder. For more than short period of time the person is unable to control their activities or thoughts. Activities include counting’s things, washing hands, checking a locked door. The person life is negatively affected. this condition is also associated with anxiety.
10. Erectile dysfunction- it is a type of sexual dysfunction. Also known as impotence. It is characterized by inability to maintain erection of pain during sexual activities.
11. Attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder
12. Enuresis – also called bed wetting
Trazodone comes in tablet form. It is taken four times a day. The extended release tablet is taken once a day. In united states it is available under the brand name Desyrel. The effect of trazodone happens slowly. At least for two weeks its maximum benefit is not evident. Hence people taking this drug should continue as directed by their physician. the use of this drug should not be stopped because its effect is not seen early.
Sedation that is lack of mental and physical alertness and drowsiness is the major problem of trazodone. Mostly even though this side effect is noticeable in early therapy but it disappears over a period of time. Hence while on this medication any hazardous activity that requires mental alertness should not be performed such as driving or any other similar activity. If trazodone is taken with other depressants such as sleeping medication, alcoholic beverages, antihistamines or sedatives then its sedative effect increases. Heart rate of a person may increase due to trazodone. Also people with cardiovascular diseases or those how has recent heart attack should avoid taking this drug. If they are on this medication, then their condition should be closely monitored to look for any disturbances in cardiac rhythm or any stress or damage to the heart.
The most frequent side effects are constipation, dry mouth, urinary retention, sedation, increased heart rate, decreased coordination, dizziness, irritability. Although these side effects are intense in the early therapy but they tend to decrease with time with continued use.