Desyrel (Trazodone) Dosage and Side Effects
DESYREL is an antidepressant drug that's prescribed to treat the symptoms of depression. Besides treating depression, doctors may also prescribe DESYREL to treat anxiety, schizophrenia, or uncontrolled movements that occur as a side effect of other medications. Your doctor may prescribe DESYREL to treat insomnia or other sleep disorders.
Warnings and Precautions
The risk of suicide is greatest when starting treatment or when increasing or decreasing the dose of DESYREL. Suicide risk may be higher for people younger than 24.
Depression may become worse before it gets better when someone starts taking DESYREL.
Your doctor will watch you carefully for symptoms of aggression, irritability, panic attacks, extreme worry, restlessness, acting without thinking, abnormal excitement, or any thoughts of suicide when you start the drug. You should also let friends and family members know if you have these symptoms or worsening symptoms of depression. If you have any thoughts of suicide or if a friend or family member thinks you are acting strangely, call a doctor right away.
Stopping DESYREL suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms that include anxiety, agitation, and difficulty sleeping.
Children or teens should not take DESYREL.
Tell your doctor if you have:
- Heart problems
- Low orhigh blood pressure
- History of substance abuse
- Any mental health disorders
- Liver problems
- Kidney problems
- Diarrhea or vomiting
Anyone taking the drug should let their doctor know about any family history of suicide.
If you are a man, let your doctor know if you have any problem with an erection that will not go away (priapism).
It's important to tell your doctor if you have symptoms of aggression, irritability, panic attacks, extreme worry, restlessness, acting without thinking, abnormal excitement, or any thoughts of suicide while on DESYREL.
DESYREL 'High' and Abuse
Because DESYREL isn't regulated as strictly as other sleep medications, it has some potential for abuse by people seeking a high. The drug has been anecdotally linked to hallucinations in high doses, but the risks of overdose and severe side effects make this a very dangerous recreational drug.
Take DESYREL only as directed, and keep this and all other drugs away from children, teenagers, and anyone for whom the drug has not been prescribed.
Pregnancy and DESYREL
DESYREL may cause harm to a developing fetus. Some animal studies have found evidence of developmental abnormalities in fetuses that were exposed to the drug.
It's not known if DESYREL is safe for breastfeeding infants. You should speak to your doctor about using DESYREL before breastfeeding, and if you are or might be pregnant.
Common side effects of DESYREL include:
- Muscle ache
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or stomachache
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Loss of interest in sex (erectile dysfunction in men)
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Dry mouth or dry eyes
- Numbness, burning, or tingling sensations
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Nervousness or confusion
- Weakness or fatigue
Serious side effects can occur. If you have any of these side effects, stop taking DESYREL and call your doctor right away:
- Worsening depression
- Suicidal thoughts
- A severe rash or hives
- Swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- A painful erection that will not go away (priapism)
- Panic attack
- Irregular heartbeat
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
DESYREL also might cause some people to have auditory hallucinations while taking the drug. However, evidence of this is preliminary and needs further investigation.
Interactions with this medication
It's very important to let your doctor know about all drugs you are taking, including illegal drugs and any over-the-counter (OTC) herbs or supplements.
Types of drugs that are known to interact with DESYREL include:
- Blood thinners, including warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, and ibuprofen
- Drugs used to treat mental illness, including thioridazine; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) and fluvoxamine (Luvox); and MAOIs such as isocarboxazid (Marplan) and phenelzine (Nardil)
- Cold, cough, and allergy medications, including dexamethasone (Decadron)
- Medications used to treat fungal diseases, such as ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), and (Vfend)
- Medications used to treat HIV/AIDS, including atazanavir (Reyataz), indinavir (Crixivan), and nelfinavir (Viracept)
- Medications used to treat heartburn, including cimetidine (Tagamet) and cisapride (Propulsid)
- Some antibiotics, such as clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac) and erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin)
- Some heart medications, including sotalol (Betapace, Betapace AF) and verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan)
- Some seizure medications, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), ethosuximide (Zarontin), phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton), and phenytoin (Dilantin)
DESYREL may make you feel drowsy and may affect your judgment. Until you know how DESYREL will affect you, don't drive or operate machinery.
Drinking alcohol may make some side effects of DESYREL more severe and cause problems.
Proper Use of this medication
Do not crush, snort, or chew a tablet.
Your doctor will start you on a low dose of DESYREL and increase the dose every three to four days. It may take up to two weeks before you notice a response. A daily dose of DESYREL may range from 150 to 375 milligrams.
Take regular tablets two or more times a day with food.
If your doctor prescribes an extended-release tablet, you'll take it once a day at bedtime on an empty stomach.
Symptoms of a DESYREL overdose may include:
- Painful erection
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Trouble breathing
If someone collapses or isn't breathing, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Missed Dose of DESYREL
Take DESYREL exactly as directed by your doctor. Don't stop taking DESYREL on your own because stopping suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms that include anxiety, agitation, and difficulty sleeping.
If you miss a dose of DESYREL, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it's almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Don't double your dose to make up for a missed dose.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.