Trazodone Dosage Differences
Trazodone is a generic, prescription medication that’s approved by the FDA to treat depression and it also has extra-label indications as well. For example, trazodone can be used to treat anxiety conditions, OCD, certain chronic pain conditions, and most commonly insomnia.
Trazodone is classified as an antidepressant, and a serotonin modulator more specifically. This means that it regulates and balances the amount of serotonin available in the brain of the user, so it can improve mood, appetite, the user’s outlook on life and also help with healthy sleep patterns.
Along with affecting the neurotransmitter serotonin, trazodone is also believed to affect other chemical messengers in the brain including dopamine and norepinephrine.
While trazodone acts on the brain in ways that are similar to other antidepressants, it is chemically and structurally distinctive, which is why it’s sometimes called an atypical antidepressant.
The following provides trazodone dosage information, including highlighting the difference between trazodone 50 mg, 100 mg, and 150 mg.
Your physician will usually begin you on the lowest possible dose that will be effective for you, and then they may increase it at intervals ranging from one to two weeks to ensure efficacy.
When you begin taking a medication like trazodone, it can take several weeks for its full effectiveness to begin. For the treatment of depression trazodone may start to help improve symptoms in around one to two weeks, but for maximum effects, it can take anywhere from four to six weeks.
Some of the most common side effects of trazodone include dizziness and drowsiness. Less common but still possible side effects can include dry mouth, confusion, constipation, headache, blurred vision and sexual dysfunction. Also possible is cardiac arrhythmia, particularly in people with existing heart disease.
The starting dose used to treat insomnia is usually anywhere from 25 to 50 mg, taken close to bedtime. Your doctor may increase your dosage above Trazodone 50 mg, but for insomnia, not much more than this is recommended because it can actually have the opposite effect at higher doses and cause insomnia.
For depression, the starting dose is usually anywhere from 50 to 100 mg, which would be taken daily potentially in divided doses. If someone experiences a lot of drowsiness with trazodone, even if it’s being used for the treatment of depression, they’re advised to take it close to bed, or take their largest dose near bedtime.
For the treatment of depression, it’s not recommended that patients take more than 300 mg a day unless they have severe depression. Regardless of the dose someone starts at, their doctor may opt to increase it at regular intervals, and it can be taken with food to prevent nausea.
Some guidelines do recommend that for the treatment of depression in adults the dosage start with 150 mg and then it should go up by 50 mg every few days up to 400 mg daily in divided doses for outpatient use. For inpatient use dosages may go up to 600 mg, divided daily.
There is also an extended-release version of trazodone, and the starting dosage for this is around 150 mg taken once a day, and it can be increased by 75 mg every few days.
When trazodone is used for the treatment of insomnia, it may only be used intermittently or for short periods of time, although in some cases it may be used regularly.
When a trazodone dosage is given for depression, it’s recommended you stay on it for at least six to 12 months, although many patients may be prescribed to use it over the long-term. It has relatively low long-term effects.
Once a physician feels like the appropriate response is achieved, in some cases dosages might be reduced or tapered. It is possible for people to experience a physical dependence to trazodone, which means if they stop taking it suddenly they could go through withdrawal.
Doctors will usually create a tapering schedule to help people, particularly who have been on trazodone long-term or take high doses, stop using it safely and comfortably.
While these are general trazodone dosage guidelines, it’s important that you rely only on the information provided to you by your doctor.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
Have more questions about Trazodone abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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