Trazodone Withdrawal | Trazodone Withdrawal Symptoms and Tapering

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Trazodone is a prescription drug that’s approved for use by the FDA as an antidepressant, but it has many other off-label uses as well. Below is an overview of trazodone and what it’s used for, as well as information about trazodone withdrawal and trazodone withdrawal tapering.

Trazodone Withdrawal | Trazadone Withdrawal Symptoms and Tapering
First, what is trazodone? Trazodone is described as a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor or an SARI. It’s an atypical antidepressant, and it’s often prescribed to patients who didn’t have a good response to newer antidepressants such as SSRIs.

One of the most common side effects of trazodone is drowsiness, so it’s also often used as a treatment for insomnia. In fact, some research shows trazodone is more often prescribed for insomnia than depression.

Other off-label uses of trazodone include treating pain from conditions like fibromyalgia and neuropathy, and for the treatment of OCD and withdrawal from alcohol.

Trazodone is believed to act on certain serotonin receptors in the brain, which is how it improves mood, appetite, life outlook and sleep patterns. Ideally, trazodone is prescribed to patients who have depression along with anxiety and/or insomnia.

While trazodone has many benefits and has relatively fewer side effects than a lot of drugs that treat similar conditions, it’s not without its own risks. One of the biggest risks includes something called orthostatic hypotension, which refers to a sudden drop in blood pressure when you stand up.

There is the potential for trazodone withdrawal symptoms to occur, which is common with essentially any antidepressant or sleep medication. Trazodone isn’t considered to be a drug that carries a high risk of psychological addiction, but physical dependence is possible, particularly since it’s something that interacts with brain neurotransmitters.

That’s why it’s important for people to follow their doctor’s instructions when taking trazodone, and if they stop taking it, they should likely follow a tapering schedule to reduce the risk of trazodone withdrawal.

Some of the factors that influence trazodone withdrawal include how long you’ve been taking it, the dosage you usually take, and your individual characteristics.

If you’ve been taking a high dose for a long period of time, you’re more likely to experience trazodone withdrawal as compared to someone who’s only been taking it for a short time.

In addition to creating its own possible withdrawal symptoms, trazodone is being increasingly seen as helpful for opiate withdrawal.

One of the biggest roadblocks for many people who want to stop using opiates is the withdrawal period. Withdrawal from opiates can be physically and psychologically uncomfortable, but trazodone for opiate withdrawal may help with this.

There are many reasons trazodone for opiate withdrawal can be helpful including how the drug affects certain neurons in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. When someone is going through withdrawal from opiates, it affects their levels of norepinephrine, which can be helped with the use of trazodone. Of course, this is just one theory as to why trazodone and opiate withdrawal have a beneficial relationship to one another.

While trazodone may help with opiate withdrawal, what about the withdrawal symptoms of trazodone itself?

Most of the possible trazodone withdrawal symptoms are psychological and related to mood. For example, people who stop taking trazodone suddenly may experience anger and anxiety because of how this drug influences serotonin activity in the brain.

If someone was depressed before taking it, they may have even worse depression as they withdrawal from trazodone, and it can become severe because of chemical imbalances occurring in the brain during trazodone withdrawal. Other trazodone withdrawal symptoms include feeling disoriented, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, irritability and mood swings.

In people who have used trazodone for long periods of time, withdrawal symptoms can last for months.

Trazodone withdrawal tapering refers to a scenario where you gradually reduce your dose of the drug over a period of time. This can help reduce symptoms of withdrawal and can make the transition easier and more comfortable.

Your trazodone withdrawal tapering schedule should be directed by your physician because it’s going to vary for every person.

Most people start their trazodone dosage at around 150 mg a day, but it can be less or more depending on the person and the condition being treated. The maximum daily dose is 400 mg, but in some cases of severe depression a person may take up to 600 mg a day, in divided doses. For conditions like insomnia, the trazodone dosage is usually much lower, and probably around 50 mg a day for most people.

The higher the dosage of trazodone, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms are likely to be, and the longer your tapering schedule because people who take higher doses tend to become more physically dependent on it to function normally. If you do take a high dose and you don’t go through a set trazodone withdrawal tapering schedule, you’re likely to have a longer duration of symptoms.

A trazodone withdrawal tapering schedule usually calls for going down on a dosage by 10% every three or four weeks.

As with other antidepressants, you shouldn’t attempt to stop using trazodone cold turkey. It can cause your body to go into a type of shock, and it can be not just uncomfortable, but also dangerous.

Trazodone Withdrawal | Trazadone Withdrawal Symptoms and Tapering
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Trazodone Withdrawal | Trazadone Withdrawal Symptoms and Tapering was last modified: March 21st, 2018 by The Recovery Village