trazodone, Desyrel (discontinued brand) (cont.)

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Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of trazodone or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be closely observed for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior.


For the treatment of depression, the dose for adults is 150-600 mg per day of regular tablets.

  • The initial starting dose usually is 150 mg per day which is increased by 50 mg/day every 3-7 days.
  • Trazodone regular tablets are given in one or more daily doses, sometimes with the largest dose at night.
  • The dose of extended release tablets are 150 mg at bedtime initially which is increased by 75 mg/day every 3 days. Extended release tablets should be swallowed whole and not crushed or chewed. The maximum dose is 375 mg daily.
  • As with all antidepressants, it may take several weeks for the full effects of treatment to be seen. Doses often are adjusted slowly upwards to find the optimal dose.
  • Elderly patients and debilitated persons may need lower doses.
  • Trazodone should be taken after a meal or light snack to reduce the risk of dizziness. Food also increases the amount of drug absorbed into the body.

Doses of 25-75 mg are prescribed for insomnia.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: All antidepressants that increase concentrations of serotonin in the brain, including trazodone, should not be taken with MAO-inhibitors. Drugs in the MAO-inhibitor class include isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and procarbazine (Matulane). Such combinations may lead to confusion, high blood pressure and tremor. This same type of interaction may occur when trazodone is used with selegiline (Eldepryl). If a patient is switched from trazodone to an MAO inhibitor, at least one week should be allowed after stopping trazodone before the MAO inhibitor is begun. After stopping an MAO inhibitor, two weeks should elapse before starting trazodone.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/27/2015

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