A Comprehensive Look at Trazodone
Trazodone is a medication that is primarily used to treat depression. It belongs to a class of medicines called serotonin modulators which work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a natural substance that affects the balance of chemicals in the brain. Usually, people with depression suffer because of an imbalance of the chemicals brought about by the lack of serotonin. Consequently, they experience mood swings, decreased or increased appetite, and low energy levels among other undesired symptoms. Therefore, the intake of Trazodone helps restore the balance of chemicals in the brain.
Uses of Trazodone
Besides its primary use as an antidepressant, Trazodone has many other uses including off-label ones to treat various conditions. One of the common uses of Trazodone is to treat insomnia. In fact, a doctor may prescribe the medication for a couple of other sleep disorders.
According to research, Trazodone has been found to be effective as a treatment for people with Alzheimer’s disease especially those who experience sleep disturbance. While improving the nighttime sleep for the patients, the drug does not affect the way the brain functions. Further, users of Trazodone rarely experience the urge to sleep during the day.
Trazodone has been approved for use in the treatment of depression by the FDA. Even so, it has found popularity for off-label uses. So, the off-label uses of Trazodone include but not limited to treatment of anxiety, bulimia, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, diabetic neuropathy, benzodiazepine/alcohol dependence, central nervous system diseases, and chronic pain.
Trazodone is very popular in treating anxiety and uncontrollable movements that could occur as a result of using other medications. However, these are uses that only your doctor should prescribe or recommend.
Trazodone comes in tablet form of 50mg, 100mg, 150mg, and even 300mg. It should only be taken orally and as indicated by your doctor. Health experts recommend that you take the medication after a meal or a snack. For those who take a single dose, it is advisable for them to take the dose before bedtime. This is because the use of Trazodone could cause drowsiness which may hinder how you carry out your daily activities or cause harm to those operating machinery.
Often, the doctor prescribes medication in accordance with your prevailing health condition(s) and how your body reacts to the treatment. As such, you may realize that your physician recommends little doses then gradually increases them with time so as to find the effective dosage for your particular case.
Interaction with other drugs and alcohol
Health experts and professionals have always maintained that it is not a good idea to take alcohol when you are under any medication. Trazodone is no exception. Do not take alcohol with this drug. If you cannot stay away from alcohol, then try as much as you can to limit your intake. Combining Trazodone with alcohol has been found to cause drowsiness, dizziness and difficulty in concentration. Additionally, it can cause impairment in thinking and judgment.
As mentioned earlier, Trazodone can be prescribed by a doctor to treat the side effects of some specific medications. This means that it can be used in conjunction with other drugs without causing adverse side effects. Currently, there are over 900 recorded drug interactions with Trazodone. As such, each one cannot be highlighted here. However, your doctor will use their judgment and discretion to determine whether combining drugs is a viable idea or not.
Precautions and additional information about Trazodone
Users of Trazodone should adhere to the prescription that the doctor has recommended. If for any reason you take an overdose, then you have to seek medical advice.
Symptoms such as vomiting, changes in heartbeat, difficulty breathing, drowsiness, and seizures could be experienced with the overdose of Trazodone.
Do not use Trazodone if you are pregnant. It has been reported that the use of Trazodone could cause harm to the unborn baby. According to research that was conducted on animal fetuses, developmental abnormalities that could be directly attributed to Trazodone were found. It has not yet been established whether or not Trazodone could have an effect on breastfeeding babies.
In conclusion, ensure that you store the Trazodone medication appropriately. Keep it in the original packaging away from moisture, and children. If it is outdated, throw it away and ask your pharmacist for a new batch.