Depression Home > Precautions and Warnings With Trazodone

Understanding precautions and warnings with trazodone before taking it can ensure a safe treatment process. Tell your healthcare provider if you have existing medical conditions, such as allergies, heart disease, or bipolar disorder. You should not take the antidepressant if you are allergic to any components used to make it. Precautions and warnings with trazodone also extend to possible side effects, including priapism, suicidal thoughts, and low blood pressure.

Trazodone: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk to your healthcare provider prior to taking trazodone hydrochloride (Desyrel®) if you have:
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Trazodone

Precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking trazodone include the following:
  • Antidepressants (including trazodone) may increase the risk of suicidal thinking or behavior (see Depression and Suicide). Therefore, if you notice any changes in symptoms or new symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider immediately. Some of these symptoms may include:
    • Anxiety
    • Hostility
    • Agitation
    • Panic
    • Restlessness
    • Hallucinations
    • Extreme hyperactivity
  • Before prescribing trazodone for depression, your healthcare provider should make sure that you do not have bipolar disorder instead. Sometimes, the symptoms of bipolar disorder and depression are similar, and trazodone can cause problems in people with bipolar disorder.
  • Trazodone can cause priapism, a painful erection of the penis that does not go away. Even though it may seem embarrassing, seek medical attention right away if you experience this, as it can cause permanent damage to the penis.
  • Trazodone should not be used right after a heart attack. Also, there is some evidence that the drug can cause irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) in people with heart disease.
  • Trazodone may cause low blood pressure (hypotension), especially when sitting or standing up suddenly. Tell your healthcare provider if you are experiencing dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting, as these may be symptoms of low blood pressure.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have an upcoming surgery, as you may be advised to stop taking the drug before surgery.
  • Trazodone may affect your ability to perform complex tasks requiring mental and motor skills. Therefore, you should become accustomed to its effect on you before becoming involved in activities that require mental or motor concentration (such as driving a car or operating machinery).
  • Trazodone can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Trazodone).
  • Trazodone is a considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug during pregnancy (see Trazodone and Pregnancy).
  • Trazodone passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before using this drug.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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