Depression Home > Trazodone

Trazodone is a prescription drug that is used for treating depression in adults. The medication is believed to work by balancing serotonin levels in the brain and blocking certain serotonin receptors. It comes in the form of a tablet and is generally taken one to three times a day, usually after eating. Possible side effects of trazodone include drowsiness, vomiting, headache, and dizziness.

What Is Trazodone?

Trazodone hydrochloride (Desyrel®) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression).
(Click What Is Trazodone Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses for the drug.)

Who Makes Trazodone?

The drug was once manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb. However, brand-name trazodone is no longer being manufactured. Generic trazodone is still available and is made by several manufacturers.

How Does It Work?

It is not entirely clear how the drug works, since no other medications work exactly like it. The drug acts on a specific chemical within the brain known as serotonin. This is one of several chemicals used to send messages in between nerves; however, when serotonin levels become unbalanced, it can cause a variety of conditions, including depression. Trazodone helps to block the reuptake of serotonin so that more is available for the nerves in the brain, returning the serotonin back to its "normal" levels. However, unlike selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), it may also block certain serotonin receptors.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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