Depression Home > What Is Trazodone Used For?

What is trazodone used for? The medication is primarily used for the treatment of depression in adults. It is believed to both prevent the reuptake of serotonin and block serotonin receptors. Trazodone is used for "off-label" reasons as well, such as treating panic disorder, insomnia, anxiety, and alcoholism. Currently, the drug is not approved for use in children or teenagers.

What Is Trazodone Used For? -- An Overview

Trazodone hydrochloride (Desyrel®) is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of depression (also known as major depression or clinical depression).
Depression is more than just "feeling sad." Common symptoms of depression include:
  • Changes in sleep (sleeping too much or not enough)
  • Eating too much or too little (and weight gain or weight loss)
  • Having little interest in things that you used to enjoy
  • Physical pain
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Suicidal thoughts.
Trazodone has been proven in large clinical trials to help adults with depression. However, keep in mind that many antidepressants can take several weeks to begin working. Sometimes, other people will notice an improvement in your symptoms before you do. Often, the physical symptoms of depression (such as pain or changes in sleep) will improve first -- sometimes within the first few weeks of treatment. Unlike many other antidepressants, trazodone may start to relieve your symptoms within one or two weeks, although sometimes it can take up to four weeks to begin working.
Counseling and therapy (see Psychotherapy for Depression) are often used along with an antidepressant medication to treat depression. Ask your healthcare provider if counseling or therapy would be good options for you (see Depression Treatment).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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