Trazodone is a prescription medication used to treat depression, insomnia, schizophrenia and anxiety. It is also used to control involuntary movements caused by the side effects of certain medications. The brand name of trazodone is Desyrel. Trazodone belongs in the serotonin modulators medication class. This medication works by balancing natural substances in the brain.
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Trazodone is available in a tablet form. This medication should be taken by mouth at approximately the same time each day after meals or after a snack. Your physician may initially prescribe a low dose and gradually increase your dose to a therapeutic level. This medication can take two weeks or longer before you see the full benefits. You should not stop taking this medication without physician guidance even if you feel better.
Side effects of trazodone can include nausea, vomiting, headache, stomach pain, diarrhoea, constipation, changes in appetite, change in weight, bad taste in mouth, weakness, tiredness, nervousness, poor memory, confusion, nightmares, muscle pain, dry mouth, inability to concentrate, sweating, blurred vision, ringing in the ears and itchy, red or tired eyes. Contact your physician if these side effects become bothersome.
Serious Side Effects
Trazodone use carries the risk of serious side effects such as chest pain, pounding or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, decreased coordination, involuntary shaking of a part of the body, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, painful erection that lasts longer than usual and tingling, burning or numbness in the feet, hands, legs or arms. Trazodone use can also cause signs of an infection such as fever, sore throat and chills. Serious side effects need to be reported to your physician or, if severe, contact emergency medical attention.
Allergic Reaction Side Effects
Signs of an allergic reaction to trazodone can include hives, skin rash, itching, hoarseness, problems swallowing or breathing and swelling of the lower legs, ankles, feet, hands, eyes, lips, tongue, throat or face. An allergic reaction has the potential to be life-threatening and if you experience these symptoms seek emergency attention immediately.
Especially during the first two months of trazodone treatment, this medication can increase the likelihood of suicidal thinking or behaviour in people 18 to 24 years of age. People 25 years of age or older may experience unexpected mental health changes while taking trazodone. Important symptoms to report to your physician immediately include new onset or worsening depression, thoughts or plans to kill yourself, intense worry, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, aggressiveness, impulsive acting, severe restlessness and abnormal excitement.
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