Trazodone is an antidepressant and sedative that’s part of a class of drugs called serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs). Trazodone is most commonly used to treat major depressive disorder, as it may improve one’s mood, appetite, and energy levels, as well as decrease anxiety and insomnia caused by depressive moods. Trazodone specifically works by restoring the balance of serotonin in the brain. While it’s generally safe when taken as prescribed, trazodone withdrawal symptoms may occur in people who use it for long periods and suddenly stop taking it.
Previously sold under the brain names Oleptro and Desyrel and now sold under the brand name Molipaxin, trazodone is FDA-approved to treat depression but may also be prescribed for off-label uses for agitation and insomnia. Although it’s not a controlled substance, people can become physically dependent on it. You might be wondering, can you withdraw from trazodone?
When people take trazodone for long periods, their brains begin to adapt to the presence of the drug. When this occurs, they may experience withdrawal symptoms or trazodone discontinuation syndrome if they suddenly stop taking it or miss their doses. So yes, you can withdraw from trazodone.
Although physical dependence is one of the most common signs of developing addiction, not everyone who’s physically dependent on a drug is addicted to it. Even people who use trazodone as prescribed can become dependent on it and experience trazodone withdrawal side effects as a result of sudden discontinuation.
Withdrawal is the body’s process of readjusting to the absence of a particular drug from its system. After a long period of trazodone use, the body and brain eventually become accustomed to trazodone and adapt to its presence. If you suddenly stop taking trazodone after long-term use, you may feel ill as your body readapts to this change.
Withdrawal can be a challenging process for many people. In cases where the substance in question is more addicting or withdrawals are more severe, the person may continue to use drugs - regardless of the harm - simply to avoid withdrawals.
When a person withdraws from antidepressants like trazodone, discomfort is to be expected. Other common symptoms of trazodone withdrawal include:
Since trazodone is mostly prescribed to treat mental health disorders like depression, discontinuation can worsen the person’s symptoms. People who suffer from depression and take trazodone may experience increased depressive episodes during withdrawal, which can lead to suicidal thoughts and ideation. For this reason, it’s crucial to only stop taking trazodone under the guidance and care of a medical professional.
Everyone experiences withdrawals differently. The duration and severity of trazodone withdrawal symptoms depend greatly on the dosage the person normally would take and how long they’ve been taking the medication. For some people, withdrawal from trazodone can last a few days, and for others, it can last weeks or longer.
Traozondone’s half-life ranges from 5 to 9 hours. A drug’s half-life refers to how long it takes for half a dose to be eliminated from your system. Because it takes around 5 half-lives for a drug to be eliminated from the body, trazodone can stay in your system for around 45 hours after the final dose.
Withdrawals from trazodone don’t always end when the drug is out of your system. In addition to metabolism, other factors, including regular dosage, duration of use, age, and liver health, can determine how long trazodone withdrawal lasts.
It’s also common for individuals who have used trazodone for long periods to develop antidepressant discontinuation syndrome (ADS). This is a specific form of physical dependence that occurs as a result of antidepressant use. ADS is more likely to occur in people who have used antidepressants like trazodone regularly for longer than 6 to 8 weeks.
This condition is also more likely to occur with antidepressants that affect the functioning of neurons in the brain that primarily use serotonin. The good news is that this condition is rare, and symptoms are typically mild. Even so, it’s recommended that individuals who want to quit long-term medication use some form of medical prescription drug detox.
Some people may attempt to withdraw from trazodone at home and cold turkey, which can result in more severe withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, the tapering approach is usually the less severe of the detox treatment options, although it’s slightly longer-lasting.
Antidepressant abuse and long-term use can lead to dependence and withdrawal. Fortunately, experts at Banyan Treatment Center are available to help you or a loved one detox from trazodone safely.
Our medically monitored detox at Banyan offers 24-hour care and assistance in recovering from withdrawals and aiding in long-term recovery. Our Illinois drug rehab also offers prescription drug addiction treatment to help people who have become addicted to their medications.