Trazodone & Insomnia: Think Carefully Before Using Trazodone To Treat Insomnia

The following was posted back in 2009 but a new review (see below) caused us to re-publish this post in 2012. It's an important question: WHO should be in charge of your health? You or the 'experts'? All opinions are most welcome.


There are many natural ways of dealing with insomnia, but millions of Americans persist in taking harmful over-the-counter and prescription drugs when they have problems sleeping. One common prescription drug used to treat insomnia is Trazodone and many desperate people combine Trazodone and insomnia in a desperate attempt to gain the restorative rest that they need.

Trazodone is a sedative and antidepressant, which means it usually causes drowsiness when taken. Indeed, drowsiness is one the most common side effects of this drug. It is commonly prescribed to treat depression and is also sometimes applied to help with insomnia.

The problem is that depression and insomnia are not always both present in the patient that takes Trazodone. While it is one thing to prescribe Trazodone for depression with associated insomnia, it is harmful to use this drug to treat insomnia alone.

How does Trazodone work to help insomniacs? To put it simply, Trazodone increases the level of serotonin in your body, and serotonin is known as the body’s natural sleeping pill.

It seems perfectly natural to use a drug that increases the body’s own natural sleep aid to cure insomnia. But the problem with Trazodone arises when you experience its hazardous side effects.

Side Effects of Trazodone & The Cost Of Trazodone Withdrawal

Obviously the side effects vary for each person, but generally, the most common ones can include:

congestion
upset stomach
muscle pain
headache
constipation
sweating
blurred vision
restlessness or the inability to sit still
hallucinations
chest palpitations
suicidal thoughts and behavior
a painful erection that does not go away
hostility or aggression

The list goes on and on.

I’m sure you know that the list of side effects for most drugs, whether prescription or over-the-counter, is often frighteningly lengthy. In many cases, most people don’t experience the side effects, at least not to any degree that matters.

This is not the case for Trazodone when it is used to treat insomnia.

The next day, most people have reported feeling tired and unsteady, and they usually experience confusion and anxiety. Insomnia is reaching epidemic proportions in America, but in most cases, drugs only serve as a short-term solution. Using drugs long-term as a treatment for insomnia invariably makes matters worse rather than better.

If you feel that you must use drugs as you struggle with insomnia, do not choose Trazodone. Instead, try one of the medications that are designed specifically to treat sleep disorders. Trazodone and insomnia are a dangerous mix and should only be used to treat insomnia when it is a symptom of a major depressive disorder.


I would like to reply to the review below … the reviewer says I am not a doctor and that is true. But here is one of the most dangerous myths in our culture – the idea that ONLY doctors can know anything about health and drugs. Did you know that one of the leading causes of death in the US is doctor error! 

Instead, 18 percent of patients were harmed by medical care (some repeatedly) and over 63 percent of the injuries could have been prevented. In nearly 2.5 percent of these cases, the problems caused or contributed to a person's death. In another 3 percent, patients suffered from permanent injury, while over 8 percent experienced life-threatening issues, such as severe bleeding during surgery. In all there were over 25 injuries per 100 admissions! (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/04/death-by-medicine-an-update.aspx)

Let's talk more about Trazodone. The truth is that ALL drugs have side efficts. Drugs.com lists the following side effects for Trazodone:

Blurred vision; constipation; decreased sexual desire or ability; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; lightheadedness when sitting up or standing; muscle aches or pains; nausea; nervousness; stomach pain; stuffy nose; tiredness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Trazodone:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry, or bloody stools; bloody or dark urine; chest pain; decreased coordination; fainting; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; irregular heartbeat; new or worsening agitation, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, restlessness, trouble sleeping, or inability to sit still; prolonged, inappropriate, or painful erections; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or tiredness; shortness of breath; speech problems; suicidal thoughts or actions; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; symptoms of low blood sodium levels (eg, confusion, persistent headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, unsteadiness, sluggishness, personality changes); tremor; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual weight changes; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

It further states: "This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur." And there's much more. (http://www.drugs.com/sfx/trazodone-side-effects.html) This is not some harmless little pill that we should casually pop in our mouths.

Whether any of you use Trazodone is certainly up to you and I am the last person who would ever judge others for their choices. Insomnia is a dreadful affiliction and we become desperate for some sleep. My only goal is to provide information for our readers to use.

I suspect that the reviewer below is either a member of the medical profession or someone who has used Trazodone herself and wishes to justify her choice. That is certainly unnecessary. Our medical choices are our business alone. However, the "You're not a doctor so your information isn't valid" argument is old and tired and I totally reject it. It's your body and no one is better qualified than you to decide upon its care.

Should drugs ever be used? Of course they should. There are times when they are powerful and necessary. However, they should be used very sparingly and with extreme caution. The existence of the so-called 'super bugs' is proof enough that we are too free with these substances. (Sydney Johnston) 

Works for sleeplessness due to injury

Feb 18, 2014 by Amy

A few months ago I suffered a traumatic head injury and trazadone has been my saving grace. With constant headaches, sleep became difficult even with melatonin. My psychiatrist prescribed this along with my normal Prozac dose for my GAD and it's helping my injury heal. I'm getting a good, deep sleep with minimal wake ups during the night. I would suggest it to anyone who cannot sleep due to head or brain injury.


Awful!

Jan 15, 2014 by Stephanie

Horrible migraines . Taking 60mg prozac and 50mg trazadone. Dizziness, memory loss doesn't help me sleep!


trazodone

Nov 18, 2013 by wanda pitts

i am a nurse. being a nurse you see and experience a load of sad situations and feelings of helplessness in the field.i began to experience feelings of depression and burnout. i talked with my doctor and i tried several different medications with no results. also i was having major problems sleeping. i hated each new day.i was almost ready to give up on finding anything to help.i was prescribed trazodone life became much better.not to say everything is roses but i can cope better.


BlissPlan.com 770-923-0346 4045 Five Forks Trickum Rd, Ste B8-209 Lilburn GA, 30047 USA 4.5 5.0 11 11 A few months ago I suffered a traumatic head injury and trazadone has been my saving grace. With constant headaches, sleep became difficult even with melatonin. My psychiatrist pre
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Comments

  1. Valerie says:

    Interesting to read. I've been taking Trazodone for 10 years now and it works 'like a dream!' — pun intended. I get the solid 8 hours of sleep that I need, no hangovers, no spooky/dysphoric dreams, no headaches, nothing but great restful sleep. I've recommended it to many friends and familes, and those who are taking it love it as well. I've not tried to go off of it because I do have a bit of depression and anxiety, although I've not had an episode in about 2 years.

    For those of you Trazodone naive insomniacs out there, it sure is worth a try! AND as a generic, it's very easy on your bank account as well.

  2. Valerie, I'm happy to hear your great report. I hope it continues to work well for you. Others haven't been so fortunate and obviously we all need to closely monitor the effects of ANY medication or supplement that we take.

  3. Ohh! those facts are really scarey!
    my Doctor just prescribed me Trazodone today . I've always had insomnia, I some how got used to it or dealt with it my way.However these days as Im getting through difficult time in my life and have some sort of depression as well , the insomnia became unbearable so I decided to get some medical help, so my Doctor advised me to take these pills. But now after reading all this I'm scared to take it!

    • Ameer, I definitely think you should be cautious. Doctors are trained to prescribe drugs whenever there is a problem. The fact is that there is some reason for your insomnia. Sleeplessness is NOT natural. 

      • Doctors may be trained to prescribe drugs but in my experience very often minimize the side effects.
        I have taken Trazodone twice at extremely low dose. I had chest palpitations and a lasting erection (few hours). It did work bringing me to sleep after 3 hours of suffering. Although it is the only medication I have taken that kept me there, I am not confident I should keep taking it.

        • Chest palpitations are very frightening. Three hours of suffering for some sleep is a tough trade-off. You have a tough decision to make.

  4. Here is a list of the side-effects I can remember off the top of my head while taking Trazodone the past month. First, the entire time I was on it, I thought I had a cold. However, I couldn't shake the cold and finally went to the doctor. My blood pressure was high for the first time in my life and this distressed me greatly. I suspected it was high due to the Trazodone. The doctor, who was very young, suspected allergies and recommended I use an OTC allergy medication. Still, something did not seem right about my blood pressure being high. I am healthy, get regular check-ups, and have never had high blood pressure before. It's always been perfect. (CONT.)

  5. (CONT.)Upon returning home and doing some simple Google searches, I found that high blood pressure is a side-effect that a certain percentage of people experience while using Trazodone. I talked with my prescriber about this and other side-effects I was experiencing and he told me to quit taking it. Anyway, the high blood pressure was just the tip of the iceberg concerning side-effects I experienced while using this very creepy drug. As mentioned, I had cold and flu-like symptoms the entire time I was on it, from headache, itchy and watery eyes and sore throat, to runny nose and plugged-up sinusus. I also became very physically weak and had trouple breathing. Nausea was a problem as well. I had very strange and disturbing dreams, such as strangers appearing and telling me that my parents had died suddenly. (CONT.)

  6. (CONT.) One of the most disturbing things to me about this horrible drug is that it would knock me out (in a bad way) at night and I'd sleep, but I'd always awaken very early in the morning and not be able to get back to sleep no matter how tired I was. Each day I would awake to at least one of the flu-like symptoms. I just hope I can get back to normal soon. I would suggest staying far away from this drug as the potential side-effects are just to great to leave to chance. My experience with Trazodone makes me want to stay away from all psyshiatric medication forever no matter what.

    • Clarke: perhaps you notice the review below this article wherein a reader argues that Trazadone is totally safe and that we don't know what we're talking about because we're not doctors? Horror stories like yours are common whenever folks use medication to sleep, which is a natural function after all and shouldn't require drugs. Good for you for taking command of your own health and thanks so much for sharing your story. It has helped to make me even more cautious and I hope the same is true for everyone who reads your great comments.

      • Thanks, BlissPlan, for your positve feedback. It's nearing a week since I quit taking Trazodone. My blood pressure returned to normal the third day off of Trazodone. The last of the side-effects still remaining are sinus problems. My ears are plugged up and my nose is still slighty runny. The anxiety came in waves for three or 4 days after discontinuation, but seem to have let up now. A couple of nights ago I itched all over, which I sense is part of the withdrawal symptoms, and I could not lie still or sleep. I also suspect that the pain I feel in my ankles is part of the withdrawals from the drug. My energy is slowly returning, but I am exausted from this horrible Trazodone experience.

        • Clarke, I applaud your courage in detoxing from Trazodone. I've read about kicking heroin and other illegal drugs and it sounds like the symptoms you're experiencing. It's wonderful that you're dealing with this now. You WILL come out on the other side of this and feel good again. (Sydney Johnston)

          • I've been taking this medication for 9 years now and have not had any side effects. On the other hand I have an allergy to penicillin. Swings and roundabouts me thinks.

          • Sorry, but we have no idea what 'swings and roundabouts" means in this context?

          • In basic terms I meant that not everyone has a reaction to it such as Clarke has had. It is not a 'creepy drug' as he states. Does that explain it better?

          • By the way I take 450mg of trazodone per day. My mental health is dire. I self harm. I sometimes want to kill myself I also feel as if I want to harm, or kill others. It's not very good.

          • That sounds awful! You need to check that out with a doctor! Is there a relationship between the trazodone and your mental health? If so, you need to wean yourself NOW.

          • Paul, thanks for the clarification. And I agree with you totally – not everyone has bad reactions to these sleeping drugs. For some people, they are at least a temporary answer to insomnia. But for Clarke and many others, it IS a creepy drug even if it works for you. However, how long can a human take this stuff? 10 years? 20 years? 50 years? I certainly don't know and suspect that no one else does, either.

  7. I have been taking trazadone for two and a half years. I take 50 mg each night. I am one of those very few people who have suffered from night terrors all of my life and I'm in my fifties. This small dose of trazadone works so well that I never want to be without it. I will still occasionally have an awful night terror, but they are few. I was having horrible night terrors where I would scream and thrash at least twice a week before taking trazadone. My husband would have to wake me and even then it would take me a long time to recover. Now I have awesome, happy, colorful dreams that I remember. I am a happy sleeper!

  8. I have stopped taking 25mg of Trazadone, after 2-3 years of taking it, for my 14th night without it. Originally prescribed for insomnia after menopause night sweats. The only withdrawal sympom I have had is not getting a good night's sleep yet. I am hopeful that this will pass, as I'm not going back on it! Good luck to you all.

    • Sandra, sadly your experience isn't all that unusual. It is certain that your withdrawal symptoms will eventually pass and I do hope it's soon. (Sydney Johnston)

    • Good or you! I'm off it for 12 days. Taking 2.5melatonim to help with sleep. I feel as if I have waken up from a nightmare. So happy I stopped!! And for you as well. :)

  9. We know the list of side effects is scary, BUT sleeping for 0-2 hrs a night is exasperating, depressing and really overwhelming. The trazodone really seems to work so we are going to take our chances. It is the only thing we have found that works for my husband. Believe me we have a phobia about medication but the lack of sleep was literally killing him.

    • Dora: I truly sympathize. I know what you're going through and agree that you/your husband do whatever is necessary to sleep! One time I was giving a talk to a group of about 40 people – and fell asleep while talking. :-) (Sydney Johnston)

  10. Bartholomew, M.D. says:

    This is not a credible website. People need to understand that the 'facts' stated in this article are not backed up by scientific evidence. This medication is an antidepressant, but is occasionally prescribed off-label to help with insomnia. It is one of the less habit forming medications and is less harmful than taking antihistamines to fall asleep. People suffering from insomnia will agree that if they were able to fall asleep by natural means that they would. There is no magic cure for insomnia and different treatments work for different people.

    • I always love it when drug lovers stop by to argue that chemicals are preferable to Mother nature. You state you are an MD – true or not? – but if you are you, of all people, should know that "scientific evidence" is highly suspect. There have been countless scandals and reports of studies that can be made to conform to any findings. Drug companies have been caught repeatedly 'fudging' their results in order to get approval for suspect drugs.

      Further, you claim this site is not credible – beloved scientific evidence also confirms every single one of the symptoms listed on this page. Here is another source: headache or heaviness in head, nausea, vomiting, bad taste in mouth, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, changes in appetite or weight, weakness or tiredness, nervousness, decreased ability to concentrate or remember things, confusion, nightmares, muscle pain, dry mouth, sweating, blurred vision, tired, red, or itchy eyes, ringing in ears, chest pain, fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection, hives, skin rash, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, hoarseness, decreased coordination, uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body, numbness, burning, or tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet, dizziness or lightheadedness, fainting, painful erection that lasts longer than normal [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a681038.html]

      Having suffered from insomnia for many years, I understand the desperation for sleep and am the very last person to suggest that an exhausted person shouldn't use whatever they can to get relief. But here are 2 indisputable facts:

      1. Every drug – EVERY drug – has side effects!

      2. If we can't sleep, there is a reason. A problem is nature's signal that something is wrong, that there is an imbalance. Drugging that signal is a choice that should be made only by the sleepless person who is in possession of all the facts.

      If some people choose to use Trazodone to sleep, God bless them. I pray it works for them. But there are those who develop serious issues with Trazodone and for people like you to denigrate everyone who disagrees with them does those folks no favor.

  11. I'm new to this website, but it looks like this topic may not ever be completely resolved. Everyone that struggles mercilessly with insomnia has reached a point of desperation at one point or another and I certainly can't fault them for trying all they can to sleep. Yes, there are disadvantages to all forms of forcing our bodies to sleep. I've recently have started taking Trazodone. Not because I'm not concerned about side effects but because I've decided the side effects that I feel (not everyone will have the same) are minimal. Even Melatonin (a hormone touted by many as a natural and almost beneficial alternative) has its own side effects. It is a hormone and supplementing teaching your body not to produce it naturally. My MD even warned me against Melatonin for this reason. He said that studies have proven Trazodone to be safe… but it is different for all. I had a really rough ride with Melatonin as I would get terrible nightmares…. Valerian too… terrible nightmares. There will be ..ALWAYS… issues with whatever pill we put into our bodies to help us sleep. We just have to be sensitive to each other because all things don't work for all people. I've been very happy with my low dose Traz (25 mg). I wake up refreshed and with a full nights sleep. AHHHH finally. But again, we are all different. Its good we share our experiences but we must understand, sleep isn't an exact science. I will stay in real close contact with my doctor and enjoy the benefits of Traz. The alternatives seem (for me) more difficult.

    • Joe, I agree with you 100%! Insomnia is a terrible thing and if Trazodone is working well for you, that's wonderful. We all need to monitor our own reactions and do what works best for our particular body. I hope your good results continue and thanks for sharing. (Sydney)

  12. Tom Petchell says:

    Blissplan is hawking the Miracle 1 and 2 supplements, so she wants you to put something into your body too. Where are the double blinds studies and articles from medical journals on Miracle 1 & 2? Oh, there aren't any because it's only a supplement. No evidence is much more suspect than scientific evidence. Always look to who is providing the "evidence". The health claims made for the Miracle pills sound like the "health" tonics from hundreds of years ago. People that are pushing their own pills are not to be trusted with any health advice. Natural supplements cannot be trusted unless they are tested. They can make all kinds of claims and don't have to prove a thing. Perfect for magical thinkers. Of course, they are probably paying for placebos. Blissplan is basically saying "their pills are bad, but my pills are good". Sure they are. Testimonials are not proof of anything. When humans believe in something, they are sure it is "true". Just look at all the contradicting beliefs in the world. We are a very gullible species and Blissplan is using that to sell her own magic pill.

    • Clearly you find this article very upsetting which likely means that you are most likely either (a) a representative of the medical/drug profession or (b) you have taken this or similar drugs yourself. Either way, you doubt your own judgment or you wouldn't have reacted so strongly to these innocent words. If you were 100% sure or yourself, you would simply yawn and move on.

      First of all, you ask about the ''double blinds studies and articles from medical journals". Since you have no idea what supplements I'm talking about, how do you know there aren't any?

      We do agree on this: "No evidence is much more suspect than scientific evidence. Always look to who is providing the 'evidence'." WHO is providing the evidence for Trazedone? Ah, yes, it's the drug companies who make multi-billion dollars a year selling this stuff. They absolutely must be impartial … not!

      "They can make all kinds of claims and don't have to prove a thing." Actually, there IS proof and it's the best kind in the world. It's our own personal results. If Trazedone works and you're happy with it, no problem. Swallow it down every night. However, anyone who is seeking an alternative can try more natural ways of curing their insomnia. Either way, the question is: does the insomnia sufferer experience deep, restful sleep as a result of Trazedone or supplements? That is the ONLY answer that matters – and it will be different for every single person.

      You mention selling " her own magic pill". We don't manufacture supplements, we don't create supplements, we don't even sell supplements.

      This has to be an incredibly absurd statement: "they are probably paying for placebos". You have no idea what we suggest – but you know they're placebos. No point in even bothering to comment on this.

      The bottom line: there is a large – and growing – percentage of the population that questions the wisdom of putting hundreds of drugs and chemicals into our bodies. I am a simple work-at-home mom of two kids who managed to cure 15+ years of insomnia by lots of experimentation and study. I found natural alternatives and I am happy to share what I've learned with others who don't want to take drugs every day. For those who prefer drugs, take them with my sincere blessings. Your hostility is very misplaced.

  13. LauraBeth says:

    my husband has had horrid nightmares, waking up and not getting back to sleep, trying to choke our kitten, smacking me, screaming at people in his sleep and then being lethargic the next day, due to this drug. he went off it last night and so far he is starting to feel better. he was given it as an antidepressant/insomnia pill.

  14. I have been taken trazodone for about 2 months now and when I went to the dr a little over a keep ago I have pretty high blood pressure. I am not over weight and I am pretty health and have always had a good blood pressure. I have read that is could be a bad sight affect. Has anyone else experienced this and did you quit making trazodone or get put in blood pressure meds??

    • High blood pressure can be serious. You might want to experiment by stoppind the Trazodone for a couple of weeks or a month and seeing what happens.

    • Yes, I was taking Trazodone for 2 years (for insomnia) and my blood pressure increased. I am not overweight, exercise regularly, eat healthy, don't drink, don't smoke. I was also shocked when my last blood work showed that my cholesterol levels had increased as well as blood sugar (pre-diabetic). I gradually weened myself off this drug by cutting tablets in 1/2 for a week, then in 1/4 for a couple of weeks. My insomnia is still a problem and now the Doc wants to give me Temazapam. This also has nasty side-effects–they all do. I'm beginning to think that just suffering through sleepless nights is better than the serious side-effects from drugs… Why are so many people unable to sleep?

      • Sarah, I can't speak for everyone but the single biggest reason we can't sleep is that our minds keep churning out worries, concerns, things-we-have-to-do-tomorrow, etc. I had insomnia for 15+ years and it's a serious problem. I cured mine naturally and we just updated our information of how I did it. <a href="http:// [http://www.blissplan.com/products/natural-sleep-remedies]“ target=”_blank”> <a href="http://http://www.blissplan.com/products/natural-sleep-remedies” target=”_blank”>[http://www.blissplan.com/products/natural-sleep-remedies] After all, sleep is a natural function of every living creature and when we can't sleep it's the sign of an imbalance somewhere. The answer is to cure the imbalance, rather than drug ourselves to sleep. Congratulations of weaning yourself from the Trazodone. (Sydney)

  15. I find it interesting that not one reply above suggests any alternatives to popping a pill if you’re having trouble with sleep. I find it unfortunate that in our society today, our medical profession supports a prescription for every ailment, but that may tell you something of the cozy relationship between doctors and the drug manufacturers.

    Meditation is free and one of the first things you should try if having trouble sleeping. Bio-feedback and homeopathic Coffea Cruda are two other drug-free options.

    There is so much information available at our fingertips these days with the internet, there’s no reason not to educate yourself. With our fast-paced daily lives it can be devastating and debilitating dealing with severe sleep issues, but please take a few moment and investigate alternatives to taking drugs that may upset the balance within your body.

  16. i was prescribed trazodone. Started with 50mg. Didn't help. so the doctor gradually got me up to 200mg before it worked for sleep. I read you can take up to 400mg max. I took it for 6 years. worked great. Then i got curious what i would be like to be free of it. I weaned my self off. For the next 3 months i could not get enough sleep.( did not have sleep probs before i was prescribed. Doc started me when i started having back and hip pain from degeneration. So when i couldn't deal with the lack of sleep. I got back on it and eventually back up to 200 mg. I'm wondering if i had never ever taken it. would i be having the same probs sleeping as during those 3 months.

    • It's amazing that a doctor would proscribe Trazedone (or any other drug!) to someone who doesn't need it!!! Shame on him! Blessings on you, Tammy. I sincerely hope you get free of this stuff one of these days.

  17. have had no problems with trazodone and have had sleep issues since i was a child. very difficult to function normally in life when you can't sleep. have tried all natural remedies. have been able to sleep on nights without it if I forgot it when i was out somewhere without any big withdrawal nightmare or anything. cut dose in half recently to be less tired in the morning with no side effects. my personal experience with this medication is extremely positive, but i do realize that everyone is different with different types of chemistry. have been on this for about a year now.

    • Robin, it's great that your experience has been so positive. I especially agree with this: "very difficult to function normally in life when you can't sleep". It's a nightmare, actually! But I do wonder how many years you can safely take the drug? Or will your body get used to it so that it no longer 'works'?

      • Yes your body gets used to it. I stopped after realizing it was having adverse effects. Yes, you sleep like a zombie but you can hurt yourself without knowing that it is powerfully strong or you wouldn’t have withdrawal symptoms. There are non drug like’ methods to sleep. And get back to being Alife! Research further. Good luck

  18. The problem with your article is that it's forcing your experience onto everyone else, saying that because you could do it naturally then of course we all can. There are some whose insomnia is certainly a product of naturally treatable problems. However, there are also those whose aren't. Both my brother and I are bipolar, and when we start getting manic we tend to skip sleeping, which leads to even worse and dangerous mood swings. When one is becoming manic it is impossible to sleep because of all the restlessness and agitation and the overpowering desire to "go go go." There are some natural supplements for bipolar, but that's exactly what they are–supplements. The fact of the matter is that our condition does not allow us to sleep without a pill aiding our brain chemistry. Your post is potentially harmful because it does not acknowledge situations that are simply beyond our control. Genetics and brain chemistry won't change just by taking fish oils, doing meditation, exercising, etc. Those things help but are not the "cure-all" that you imply them to be. Also, I find your defense of your article to be very tiring and ignorant: "You're only responding with hostility because you take drugs yourself and are offended! Therefore you are wrong." This is, frankly, rather idiotic because you are ignorant of the facts.

    • If you’ve bothered to read our responses, you will see that we are totally sympathetic to those who use Trazodone and other sleeping pills. If it works for you, then great! But to call me ‘idiotic’ and ‘ignorant’ is a statement about YOU, not about me or anyone on my staff. 15+ years of insomnia, uncountable hours of research and experimentation plus consultation with medical people – both drug-oriented and holistic – makes me anything but ignorant about insomnia. Also, you’ve chosen to ignore all the comments from others about their negative effects from Trazodone.

    • To BlissPlan's response: Actually, I read every single response. I strongly believe in understanding something fully before criticizing it. I did notice that you were trying to be supportive, but usually near the end of appealing to people's sensitivities, you would slip in a subtly negative comment (i.e. "But I do wonder how many years you can safely take the drug? Or will your body get used to it so that it no longer 'works'?") which is not okay. I don't think you have the right to worry people about a future that might not actually be negative because it takes away from their excitement about finally finding a way to get a good night's sleep. It takes away from the joy of the now and adds to the worry of the future.

      I agree that my comment was somewhat needlessly hostile towards the end (not my intention, but I was getting worked up) and I am truly sorry for that.

      I also know all about the negative side effects of trazodone, both from reading others' experiences and my own. Trazodone is not a sleeping medication that works me. It a) doesn't help me sleep and actually makes me agitated during the night, b) gave me flu-like symptoms, c) made me feel drowsy and drugged the next day, and d) made me incredibly unsteady. So I am fully aware that it doesn't work for some. I don't, however, see the problem with trying it out to see if it might actually work for one's self. If it does, great! If it doesn't, it is easy to quit taking it because the side effects usually come into effect sooner than later. It does work for my brother, so I neither love it nor condemn it.

      In my earlier post the main point I was trying to make was that people all have different problems to deal with, about which you know nothing, so touting your way (however subtly) above all others is wrong. Simple as that. And to say that you "suspect X person of taking drugs themselves and are therefore only trying to justify there habits" is rude. That is all i was trying to say at the end of my comment. I didn't mean you were idiotic about insomnia, as I had already read that you had struggled with it for over a decade and I would never accuse someone of something without being certain of their fault (which I did not see in you in the case of your knowledge). For some there is no other option but drugs, and that's okay.

      Sorry if this comment came off as rude as well. I don't think it does, but I am socially inept when it comes to speaking my mind–people usually get hurt, which is NEVER my intention. So if you feel attacked, I am sincerely not trying to do so.

      • Gwen, I appreciate your response and I, too, have no intention of being rude. But I don't think it's negative to ask the question of future drug safety. If someone has insomnia and takes Trazodone or other sleeping medication for two years, for example, and then has to quit … what then? They still have the insomnia problem but now they have the withdrawal problems and possibly physical damage from taking the drug. The only time I've ever taken a drug was when I developed Graves disease (a thyroid problem) and I only took it for three months, fortunately. My doctor was said that if I took it for very long it would damage my kidneys. What a choice! ALL drugs have side effects and it's important to think of those. I'm sorry if you think that is some sly way of being negative but it isn't. And thanks for sharing your symptoms.

  19. This article was written at 3:08 a.m. Someone's alternative sleep aid must not be working for them.

  20. I have been in hell for the past five days suffering with hives and a severe rash all over my body. There is no relief. I went to the Dr and he did not suggest that Trazodone could have those side effects. I'm so glad I looked it up. I will stop taking it starting today and hopefully the burning, itching, all consuming pain will go away.

    • Barbara, that's awful! Itching can absolutely drive you M-A-D! Let's hope the Trazodone is the culprit because, if so, it's an easy fix. Let us know – and good luck!

  21. I have been on Trazadone for about 8 months. I started noticing about 5-6 weeks ago my vision was getting blurry and I experienced double vision. And within 10 minutes after I take it at bedtime, my nose becomes completely stuffed up and unable to breathe through my nose….for the last couple months my nose runs and drips like water, but I have been to dr several times assuming sinus problems but to no avail. Now for several weeks my head hurts not just actual headaches, dizziness and a heaviness of my head, my eyes feel like they are bulging out of my head. I am seeing my eye dr next week and then a neurologist for my head to check for MS. 2 nights ago I decided to stop the Trazadone and after reading these comments I think I might know what the cause of my problems are now. I also, take Pristique and Wellbutrin for depression. My Psychiatrist did advise me to watch and be aware for Seretonin Syndrome. JEESH….could Trazadone be causing all these side effects/symptoms?

    • The only way to find out if Trazedone is the culprit is to stop taking it for a while and see if your symptoms disappear. Wouldn't it be amazing if the answer is that simple? Good luck to you – and PLEASE let us know what happens!

      • I used klonopin to get off trazedone cold turkey. I was on 50mg/night for a month. Withdrawal was so bad that I used .5mg of klonopin for about 10 days to get off trazedone. I highly suggest using another drug to help with the symptoms. Just as long as you don't get addicted to the other drug, lol.

  22. This is all very interesting to read. I have been trazadone free for 15 days. My worries are gone. If your problem is not depression, but insomnia, I believe this is not a good option. I went thru a few withdrawl symptoms and nothing I couldn't handle. Most of all I am so happy to be free of it. I took melatonim as prescribed and life back to normal. Anyone can do it If not get medical advise and it might be the proper drug for some people. Wish best for others '

  23. 21 days off. Only remaining symptom sleep patterns not 100%. It' might take time for process but I'm extremely happy to be off that so called 'antidepressant. Research, talk and be calmed. Every thing has solutions and a little less sleep one day or other is not the end. No?

  24. I was prescribed 50MG Trazodone two weeks ago off-label as a sleep aid. I take no other antidepressants. My doc thought it would be a good fit as I have depression, insomnia, and recently recovered from a drinking problem. I'm pleased overall. It knocks me out inside of an hour & keeps me asleep all night. Slight mood improvement. However, I always sleep too much (10-12 hrs) and like a rock. Taking a lower dose doesn't put me to sleep. I've experienced mild congestion, dry mouth, and significant (though not debilitating) drop in libido. Perhaps not the best long term solution.

    • Dan, I'm glad the side effects aren't too bad. You do seem to be caught between the classic 'rock and hard place', though … either too much sleep or you can't sleep at all. Bummer.

  25. Ashok Sethi says:

    I hear a lot of controversy over whether or not anti-depressant drugs should be taken or not, while I can agree
    that trazodone may be a better fit for insomnia as a side effect of depression I can't understand why the author
    thinks that the "sleep drugs" are any better for people not depressed. The sleep drugs like Lunesta and Ambien
    are effective at treating insomnia, until your tolerance builds. Eventually with these retarded drugs that should
    only be used in the short term, you will only be feeding your own tolerance and the sedative effects will become less and less effective. Really this is your solution over Trazodone? Trazodone doesn't cause traditional withdrawal
    in most people, not saying nobody will have trouble getting off of it but generally rebound insomnia occurs with
    any drug that is taken for sleep. Any z-drug or sleep drug taken in the long-term is a terrible idea, and I'm not
    sure why you're trying to suggest it they are more addictive more habit forming and are capable of producing
    life-threatening withdrawals. Any drug that effects GABA levels are capable of producing seizures in the
    immediate absence of the drug. So yeah, if you want to take a truly addictive substance to help your sleep, do
    what this author recommends and take the sleep drugs like every other retard. The intent of this article is good,
    but your recommendations are far worse than Trazodone and those sleep drugs he recommends instead are
    garbage in the long-term and are actually known to develop true tolerance (extremely fast) and dependence!
    I really hope this article doesn't make people ask their doctors about Lunesta or Ambien, their blood is on your
    hands.

    • "Sleep drugs"? Where in the world did you get that idea? WE DON'T RECOMMEND DRUGS OF ANY KIND! We only use natural substances that are naturally produced by the body and they:

      1) aren't addictive
      2) don't cause seizures
      3) have no life-threatening withdrawal

      The "Z drugs" that you mention are nonbenzodiazepine drugs like zopiclone, AKA Imovane and zolpidem, AKA Ambien. We DO NOT RECOMMEND THESE IN ANY WAY!!!

      Perhaps you'd better re-read this article before making statements that have no basis in fact. Your ignorance is only equaled by your rudeness and disrespect "like every other retard".

  26. UtahRed says:

    I love trazodone. I have both depression and insomnia. This totally does the trick but im on really low dose. I have been on trazodone for 3 years. I think people who are on high doses probably are more likely to suffer side effects. I take 50mg – no problems. I sleep like a baby. I have tried all the natural alternatives first before I turned to this drug. Nothing natural worked. I went an entire month without sleeping at all and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Believe me when you haven't slept for one month, you will try anything. I weighed the pros and cons…and decided I would rather have quality of life than live struggling effecting my family and my sanity. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to survive.

    • "Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to survive." Yes, absolutely. If Trazodone works for you, then you should use it. Drugs ALWAYS have side effects, though, so be alert in the future.

  27. my 15 yr. old daughter recently cut herself really bad in an attempt to end her life or a cry for help, I don't really know, but as a result she signed herself into a psychiatric center ( in Pa. anyone 14yrs and older has the "right" to do this without parental consent) as a result she has been put on 60 mg. of Cymbalta during the day and 25 mg. of trazadone to help her sleep! I am outraged and angry that a child of this age is allowed to make decisions that may cause her more harm than what she did to herself! she has only been on trazadone for 7 days, last night she had some friends sleep over and didn't take her pill and slept just fine.. wondering how dangerous it is to not take this med. after taking it for a short time.

    • Deb, I know you're bleeding inside over your daughter. Drugging children is pretty rough stuff but the medical personnel don't know what else to do. This is really tricky and I know you're very alarmed. Bless you and your 15 year old and sincere best wishes for the future.

      And by the way, I can offer some non-medical advice: check out "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle and see if it helps you to understand what's happening to your precious child.

    • Hello Deb,

      I am truly sorry that your daughter is going through such a hard time. I hope by now she is feeling somewhat better. I myself have suffered from serious bipolar depression since I was fourteen. My parents went the holistic route but nothing worked. I am not knocking that because it does help some people. However it wasn't until I was an adult that I went on medication. Medication has literally saved my life. True there can be bad side effects but most of the time I haven't had any. But even something as innocuous as aspirin can kill you. I go by the cost/benefit ratio. If it is helping me then I can live with minor side effects. I would suggest that you keep your options open. Since this is a crisis situation due to the fact that she attempted suicide it seems to me that it would be best to go with a professional. Maybe later on you can explore other options. Always, always talk to the doctor if there are serious side effects.

      I hope this helps a little bit and i wish you and your daughter luck.

  28. Why is it so hard to get a Dr to prescribe Ambien, but so readily prescribed Trazodone? In the past 10 yrs I have had 3-4 prescriptions for Ambien, and I used the med very carefully, only when really needed. The med was safe and effective… Trazldone… it appears the SIDE EFFECT is the sought medicinal effect

    • Roy, it's smart that you're so careful with Ambien. As for why doctors easily prescribe Trazodone, I don't know. I don't go to doctors – but sometimes I wonder if they read the literature about the drugs they so easily prescribe?

  29. Let us know when you're better, please. It would be helpful for other readers to know how long it takes to get clear of the detox symptoms. (Sydney)

  30. i sure wil let you know. Each night gets easier to get more sleep.

  31. Yeah! That's great. Hopefully, the worst is over. (Sydney)

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