Affiliated Medical Group


Trazodone Hydrochloride is a generic medication which is usually called "Trazodone." Some of its brand names are: Desyrel, Oleptro, and Desyrel Dividose.

Trazodone Hydrochloride is an antidepressant medication which is commonly used off-label for the treatment of Insomnia. It is generally well tolerated; however, the side effect potential is listed below. When appropriate, we begin a trial of this medication to see if it helps or not. If it creates too many side effects then it is not for you and you should let your provider know. Likewise, if this medicine does not help you sleep better, then it is not for you either - let your provider know. A sleep aid such as Trazodone would ordinarily be taken about 30 minutes before bedtime, but the onset of the effect of this medicine can vary widely so some degree of adjustment as to the timing for personal preference will be necessary.

When our providers start a new medication trial, usually, medications are started at the lowest dose possible for safety then adjusted upward to determine the optimal dose. Trazodone is often started with 25mg (half of a 50mg tablet cut using a pill cutter). Then, the dose sometimes needs to be raised to 50mg (the whole pill) and beyond. Now, everybody is quite different, so some people may need even lower doses (perhaps 12.5mg) while others may need substantially higher doses (400mg or more). The way to determine which dose is best for you is to "start low and go slow." That means that you start with a low dose as mentioned above, but you would increase the dose to the point where it is helping you sleep better and you are satisfied with the outcome. If side effects interfere with the trial, you must use your judgment in consultation with the provider as to whether the benefits are greater than the side effects from the medicine.

Trazodone is normally prescribed to be taken by itself as the sole sleep aid, however, other sleep aids may be added to it in exceptional circumstances of profound insomnia. In those cases, the method to add the new medicine is to lower the dose of Trazodone to minimal levels, then add the new medicine, and increase them together so as to get the best sleep on the lowest dose of both medicines.

Some of the side effects include:

Feeling "groggy" or Drowsy the next morning
Feeling weak or lethargic

This is a small list. A more extensive list can be found on the package insert.
As with most medications, insurance companies prefer to pay for generic versions.

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