Does trazodone affect urination? (+5 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether trazodone affects urination. We will also explore the factors that may increase the risk of trazodone-induced urinary problems, as well as research studies providing evidence of this side effect of trazodone.

Does trazodone affect urination?

Yes, trazodone does affect urination. It may lead to urinary retention or urinary incontinence in some individuals who take this medication. However, it is not frequently reported as a side effect compared to other side effects such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, fatigue, dry mouth, and insomnia.

Trazodone is an antidepressant medication commonly used in the management of various health conditions, including depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and pain. Additionally, it is useful in patients with underlying obsessive-compulsive disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (1).

What does research suggest?

According to research, the risk of urinary problems, such as urinary retention, is less commonly associated with trazodone; however, some individuals may experience this issue (2).

A research study reported a case in which a patient who administered a high dosage of trazodone for the management of underlying depression experienced severe drowsiness, loss of coordination, cardiovascular side effects, and urinary retention all within hours after taking this medication (3).

 In another study, an elderly female patient reported severe urinary incontinence after taking a low dose of trazodone at 50mg daily for a few days. She had been taking trazodone for managing underlying mental disorders and insomnia, with no history of urinary incontinence. The patient discontinued the medication due to the reported urinary incontinence (4). 

What factors may influence trazodone-induced urinary problems?

Various factors may increase the risk of experiencing urinary problems with trazodone. These factors may include:

Individual sensitivity to trazodone: The degree of an individual’s sensitivity to trazodone can contribute to the likelihood of urinary issues. Some patients are more susceptible to experiencing the uncommon side effects of trazodone, including urinary retention.

Concurrent use of medications: The simultaneous use of medications with trazodone can also cause urinary retention. For example, sympathomimetic medications can increase the risk of urinary retention when used alongside trazodone.

Underlying medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as prostate enlargement in males, can increase the risk of urinary retention or incontinence in patients taking trazodone to manage their mental health disorders or any other condition.

Dosage of trazodone: Higher dosages of trazodone are associated with a higher risk of experiencing less common side effects, including urinary retention. Research studies have provided evidence linking higher dosages of trazodone with serious urinary issues, including prolonged urinary retention.

Age: Advanced age can be an additional factor influencing the risk of urinary problems with trazodone. The use of trazodone in elderly patients may cause uncommon side effects, as they are physically and physiologically weaker than younger adults.

What to do if trazodone affects urination?

Urinary problems are not common with trazodone; however, if you experience symptoms of urinary retention, such as abdominal pain or difficulty emptying your bladder with a sudden urge to urinate again after urination, you should consult your healthcare provider.

These side effects are more prevalent during the initial phase of treatment or due to the high dosage of trazodone. Your healthcare provider may assess your condition and make changes to your treatment plan, either by reducing the dosage of trazodone or discontinuing the medication altogether. However, discontinuation should be done gradually to avoid unwanted withdrawal symptoms.

Your healthcare provider may recommend an alternative to trazodone for managing your mental health that is less likely to cause urinary problems. These medications may include duloxetine, imipramine, and escitalopram. The choice of a suitable medication should be based on the patient’s individual condition and overall health.

How to manage trazodone-induced urinary problems?

The management of trazodone-induced urinary problems, including urinary retention or incontinence, may involve a combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches.

Pharmacological approaches may include the use of medications like tamsulosin and alfuzosin, which relax smooth muscles to improve urine flow.

Additionally, oxybutynin can be used to enhance overall bladder function, and mirabegron for the effective management of an overactive bladder. However, It’s crucial to note that your healthcare provider should make the selection of an appropriate medication based on your individual symptoms to prevent unwanted side effects.

Non-pharmacological approaches may involve:

  • catheterization, to relieve immediate pressure on the bladder by draining urine
  • lifestyle adjustments, such as daily exercises like pelvic floor exercises, that can strengthen the bladder
  • adequate fluid intake, as dehydration, can exacerbate symptoms
  • stress-reducing exercises, that may contribute to overall health

In my opinion, urinary problems with trazodone are less common. However, if you experience any symptoms related to urination, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

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Shin JJ, Saadabadi A. Trazodone. [Updated 2022 Jul 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


Cuomo A, Ballerini A, Bruni AC, Decina P, Di Sciascio G, Fiorentini A, Scaglione F, Vampini C, Fagiolini A. Clinical guidance for the use of trazodone in major depressive disorder and concomitant conditions: pharmacology and clinical practice. Riv Psichiatr. 2019 Jul-Aug;54(4):137-149. doi: 10.1708/3202.31796. PMID: 31379379.


Mohan G, Ajitkumar A, Bhide P, Ravilla J, Kramer V. Trazodone Overdose Manifesting as Hypotension and QT Prolongation. Cureus. 2023 Mar 29;15(3):e36871. doi: 10.7759/cureus.36871. PMID: 37123743; PMCID: PMC10147490.

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