Does Trazodone cause aggression? (+3 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Trazodone can cause aggression. We will also discuss some research studies and what one should do if this side effect occurs.

Does Trazodone cause aggression?

Yes, trazodone may cause aggression and agitation. This effect is more common in individuals who are new to Trazodone or other antidepressants in general.

Trazodone is an antidepressant responsible for regulating mood and improving anxiety issues (1). However, during the initial days of treatment with trazodone, one may become short on temper and get angry over minor inconveniences. 

But these effects begin to subside when Trazodone kicks in within 2-4 weeks. When your antidepressant finally starts to work, it elevates your mood, increases your energy levels, and makes you feel good overall. However, it can make you feel worse before making you feel better.

How does Trazodone cause aggression?

Trazodone is an antidepressant. It increases the level of serotonin in the brain, which is responsible for stabilizing and elevating mood and reducing sadness and hopelessness associated with depression anxiety and other mood disorders (1).

However, Trazodone usually impacts one’s mood during the initial phase of the therapy. This usually happens because Trazodone produces dose-related central nervous system (CNS) stimulant effects in your brain, which may initially feel too much and irritate you. 

The exact reasons behind these mood disturbances are not fully understood and may depend on individual factors and the specific interaction between the medication and brain chemistry.

Individuals may experience fluctuations in their mood and emotional well-being but as they continue their treatment, Trazodone effectively stabilizes their mood.

What does research suggest?

There is limited research indicating aggression induced by Trazodone. However, Trazodone being an antidepressant can also help with aggression. 

One study indicated that when Trazodone was given to nine patients, they showed improvement in their behavioural and psychological symptoms. Specifically, six patients saw a reduction in aggression and negative behaviours. This suggests that Trazodone could be helpful in treating certain types of behavioural symptoms, particularly aggression (2).

According to research, antidepressants can cause depression and agitation in the early phase of treatment, on discontinuation of treatment, and during the treatment if the dosage is increased (3).

It is important to note that these effects may not occur in everyone and mood disturbances may vary from person to person depending on individual factors.

What factors can contribute to aggression in Trazodone users?

Individual sensitivity

Every individual is different and responds differently to medications due to their unique genetic makeup and chemistry. This is why some individuals are more susceptible to Trazodone-induced aggression.

Dosage and duration

The dosage of a medication directly influences its effects. Higher doses may increase the likelihood and intensity of side effects produced by Trazodone. People responding well to the lower doses may experience side effects after dose escalation. With Trazodone, adhering to the prescribed dose is crucial to minimize adverse reactions.

Side effects may evolve as the body adjusts to the medication. Initially, some side effects might be more pronounced and diminish as the body gets used to the medication. Conversely, some side effects might appear after prolonged use.


Age can also affect how a medication behaves in the body. Older adults or young individuals may metabolise medications differently potentially impacting the occurrence and severity of side effects. Elderly individuals may be more prone to experience Trazodone-induced side effects than younger ones.

Drug interactions

Interactions with other medications or substances you are taking can also contribute to aggression. It is important to inform your healthcare provider about any medications, herbal supplements or substances you are taking to minimise the risk of drug interactions.

Pre-existing conditions

Aggression may be linked to the underlying medical conditions for which Trazodone is prescribed. It is important to discuss it with your healthcare provider.

What to do if Trazodone causes aggression?

If you experience Trazodone-induced aggression, take the following steps:

Consult your healthcare provider

If you are experiencing aggression as a side effect of Trazodone, it is crucial to communicate this with your doctor. Sometimes, adjusting the dosage or trying a different medication within the same class might be recommended.

Your doctor will consider various factors, including your overall health, medical history and the specific symptoms you are experiencing. If trazodone is the main culprit, your doctor will determine an alternative treatment strategy for you.

Always remember not to make any changes to your treatment plan on your own as it can cause horrible withdrawal symptoms further worsening your condition (4).

Behavioural therapy

Behavioural therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), or dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) for reducing aggression involve various techniques and interventions aimed at helping individuals manage their aggressive behaviours (5).

It can help individuals learn to manage their emotions, cope with stress and address the underlying cause of aggression.

Stress management

Stress reduction techniques like mindfulness, meditation and relaxation exercises can prove valuable in mitigating aggression that may occur during Trazodone therapy.

Lifestyle changes

Making changes in one’s daily life, like reducing or eliminating factors that contribute to aggression, such as alcohol or substance use can be essential.

Based on my knowledge and the research available, Trazodone is an effective medication for treating depression, however, its potential to lead to aggressive behaviour cannot be dismissed. It is important to note that not everyone will experience this side effect and the response to Trazodone varies from person to person.

Open communication with a healthcare professional throughout the treatment can help to decrease the risk of aggression and ensure the best possible outcome for those seeking help for aggression and anxiety.


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