Does Trazodone cause panic attacks? (+3 factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether Trazodone can cause panic attacks. We will also discuss some factors influencing panic attacks while taking Trazodone and what one should do if this side effect occurs.

Does Trazodone cause panic attacks?

Trazodone does not necessarily cause panic attacks. However, Trazodone is used to treat panic attacks. Trazodone is approved by the FDA to treat depression and related mental health conditions and insomnia (1).

Some patients may experience panic attacks when they begin taking Trazodone. This initial discomfort occurs because Trazodone takes about 1-4 weeks to start working. However, it may subside when your body gets used to the medication.

If you experience panic attacks while taking Trazodone reach out to your healthcare provider for personalized guidance and treatment plans.

How does Trazodone cause panic attacks?

Trazodone may cause panic attacks during the early course of treatment. Trazodone works by altering certain neurotransmitter levels in the brain. When you first start taking the medication, your body takes time to adjust to this change (2).

During this adjustment period, some patients may experience episodes of panic attacks, stress or anxiety. This discomfort fades away on its own as your body adjusts to the medication and you may start to feel better after 1-4 weeks.

Improvements in appetite, sleep, mood and energy levels may indicate that you are responding well to the medication. However, Trazodone may take around 8-12 weeks to show its complete therapeutic effects.

It is important to know that every individual responds differently to medications, especially those meds which affect brain chemistry.

What are the factors that may cause panic attacks with Trazodone?

Certain factors may induce panic attacks while taking Trazodone. These include:

Individual sensitivity

Each person is unique and has a unique genetic makeup due to which they respond differently to medications, especially those meds which affect brain chemistry.

This is why some individuals might be more sensitive to the effects of Trazodone, leading to an increase in anxiety or triggering panic attacks.

Dosage and duration

The dosage of a medication directly influences its effects. Higher doses may increase the intensity and likelihood of side effects such as nausea, joint pain, vomiting, muscle pain, acid reflux, sweating etc produced by Trazodone (3).

People responding well to the lower doses may experience side effects after the dose escalation. With Trazodone, adhering to the prescribed dose is crucial to minimize adverse reactions.

Side effects may evolve over time as the body adjusts to the medication. Initially, some side effects might be more pronounced and diminish as the body becomes used to the drug. 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 metabolize 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

The interaction of Trazodone with other medications such as tranquillizers can potentially increase the risk of panic attacks. It is important to inform your doctor about all medications, herbal supplements or substances you are taking to minimize the risk of drug interactions.

Pre-existing conditions

Patients with underlying health conditions such as anxiety disorder or bipolar disorder might be more susceptible to experiencing panic attacks when taking Trazodone.

What to do if Trazodone causes panic attacks?

If you suspect that Trazodone is causing panic attacks, it is important to reach out to your healthcare provider.

Your doctor may initially adjust your dosage to see if it works for you. By lowering the dose the side effects may subside. However, if dose reduction does not work, your doctor may gradually discontinue your medication or may switch to another medication with fewer side effects.

Side effects might be alleviated through lifestyle changes, such as practising good sleep hygiene, eating a balanced diet and avoiding alcohol and caffeine consumption.

If Trazodone-induced panic attacks are becoming bothersome, do not discontinue the medication on your own as it can cause withdrawal symptoms further worsening your condition (4).

Based on research and my knowledge, it is evident that Trazodone usually does not induce panic attacks; in fact, it is used to treat depression and related mental health conditions.

Some patients may experience panic attacks when they first start taking Trazodone, but these symptoms may dissappear as your body adjusts to the medication. However, if panic symptoms persist you should consult your doctor.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!


Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site