Does trazodone dehydrate you? (+3 tips)
In this article, we will discuss whether trazodone dehydrates you. We will also talk about the possible mechanism through which trazodone can cause dehydration and other relevant information.
Does trazodone dehydrate you?
Trazodone does not generally cause dehydration. Dehydration is not an officially documented or frequently reported side effect of trazodone. However, individual responses vary and trazodone may cause dehydration in some individuals.
Trazodone is an antidepressant and is classified as a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI). It is used to treat conditions like major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety, and insomnia (1).
Dehydration is not a frequently reported symptom in trazodone. However, some individuals may experience dehydration because potential side effects vary from person to person.
How can trazodone dehydrate you?
The exact mechanism through which trazodone may dehydrate an individual is not known. However, trazodone results in some side effects that may lead to dehydration.
Dehydration occurs when water loss from the body exceeds water consumption. The water loss can occur through the skin, kidneys, or gastrointestinal tract. Individuals can be dehydrated if they do not drink enough water.
Trazodone is associated with some side effects that result in water loss from the body. However, these side effects are well-tolerated and are not so intense that it leads to dehydration. Some of these side effects are less frequently reported.
The side effects of trazodone that may lead to excessive water loss include (2):
- increased urinary frequency (less frequent)
It is important to remember that above mentioned side effects of trazodone are not so intense and may not occur in every individual. However, these side effects if occur may lead to excessive water loss and dehydrate the individual.
Does trazodone’s impact on water balance cause dehydration?
Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) plays a significant role in balancing the water in the body or maintaining water homeostasis. When it is released, the kidneys reabsorb more water (3). A deficiency of ADH can lead to dehydration.
Trazodone, in some cases, can cause the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) which results in increased ADH secretion.
Thus, due to SIADH, the kidneys reabsorb more water which dilutes sodium concentration in the body and results in hyponatremia (2).
Although trazodone may influence the water balance in the body, it does not cause excessive water loss or dehydration due to this mechanism. Trazodone-induced dehydration may be due to water loss through sweating and diarrhea.
What side effects of trazodone may look like dehydration?
Dehydration is characterized by symptoms that may also occur as side effects of trazodone. Thus, experiencing these symptoms does not indicate dehydration as they might be the side effects of trazodone. Symptoms of dehydration include (3):
- dry lips and skin
- reduced urine output
- orthostatic hypotension
The following side effects of trazodone may be mistaken for dehydration symptoms since they overlap (1):
- orthostatic hypotension
Thus, experiencing these side effects of trazodone does not indicate dehydration. However, some individuals may be dehydrated while taking trazodone due to several reasons.
What can dehydrate you while taking trazodone?
Several factors can dehydrate you while taking trazodone. They include:
Inadequate fluid intake:
If you do not consume adequate fluids while taking trazodone, your body’s need for water is not fulfilled and you are likely to be dehydrated.
Working in extremely hot or humid weather or extreme physical exercise can cause excessive sweating which can result in more water loss than you are consuming.
Excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption:
Excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine will increase your urine output because they have diuretic effects. Using them while taking trazodone can make you dehydrated if water consumption is less.
Medications and health conditions:
Several health conditions like vomiting, diarrhea, and issues that increase urination like diabetes can cause excessive water loss. Medications that increase urinary output like diuretics can also dehydrate you while taking trazodone.
What to do if you are dehydrated while taking trazodone?
If you feel like you are dehydrated while taking trazodone, you can use the following tips:
- ensure that you consume plenty of fluids throughout the day
- consuming foods rich in water content like soups, broths, and fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, and lettuce can help you maintain adequate hydration
- avoid excessive intake of salty foods as they increase the body’s requirement for water
- avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine as they increase urine output and cause water loss.
- monitor the dehydration symptoms like decreased urine output, dark urine, dry lips, and increased thirst. If you experience these symptoms, increase your water intake
In my perspective, trazodone does not generally cause dehydration but some individuals may be dehydrated as the individual response to medication may vary. Trazodone’s impact on water balance is not associated with dehydration.
Trazodone results in some side effects that can be confused with dehydration. It also causes side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating that can cause excessive water loss.
Certain factors can also contribute to excessive water loss while taking trazodone. It is important to consume adequate water to maintain the hydration status while taking trazodone.
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Taylor K, Jones EB. Adult Dehydration. [Updated 2022 Oct 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555956/