Does trazodone give you energy? (3+ factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether trazodone gives you energy. We will also discuss how trazodone affects energy levels, research findings on the impact of trazodone on energy, and other relevant information. 

Does trazodone give you energy? 

Trazodone has varying impacts on energy levels and initially, it decreases the energy level due to its sedative effects. However, as it improves sleep quality and reduces depression, eventually the energy levels are improved. 

Trazodone is an antidepressant from the class of serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs) and is primarily used to treat major depressive disorder (MDD). Due to its sedative properties, it is also used for sleep disturbances like insomnia (1). 

Trazodone decreases energy levels as fatigue and tiredness are its officially documented and frequently reported side effects (1). However, once it improves depression and sleep quality, individuals may experience improved energy levels. 

How does trazodone impact energy levels?

Trazodone impacts energy levels due to its interaction with various neurotransmitters, sedative effects, and antidepressant effects as described below: 

Trazodone-induced sedation:

Trazodone has sedative properties because it functions as an antagonist at some serotonin receptors, histamine (H1) receptors, and alpha-1 adrenergic receptors (1). This action makes a person sleepy and makes it hard to wake up

Due to its sedative effects, trazodone calms down an individual and results in the common side effects of drowsiness and dizziness. The overall effect of this action is decreased alertness and reduced energy levels. 

Trazodone-induced fatigue: 

Fatigue is a frequently reported side effect of trazodone which decreases the energy levels of an individual.

Fatigue can be a result of sedation and drowsiness, or due to the inhibitory effects of trazodone on serotonin reuptake which increases serotonin levels (1). Agents that increase serotonin have been shown to increase fatigue in animal models (2). 

Serotonin increase can cause fatigue by decreasing dopamine. Dopamine has a direct relation with energy levels and reduced dopamine decreases energy and results in fatigue (2). 

Improvement in sleep quality and depression: 

Trazodone is used to treat insomnia and the doses used solely for this purpose (25-100mg) do not result in daytime drowsiness (3). Thus an individual who takes trazodone at night and sleeps properly experiences improved energy the next day.

Additionally, trazodone effectively treats MDD and a lack of energy is one of the core symptoms of MDD. As depression symptoms improve, individuals experience improved energy levels and mood. 

Trazodone-associated grogginess, drowsiness, or hangover may last up to a few weeks and once the body adjusts to the medication individuals may experience improved energy levels. 

What does research suggest?

The evidence on the efficacy of trazodone in treating MDD is abundant which also indicates an improvement in energy levels along with other symptoms. However, fatigue is also a frequently reported side effect of trazodone. 

One study aimed to investigate how well the prolonged-release formulation of trazodone works in treating depression. The results revealed that trazodone was effective and the most common side effects were fatigue and somnolence (4). 

Another study explored the benefits of trazodone in treating erectile dysfunction. Results revealed that trazodone was effective and fatigue was one of the common side effects experienced (5). 

Trazodone has an established efficacy in treating MDD and addressing different associated symptoms including sleep disturbances. It has a low side effect profile and as per the research, somnolence and dizziness are common side effects (6). 

Thus, the research indicates that trazodone side effects may result in low energy levels. However, the improvement in MDD indicates that it positively affects energy levels once it starts to work. 

What other factors contribute to trazodone’s effect on energy levels?

While trazodone declines your energy levels in the initial phases of treatment, some factors may amplify its effects which are as follows (7): 

Lack of sleep: 

Individuals with poor sleep schedules experienced declined energy levels while taking trazodone. Trazodone has sedative effects and is recommended to be taken at night to improve sleep quality. 

However, if someone does not sleep well due to work or other reasons, they are likely to experience low energy. 

Unhealthy lifestyle: 

An unhealthy lifestyle contributes to low energy levels. A diet high in sugary and processed foods contributes to energy slumps. Lack of exercise and inadequate hydration also cause fatigue and low energy. 

Hormonal changes: 

Some conditions like puberty, pregnancy, or menopause cause fluctuations and imbalances in hormones that may contribute to poor energy levels. 

Health issues: 

Fatigue and low energy levels are symptoms of several health conditions that further contribute to trazodone’s effect on energy levels. Conditions associated with fatigue include: 

  • sleep apnea
  • hyperthyroidism 
  • chronic fatigue syndrome 
  • iron deficiency anemia
  • diabetes

What to do if trazodone affects your energy levels? 

Trazodone is likely to decline your energy levels in the initial phase of treatment. To manage the fatigue and drowsiness caused by trazodone, it is advised to not take trazodone in the morning if you are prescribed a single dose of trazodone. 

Thus, taking trazodone at night improves sleep quality and you will have better energy levels at night. If you are prescribed higher doses of trazodone, it is taken in divided doses where the major portion of the dose is taken at night. 

To boost your energy levels, you can fix your sleep schedule and include morning exercises in your routine so you feel fresh throughout the day. You should maintain adequate hydration and maintain a healthy diet. 

Physical activity results in the release of endorphins that reduce your fatigue. A healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals can also boost your energy levels. Thus, taking trazodone properly and a healthy lifestyle can help to maintain energy. 

In my perspective, trazodone initially results in a decline in energy levels because it causes fatigue and drowsiness as a side effect and has sedative properties. However, these side effects occur in the initial phases of treatment.

Once the body adjusts to the medication, the trazodone-induced improvement in sleep quality and reduction in depressive symptoms cause an improvement in mood and energy levels of the individual. 

Trazodone’s association with fatigue as a side effect is widely established in the literature. Simultaneously, trazodone’s efficacy in treating MDD is also established and a lack of energy is a symptom of MDD. 

Different factors including lifestyle contribute to trazodone’s impact on energy levels. Lifestyle changes and appropriate use of trazodone can help to manage these effects. 

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