Does trazodone help with arthritis pain? (+5 options)

In this article, we will discuss whether trazodone helps with arthritis pain. We will also explore research studies on the use of trazodone in arthritis pain as well as other treatment options to manage arthritis pain.

Does trazodone help with arthritis pain?

No, trazodone does not help with arthritis pain. It is not a medication of choice in clinical settings for pain associated with arthritis. It is an antidepressant medication commonly employed in the management of various mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Additionally, it is used in the management of fibromyalgia and chronic back pain. The mechanism behind its therapeutic benefit may include its interference with serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for regulating mood and behaviors in individuals.

While it is considered a safe medication, it can cause mild to moderate side effects in some individuals, including drowsiness, dizziness, nightmares, fatigue, dry mouth, headache, and nausea (1).

What sorts of pain are typically addressed with trazodone?

While trazodone does not help with arthritis pain, it may assist with other pain associated with various conditions. These indications for trazodone may include (1):

  • painful neuropathy
  • chronic back pain
  • myopathies
  • post-operative pain
  • fibromyalgia
  • neuropathic diabetic pain

What does research suggest?

There is only limited research available on the use of trazodone in managing pain associated with arthritis. While some studies have used this medication to analyze its role in managing arthritis pain, more comprehensive research is needed to establish its efficacy and safety for this particular purpose. 

A research study investigated the efficacy of different antidepressant medications, such as trazodone, in addressing pain associated with arthritis. The findings revealed a notable reduction in pain only among participants treated with amitriptyline.

Conversely, no improvement in pain was observed in the trazodone group. These results suggest that trazodone may not play a specific role in alleviating symptoms associated with arthritis pain (2).

In another study, trazodone was administered to a patient with rheumatoid arthritis to manage pain associated with the condition. However, in this case, the patient discontinued the medication due to experiencing hepatotoxicity associated with its use (3).

What are the treatment options for arthritis pain?

The pharmacological treatment of arthritis pain typically involves a combination of medications aimed at reducing the symptoms of arthritis.

  • Typically, NSAIDs are used to relieve pain and inflammation in acute treatment phases; however, for long-term management of arthritis, other medications can be used.


  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are commonly prescribed to manage the symptoms of this disease. They work by modifying the underlying disease process and help in reducing the pain and other symptoms of arthritis.


  • Additionally, corticosteroids can be used to quickly reduce the symptoms of arthritis, such as inflammation and pain.


  • Topical analgesic creams and gels can be applied directly to the affected joint and can provide localized relief.

While these medications can be effectively employed in the treatment of pain associated with arthritis, it is important to note that the selection of an appropriate medication should be based on your individual needs and overall health status.

What are the non-pharmacological approaches for arthritis pain?

Several non-pharmacological approaches for managing arthritis symptoms should be followed along with medical treatment to achieve therapeutic benefits which may include:

  • use of assistive devices
  • joint flexibility exercises
  • massage therapy
  • weight management
  • hot and cold therapy to improve blood flow
  • pain relief through acupuncture
  • stress management techniques 
  • a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods

 It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these non-pharmacological approaches can vary from person to person. A comprehensive approach that combines both pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies is often the most effective in managing arthritis pain.

 In my opinion, the use of trazodone has not been proven effective for arthritis pain, and it is not employed in the clinical setting for this specific condition. However, there are treatment options available for managing pain associated with arthritis and they are considered effective.

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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:


Frank RG, Kashani JH, Parker JC, Beck NC, Brownlee-Duffeck M, Elliott TR, Haut AE, Atwood C, Smith E, Kay DR. Antidepressant analgesia in rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 1988 Nov;15(11):1632-8. PMID: 3236298.


Neville F Fernandes, Ralston R Martin, Steven Schenker, Trazodone-induced hepatotoxicity: a case report with comments on drug-induced hepatotoxicity, The American Journal of Gastroenterology, Volume 95, Issue 2, 2000, Pages 532-535, ISSN 0002-9270,

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