Does trazodone-induced stuffy nose go away? (7 factors)

This article will discuss whether a trazodone-induced stuffy nose goes away. It will explain the mechanism by which trazodone can cause nasal congestion and the factors that can influence its occurrence. 

Additionally, the article will explore research available on this particular side effect. Furthermore, it will provide recommendations on managing a stuffy nose if it persists while taking trazodone.

Does trazodone-induced stuffy nose go away?

Yes, trazodone-induced stuffy nose goes away. If nasal congestion is experienced as an early side effect of trazodone, it may resolve on its own as the body adjusts to the drug and becomes more tolerant of it. 

However, people respond differently to medications, and not everyone taking trazodone will experience this particular side effect. Moreover, the duration after which trazodone-induced stuffy nose goes away can vary from person to person.

If nasal congestion becomes persistent while taking trazodone, it is recommended to discuss this with your doctor.

How can trazodone cause a stuffy nose?

When the nasal tissues become inflamed, there is increased blood flow, resulting in swelling and nasal congestion.

In nasal congestion, the activation of alpha receptors leads to vasoconstriction, or narrowing of blood vessels in the nose, which helps reduce swelling and allows for improved airflow through the nasal passages [1].

While trazodone primarily works as a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI), it also blocks histamine receptors and alpha-1-adrenergic receptors.

As mentioned earlier, the activation of alpha-adrenergic receptors can help reduce congestion in the nasal passages. Therefore, the inhibition of these receptors by trazodone may potentially cause nasal congestion or a stuffy nose as a side effect during the initiation of treatment [1,2].

On the other hand, since trazodone also has anti-histaminergic activity, it can aid in the relief of nasal congestion and stuffed nose. Thus, this side effect usually goes away a few weeks after trazodone initiation.

What does research suggest?

There haven’t been enough studies or trials specifically investigating nasal congestion as a side effect of trazodone.

However, in clinical trials conducted to study the side effects of Trazodone Hydrochloride tablets, it was found that nasal congestion occurred in 3% of inpatients and 6% of outpatients [3].

Thus, it can be concluded that a stuffy nose is a relatively uncommon side effect of trazodone and is often temporary in nature.

What factors influence trazodone-related nasal congestion?

Several factors can contribute to an increased risk of experiencing trazodone-related nasal congestion, including: 

  • Higher doses of trazodone may increase the likelihood of developing nasal congestion.
  • Jumping to high doses of trazodone without applying proper dose escalation can increase the risk of suffering from a stuffy nose as a side effect.
  • Individual sensitivity to medications plays a major role in the likelihood of developing a stuffy nose as an early side effect of trazodone. If you have a history of nasal congestion or sinus issues, you may be more susceptible to trazodone-related nasal congestion.


  • People with allergies, particularly those affecting the respiratory system like pollen or dust allergies, are at an increased risk of experiencing trazodone-related nasal congestion. This is known as allergic rhinitis,  or hay fever.


  • People with a history of rhinitis or sinusitis have a higher chance of developing a stuffy nose while taking trazodone.
  • People who are exposed to an irritating environment containing dry air, dust, pollen, or other irritants are more likely to suffer from nasal congestion while taking trazodone.
  • The concurrent administration of certain medications alongside trazodone can potentially increase the risk of developing nasal congestion as a side effect. 

These medications include NSAIDs, aspirin, alpha and β-adrenergic antagonists like clonidine and methyldopa, and phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors like sildenafil and tadalafil [4]. Lexapro and Wellbutrin can also cause nose problems in some people.

What to do if trazodone stuffy nose doesn’t go away?

If trazodone causes a stuffy nose or nasal congestion, there are several management strategies you can try. For example, you can use a saline solution, also known as a saltwater solution, to clear your nose, unclog your nasal passages, flush out any irritants, and relieve the congestion.

Moreover, there are adhesive nasal strips that can be placed on the nose bridge. These strips can help open up nasal passages and improve breathing despite the congestion.

Most importantly, you should avoid any triggers that can worsen your stuffy nose, whether these triggers are certain allergens, irritants, or foods. You can also administer certain medications to treat your stuffy nose.

Medications for nasal congestion

Some common medications for nasal congestion include [5]:

  • Oral and intranasal antihistamines can help with other symptoms that may occur with a stuffy nose.
  • Oral decongestants, like pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, are effective in relieving a stuffy nose. However, they can cause systemic side effects.
  • Topical decongestants have a better safety profile and are generally more effective. However, they should only be used for 7 days to avoid rebound congestion.


  • Intranasal corticosteroids, such as beclomethasone dipropionate, fluticasone furoate, fluticasone propionate, and triamcinolone acetonide, can relieve the inflammation associated with trazodone-induced stuffy nose.


Based on my research, I have concluded that trazodone-induced stuffy nose is a relatively uncommon side effect and typically resolves on its own as the body adjusts to the medication.

However, individual sensitivity to medications and other factors, such as hay fever, being surrounded by an irritating environment, taking high doses of trazodone, and concurrently administering certain medications, can increase the risk of experiencing nasal congestion. 

If trazodone-related nasal congestion persists, I recommend trying saline solutions and nasal strips. Furthermore, based on my knowledge, certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and intranasal corticosteroids, can also help relieve trazodone-induced stuffy nose.

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Battisti AS, Modi P, Pangia J. Sinusitis. [Updated 2023 Mar 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:,with%20caution%20in%20hypertensive%20patients.


Stahl SM. Mechanism of Action of Trazodone: a Multifunctional Drug. CNS Spectrums. 2009;14(10):536-546. doi:10.1017/S1092852900024020


Highlights of Prescribing Information. TRAZODONE HYDROCHLORIDE tablets, for oral use.


Varghese M, Glaum MC, Lockey RF. Drug-induced rhinitis. Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Mar;40(3):381-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2009.03450.x. PMID: 20210811.


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