Does trazodone lower sodium levels? (3+ factors)

In this article, we will discuss whether trazodone lowers sodium levels, how trazodone lowers sodium levels, what research suggests, what factors can contribute to trazodone-induced low sodium, and how to avoid and manage this side effect.

Does trazodone lower sodium levels?

Yes, trazodone may cause low sodium levels in individuals taking it for the treatment of major depressive disorders, anxiety, and insomnia. Trazodone primarily alters serotonin levels in the brain, but its influence on other processes, including sodium regulation, is not fully understood. (1)

Trazodone is a serotonin modulator, and it increases serotonin levels by inhibiting the serotonin transporter and serotonin type-2 receptors. It is FDA-approved for the treatment of major depressive disorders but has several non-FDA-approved uses. (2)

Sodium is responsible for regulating water and bodily fluids, and a decrease in its levels can cause symptoms like falls, headaches, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and altered mental conditions, collectively known as hyponatremia. (3)

However, individual responses to medication can differ, and not everyone will experience this side effect while using trazodone.

How does trazodone lower sodium levels?

The exact mechanism of trazodone-induced low sodium is not clear, and hyponatremia occurs when the release of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin is altered. By influencing vasopressin, trazodone could potentially impact the body’s ability to regulate sodium levels and cause hyponatremia. (1,3)

What does research suggest?

Existing research on the connection between trazodone and sodium levels is limited. Some studies have reported hyponatremia after using trazodone, even in therapeutic doses. The risk of hyponatremia increases as the dose and duration of treatment are increased. (1,6)

A review article has reported hyponatremia (low sodium levels) as a potential effect of trazodone use in elderly patients. (4) A case was reported in the Journal of Clinical Neuropharmacology of a woman who overdosed on trazodone and developed hyponatremia, seizures, and deadly cerebral edema. (5)

A postmarketing study done on the safety of antidepressant treatment concluded that hyponatremia is a common complication of antidepressant therapy that is not diagnosed and presented as aging in older adults. Regular monitoring is important to avoid hyponatremia. (7)

It is essential to note that individual responses to trazodone can vary, and not everyone taking trazodone will experience a decrease in sodium levels.

What are the contributing factors to trazodone-induced low sodium?

Several factors may contribute to the development of low sodium levels in individuals taking trazodone:

  • Dosage: High doses can contribute to hyponatremia caused by trazodone. Regular monitoring is advised for patients on antidepressant therapy.


  • Concomitant medications: Interactions with other medications may exacerbate the risk of hyponatremia.


  • Age and underlying health issues: Older adults and those with underlying health conditions may be more susceptible to hyponatremia caused by trazodone use. (8)


  • Dehydration: Inadequate fluid intake can also contribute to low sodium levels caused by hyponatremia.


  • Duration of use: Long-term use of trazodone may increase the likelihood of experiencing hyponatremia.

How to avoid trazodone-induced low sodium?

A combination of proactive measures can avoid trazodone-induced hyponatremia. Here are some recommendations:

  • Regular monitoring: Regular monitoring of sodium levels, particularly during the initial phase of trazodone treatment, can help identify any fluctuations in sodium regulation. 


  • Hydration: Maintaining a healthy fluid intake can help avoid low sodium levels. Avoid excessive water consumption, especially if it is not combined with the increased sodium intake.


  • Medication review: Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking, including prescription, over-the-counter, and supplements, to avoid potential interactions with trazodone.


  • Individualized treatment plans: Treatment plans should be based on individual patient characteristics to avoid hyponatremia caused by trazodone.


  • Symptom recognition: Patients should be made aware of the symptoms of hyponatremia, such as nausea, headaches, confusion, fatigue, and seizures. Understanding the early signs and symptoms of hyponatremia can help with timely interventions.


  • Fluid restriction: Older adults and individuals with pre-existing conditions like chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be more susceptible to hyponatremia. Healthcare providers may recommend controlled fluid intake for these patients to avoid hyponatremia.

Always consult your healthcare provider before changing your treatment plan or lifestyle. If you experience any concerning symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

How to manage trazodone-induced low sodium?

It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect or are diagnosed with hyponatremia. Here are some general strategies to follow:

  • Discontinuation or adjustment of trazodone: Lowering the dosage of trazodone can help manage the symptoms of hyponatremia. If hyponatremia is severe, your healthcare provider may consider discontinuing trazodone by gradually tapering it. The decision will depend on the severity of the symptoms of hyponatremia. 


  • Alternative antidepressants: Your doctor may consider prescribing alternate antidepressants like bupropion or mirtazapine to manage hyponatremia. (8)


  • Fluid restriction: Fluid intake may be limited to help correct a sodium imbalance. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate fluid restriction level based on hyponatremia severity.


  • Intravenous (IV) saline infusion: In acute or severe hyponatremia cases, intravenous saline solution may be administered to restore sodium balance.


  • Symptom management: Treatment may include supportive measures addressing specific symptoms of hyponatremia, such as nausea, headache, and confusion. 


  • Underlying cause treatment: Healthcare providers will identify and treat any underlying causes of hyponatremia, such as CKD or hormonal imbalances.


  • Avoid triggers: Patients should avoid factors that can contribute to hyponatremia, such as excessive water intake, high doses for a prolonged period of time, and concomitant use of medications that have the potential to interact with trazodone and cause hyponatremia. 

If you experience symptoms of hyponatremia or have concerns about your treatment, seek medical attention promptly.


According to my knowledge, trazodone, when taken in high doses, impacts sodium levels, so it is crucial for patients to be aware of potential risks. Regular monitoring and open communication can help ensure the safe and effective use of trazodone. 

Individual responses may vary with any medication, and informed decision-making in consultation with healthcare professionals is essential.

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DESYREL (trazodone hydrochloride), Highlights of the prescribing information by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Available from:


Shin JJ, Saadabadi A. Trazodone. [Updated 2022 Jul 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


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Viramontes TS, Truong H, Linnebur SA. Antidepressant-Induced Hyponatremia in Older Adults. Consult Pharm. 2016 Mar;31(3):139-50. doi: 10.4140/TCP.n.2016.139. PMID: 26975593.


Avila JD. Fatal Cerebral Edema, Seizures, and Hyponatremia After Trazodone Overdose. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2017 Sep/Oct;40(5):221-223. doi: 10.1097/WNF.0000000000000235. PMID: 28816830.


Spigset O, Hedenmalm K. Hyponatraemia and the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH) induced by psychotropic drugs. Drug Saf. 1995 Mar;12(3):209-25. doi: 10.2165/00002018-199512030-00006. PMID: 7619332.


Shetty HM, Manimekalai K, Sivaprakash B, Jagan Mohan R, Shetty PH (2015) Hyponatremia Secondary to Antidepressant Therapy – A Post Marketing Safety Study. J Pharmacovigilance 3: 167. doi: 10.4172/2329-6887.1000167 


Filippatos TD, Makri A, Elisaf MS, Liamis G. Hyponatremia in the elderly: challenges and solutions. Clin Interv Aging. 2017;12:1957-1965

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