Does trazodone prevent migraines? (+5 management tips)

In this article, we will discuss whether trazodone helps in the prevention of migraines. We will also delve into the dosage of trazodone for the management of migraines, along with research studies linking the use of trazodone in the prevention of migraines. Additionally, we will explore alternative management tips for migraines if trazodone fails to prevent them.

Does trazodone prevent migraines?

Yes, trazodone may prevent migraines. However, while some research studies have provided evidence for trazodone’s role in reducing migraines, it is not the first-line medication of choice for preventing and managing migraines.

It is an antidepressant medication commonly used in the management of various mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders. Additionally, it is also employed in the treatment of fibromyalgia and chronic pain (5).

While the use of trazodone in the clinical setting for the prevention of migraines is less common, research findings have demonstrated its effectiveness in preventing the onset of migraines.

It is important to note that this medication is also associated with certain side effects which may exacerbate the symptoms of migraines in some individuals. These side effects may include nausea, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness.

What does research suggest?

According to research, trazodone has the potential to be used in the prevention of migraines. In a study, trazodone was administered at a daily dose of 70mg for a period of 6 months to individuals with migraines, aiming to prevent migraine episodes. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of trazodone in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraine episodes in these individuals compared to a placebo (2).

 However, in another study, trazodone was investigated for its potential in preventing migraine episodes in children over a duration of 1 month. Unfortunately, no significant improvement in reducing the frequency or preventing episodes of migraines was observed in these individuals (3).

What is the dosage of trazodone for migraine prevention?

According to research findings, this medication can be used at a dosage of 1 mg per kg of a patient for the prevention of migraines. The duration of treatment may vary from a few weeks to months, depending on the severity and frequency of migraine attacks (2).

While some research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of trazodone in preventing migraines, others have shown conflicting results. It is important to consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication to prevent unwanted side effects that may worsen your symptoms.

What to do if trazodone fails to prevent migraines?

If trazodone proves ineffective in preventing the frequency or intensity of migraine attacks, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider. They will assess your symptoms and may suggest alternative medications that are more effective in the management and prevention of migraines compared to trazodone.

However, it’s crucial not to make abrupt decisions to stop this medication, as the sudden discontinuation of trazodone may lead to withdrawal effects that could worsen your symptoms.

Moreover, your healthcare provider will take into account various factors such as your medical history, overall health, and interactions of trazodone with other medications to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.

They may also consider lifestyle modifications and behavioral interventions that can complement the pharmacological approach for preventing migraines and alleviating associated symptoms. 

What are the management tips for migraines? 

The management and prevention of migraines often involve a combination of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches.

Pharmacological treatments aim to address symptoms associated with migraines, such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches (3).

  • Over-the-counter analgesics like aspirin and acetaminophen can effectively manage head pain and discomfort during migraines.
  • Medications such as Triptans and ergotamines can aid in preventing migraine attacks by reducing pain sensations.
  • Metoclopramide is another option for managing nausea and vomiting related to migraines.

In addition to pharmacological treatments, non-pharmacological approaches play a crucial role in preventing migraines. These approaches may include (4): 

  • Lifestyle modifications and behavioral changes 
  • Consistent sleep routine with regular sleep and wake times
  • Avoiding foods containing tyramine, caffeine, or artificial sweeteners.
  • Adequate water intake
  • Regular exercise, such as swimming or yoga, to reduce stress and tension
  • Routine practices like meditation and head massages

In my opinion, these non-pharmacological approaches, when combined with medications, contribute to the overall management and prevention of migraines. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to develop an individualized plan that considers both pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies for optimal effectiveness.

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Battistella PA, Ruffilli R, Cernetti R, Pettenazzo A, Baldin L, Bertoli S, Zacchello F. A placebo-controlled crossover trial using trazodone in pediatric migraine. Headache. 1993 Jan;33(1):36-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.1993.hed3301036.x. PMID: 8436497.


Victor S, Ryan SW. Drugs for preventing migraine headaches in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(4):CD002761. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD002761. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;7:CD002761. PMID: 14583952.


Ferrari MD, Goadsby PJ, Burstein R, Kurth T, Ayata C, Charles A, Ashina M, van den Maagdenberg AMJM, Dodick DW. Migraine. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2022 Jan 13;8(1):2. doi: 10.1038/s41572-021-00328-4. PMID: 35027572.


Haghdoost F, Togha M. Migraine management: Non-pharmacological points for patients and health care professionals. Open Med (Wars). 2022 Nov 23;17(1):1869-1882. doi: 10.1515/med-2022-0598. PMID: 36475060; PMCID: PMC9691984.


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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