Who can prescribe trazodone? (+5 factors)

In this article, we will study the medical professionals who are authorized to prescribe trazodone. We will also study the conditions for which trazodone is approved to be prescribed. Furthermore, we will look at the common side effects and the benefits of trazodone. 

Who can prescribe trazodone?

Trazodone can be prescribed by medical doctors and psychiatrists. Since trazodone is a prescription medication, therefore only a licensed healthcare practitioner is authorized to prescribe this medication. 

Trazodone is an antidepressant medication that works primarily by altering serotonin levels and activity in the brain. Trazodone is prescribed by medical health specialists for treating depression, anxiety, insomnia, and related conditions. 

Trazodone belongs to serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor drug class of antidepressant medications. It exerts its action by altering serotonin, norepinephrine, and histamine neurotransmitters in the brain (1). 

A comprehensive and detailed health assessment by medical practitioners is required before prescribing trazodone. These mental healthcare practitioners must consider various factors before prescribing trazodone. 

What are the indications for trazodone?

The following are some common indications for prescribing trazodone by healthcare providers (1,2):

  • Major depressive disorder- Trazodone is approved by the FDA for the treatment of major depressive disorder which is characterized by persistent low mood, loss of interest, and fatigue. 


  • Insomnia- Due to the sedative properties of trazodone, it is sometimes used as an off-label medication to treat insomnia. 


  • Fibromyalgia- Another off-label indication of trazodone is fibromyalgia. trazodone has been used in managing symptoms of fibromyalgia characterized by musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. 


  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)- Trazodone has also been used in treating the symptoms of PTSD in some patients. 


  • Anxiety- Trazodone is not considered a first-line therapy for anxiety and related conditions, but it is sometimes prescribed for comorbid anxiety and depression. 

What factors must be considered before prescribing trazodone? 

The following factors must be taken into consideration by the healthcare providers and psychiatrists before prescribing trazodone to the patients (1,2):

  • Diagnosis- Trazodone is prescribed for many mental health conditions. The healthcare provider must assess the patient in detail and after making the right diagnosis, prescribe trazodone in the right dose and frequency. 


  • Medical history- The doctor or psychiatrist must have a thorough review of the patient before prescribing trazodone. They must inquire about past and current medical conditions, surgeries, and allergies. 


  • Medication history- Having a thorough review of the medications that the patient is taking is also essential. The doctor must inquire about the over-the-counter medications, supplements, and other prescription drugs that the patient is taking before prescribing them trazodone. 


  • Pregnancy and lactation- The potential risks of taking trazodone during pregnancy and lactation must be carefully evaluated by the doctor or the psychiatrist. 


  • Age and weight- The age and weight of the patient are important factors for adjusting the dosage of trazodone. Elderly patients require careful monitoring and dose adjustments before taking trazodone. 


  • Liver and kidney function- The doctor must test the liver and kidney function of the patient before prescribing trazodone because it is metabolized in the liver and excreted via the kidneys. 

What are the potential side effects of trazodone?

Following are some potential side effects of trazodone (2):

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Weight changes
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Muscle pain
  • Nightmares
  • Dry mouth
  • Rash
  • Sexual problems in men and women

However, not all patients taking trazodone suffer from these side effects. Some patients may have these side effects while others do not. The severity of these side effects also varies from person to person.

What precautions must be taken while on trazodone?

Always follow the instructions given by your healthcare provider. In case of any ambiguity in the prescription, reach out to them openly and have an honest discussion. 

Avoid alcohol or caffeine intake while taking trazodone as these substances may exacerbate the associated side effects of trazodone. 

Always inform about all the medications or supplements you are taking along with trazodone, to ensure safety and no potential interactions. 

If your doctor or psychiatrist suggests any other medication and advises you to stop taking trazodone then always follow the drug-reducing prescription that they provide. If you do not follow the dose tampering and abruptly discontinue trazodone, it may cause withdrawal symptoms. 

In the end, I would advise you to always consult your doctor or a psychiatrist before starting or stopping any prescription medication such as trazodone to avoid potential adversities and withdrawal or hangover symptoms. 

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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: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470560/


AHFS Patient Medication Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.; c2019. Trazodone; [updated 2020 Jun 24; reviewed 2018 Jul 5; cited 2020 Jul 1]; [about 5 p.]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a681038.html

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