With millions of trazodone prescriptions being handed out every year, many people develop the general belief that trazodone is a relatively safe drug. Why else would it be prescribed for a variety of conditions if it’s as dangerous as benzos or opioids? What many people do not realize is that while trazodone is generally believed to have a mild potential for abuse, there are still side effects associated with the drug, especially if it is taken recreationally or if the drug is abused.
Trazodone is a drug that was developed back in the 1960s. In 1981, the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug as an antidepressant. While the drug is primarily used to treat depression, doctors legally prescribe the drug for various off-label uses such as for the treatment of insomnia, fibromyalgia, and anxiety. It has become one of the most popular sleeping aids in the United States.
But just like any other drug, taking trazodone could result in several side effects. These side effects could manifest in different ways, depending on the person taking the drug. Some of the more common side effects are drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea. However, it is possible to experience lesser-known and potentially life-threatening side effects from taking trazodone.
1. Loss of Coordination
One well-known side effect of trazodone is sleepiness. This is the reason why the drug is often prescribed to people with sleep problems. However, if you get prescribed trazodone for anxiety, pain, or depression, you must be aware that the sedative effects of trazodone could also result in loss of body coordination and being unsteady.
If you need to go out of the house or you need to drive, you should not be taking trazodone because not only will it affect your coordination, it could also impair your reactions. Related symptoms that can contribute to the risk include light-headedness, memory problems, headaches, and blurred vision.
While many drugs are prescribed to make you feel stronger, the sedative effects of trazodone may cause some people to feel weak and experience body pains. Some people who took trazodone said that the drug caused them to feel generally ill. Loss of appetite is also a side effect that could be causing the feelings of weakness and being ill.
Trazodone is said to cause priapism. Priapism is a disorder that is characterized by painful and prolonged penile erection in men, sometimes lasting up to four hours. While some men may take this as a positive side effect, the truth is that priapism can cause permanent erectile dysfunction if not properly addressed. There are drug warnings that caution men to go to the emergency room if the penis erection lasts for 6 hours or longer after taking trazodone.
4. Bowel irregularities
You might be wondering how trazodone can affect your bowel movements. However, some people experience either diarrhea or constipation when taking trazodone. It’s not only trazodone that causes these bowel irregularities as many antidepressants also do.
5. Heart irregularities
People with existing heart conditions are cautioned regarding taking trazodone. The reason is that the drug is said to cause irregular heartbeat, rapid heartbeat, and even fainting.
6. Intense Nightmares
Having vivid and disturbing dreams is a common side effect of antidepressants but trazodone is a known drug that reportedly decreases recurring nightmares. While most trazodone users experience this positive effect, some users report having more vivid nightmares.
One dangerous side effect that can be caused by taking trazodone is developing thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Many users may be surprised about this considering trazodone is supposed to be a calming antidepressant. However, trazodone has been shown to increase suicidal tendencies, especially in young adults. Other mental effects that trazodone could cause are panic attacks, mania, agitation, impulsiveness, mood swings, and other behavioral changes.
If you are taking trazodone and are experiencing the effects listed above, it is very important to consult a medical professional. Only take trazodone under the supervision of a doctor and never self-medicate. Many people are guilty of using trazodone that has not been prescribed to them. Sometimes the purpose is to self-medicate, while other people try to abuse the drug, thinking that it could cause them feelings of being high.
Even if trazodone is considered as a drug with a lower risk for abuse, it is still possible to become dependent and abuse the drug. If you abuse trazodone and take amounts that have not been prescribed for an existing condition, this could increase the risk of trazodone overdose.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.