Trazodone is a prescription medication that is intended to treat depression. It accomplishes this by preventing serotonin, a feel-good chemical in the brain, from being reabsorbed by neurons. In doing this, the amount of serotonin is increased, thus improving a person’s mood and mitigating feelings of depression.
Like other such medications, Trazodone can be also be prescribed to treat anxiety and insomnia in addition to depression. Since depression is a prevalent mental health disorder, Trazodone is a relatively common medication that is prescribed often.
Relying on trazodone can and often does lead to a chemical and psychological dependence, which can become problematic, especially if the person wants to quit using it or cannot obtain it for some reason. Because the use of this drug is closely associated with a mental health condition, treatment for both the mental illness and drug dependence is usually required for persons who are trying to stop using or abusing this medication.
Drug withdrawal is the adjustment process that the body undergoes when a substance is no longer present after having been used for a prolonged period. After a period amount of time using Trazodone consistently, the body adapts to the drug and becomes used to its effects on serotonin. When the drug is no longer in a person’s system, the brain must re-learn how to produce serotonin without the assistance of Trazodone, which takes time.
There are both unpleasant mental and physical withdrawal symptoms that individuals often encounter after discontinuing the regular use of Trazodone. These effects frequently thwart attempts to people who are attempting to stop using Trazadone.
It is critical that patients do not use Trazadone in any manner other than that prescribed by a doctor. Failure to do so can lead to a higher level of drug dependence if it is taken too often or for too long, as well “rebound effects” or withdrawal symptoms that are more severe than those a person began using the drug to treat.
In any case, it is not advised that people who are dependent on Trazodone attempting to manage withdrawal symptoms without medical supervision. A person who is determined to get off Trazodone should be in a position of safety and comfort to prevent relapse and severe depression or anxiety. During a medical detox, health providers can monitor a patient for complications while mitigating some of the most uncomfortable symptoms that are associated with Trazodone withdrawal.
Trazodone Withdrawal Symptoms
When a person goes through withdrawal, he or she can experience significant discomfort and intense cravings for the drug they stopped using. Knowing the symptoms of trazodone withdrawal is essential as a person attempts to clear the substance from their system. Similar to many antidepressants, physical symptoms related to trazodone withdrawal include the following:
- Agitation and irritability
Some people may encounter additional symptoms depending on the severity of their dependence. As noted, because Trazodone is prescribed to address certain mental health conditions, there are adverse effects that can occur when the dosage is stopped abruptly. People who experience depression, anxiety, or insomnia and use Trazodone to treat these conditions may re-experience these disorders with increased intensity upon cessation of its use.
Trazodone Withdrawal Timeline
There is no exact timeline for withdrawal, and in some cases, some symptoms may persist for weeks or months. Relatively mild dependence may result in physical symptoms that could subside in just days. For others with more severe problems, symptoms can last for much longer.
Trazodone has a half-life of 5-9 hours, with an average of around seven hours. “Half-life” is a term that describes the amount of time it takes for half of the amount of the drug to be cleared from a person’s system. Unfortunately, the process of withdrawal does not end when the substance is completely out of the system. The physical effects of the drugs subside, but people may continue experiencing some symptoms, as well as intense cravings for Trazodone to manage their depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts.
When people experience withdrawal symptoms from antidepressants like Trazodone, there are a number of factors that impact the duration and severity of these symptoms, including the following:
- How long a person has been using Trazodone
- Average dosage amount before starting withdrawal
- Presence of other substances
- Individual characteristics, such as genetics and metabolism
Another factor includes the method of detox. Some people choose the abrupt “cold turkey” approach, which could lead to more severe withdrawal symptoms but also requires a shorter amount of time. Using the tapering off approach usually results in less severe withdrawal symptoms, but also the timeline is much longer and can take weeks. If you decide that weaning off of the drug is right for you, you should consult a medical professional to help you in this process.
Getting Treatment for Addiction
Trazodone addiction is relatively uncommon, but it does occur. People who end up abusing this medication often do so in conjunction with other drugs, however. As such, undergoing comprehensive treatment may be vital for the process of recovery.
Harmony Treatment and Wellness offers integrated outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs comprised of services that are clinically-proven to help people achieve a full recovery and sustain long-term happiness and wellness. These services include psychotherapy, medication-assisted treatment, aftercare planning, and more.
If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please contact us today and find out how we can help!