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Discontinued Warning IconPlease Note: This Brand Name drug is no longer available in the US.
(Generic versions may still be available.)

Side Effects


Because the frequency of adverse drug effects is affected by diverse factors (eg, drug dose, method of detection, physician judgment, disease under treatment, etc.) a single meaningful estimate of adverse event incidence is difficult to obtain. This problem is illustrated by the variation in adverse event incidence observed and reported from the inpatients and outpatients treated with DESYREL (trazodone hydrochloride) . It is impossible to determine precisely what accounts for the differences observed.

Clinical Trial Reports

The table below is presented solely to indicate the relative frequency of adverse events reported in representative controlled clinical studies conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of DESYREL (trazodone hydrochloride).

The figures cited cannot be used to predict precisely the incidence of untoward events in the course of usual medical practice where patient characteristics and other factors often differ from those which prevailed in the clinical trials. These incidence figures, also, cannot be compared with those obtained from other clinical studies involving related drug products and placebo as each group of drug trials is conducted under a different set of conditions.

Treatment-Emergent Symptom Incidence

  Inpts. Outpts.
Number of Patients 142 95 157 158
% of Patients Reporting        
  Skin Condition/Edema 2.8 1.1 7.0 1.3
  Blurred Vision 6.3 4.2 14.7 3.8
  Constipation 7.0 4.2 7.6 5.7
  Dry Mouth 14.8 8.4 33.8 20.3
  Hypertension 2.1 1.1 1.3 *
  Hypotension 7.0 1.1 3.8 0.0
  Shortness of Breath * 1.1 1.3 0.0
  Syncope 2.8 2.1 4.5 1.3
  Tachycardia/Palpitations 0.0 0.0 7.0 7.0
  Anger/Hostility 3.5 6.3 1.3 2.5
  Confusion 4.9 0.0 5.7 7.6
  Decreased Concentration 2.8 2.1 1.3 0.0
  Disorientation 2.1 0.0 * 0.0
  Dizziness/Lightheadedness 19.7 5.3 28.0 15.2
  Drowsiness 23.9 6.3 40.8 19.6
  Excitement 1.4 1.1 5.1 5.7
  Fatigue 11.3 4.2 5.7 2.5
  Headache 9.9 5.3 19.8 15.8
  Insomnia 9.9 10.5 6.4 12.0
  Impaired Memory 1.4 0.0 * *
  Nervousness 14.8 10.5 6.4 8.2
  Abdominal/Gastric Disorder 3.5 4.2 5.7 4.4
  Bad Taste in Mouth 1.4 0.0 0.0 0.0
  Diarrhea 0.0 1.1 4.5 1.9
  Nausea/Vomiting 9.9 1.1 12.7 9.5
  Musculoskeletal Aches/Pains 5.6 3.2 5.1 2.5
  Incoordination 4.9 0.0 1.9 0.0
  Paresthesia 1.4 0.0 0.0 *
  Tremors 2.8 1.1 5.1 3.8
Sexual Function
  Decreased Libido * 1.1 1.3 *
  Decreased Appetite 3.5 5.3 0.0 *
  Eyes Red/Tired/Itching 2.8 0.0 0.0 0.0
  Head Full-Heavy 2.8 0.0 0.0 0.0
  Malaise 2.8 0.0 0.0 0.0
  Nasal/Sinus Congestion 2.8 0.0 5.7 3.2
  Nightmares/Vivid Dreams * 1.1 5.1 5.7
  Sweating/Clamminess 1.4 1.1 * *
  Tinnitus 1.4 0.0 0.0 *
  Weight Gain 1.4 0.0 4.5 1.9
  Weight Loss * 3.2 5.7 2.5
* Incidence less than 1%

Occasional sinus bradycardia has occurred in long-term studies.

In addition to the relatively common (ie, greater than 1%) untoward events enumerated above, the following adverse events have been reported to occur in association with the use of DESYREL® (trazodone hydrochloride) in the controlled clinical studies: akathisia, allergic reaction, anemia, chest pain, delayed urine flow, early menses, flatulence, hallucinations/delusions, hematuria, hypersalivation, hypomania, impaired speech, impotence, increased appetite, increased libido, increased urinary frequency, missed periods, muscle twitches, numbness, and retrograde ejaculation.

Post-Introduction Reports

Although the following adverse reactions have been reported in DESYREL (trazodone hydrochloride) users, the causal association has neither been confirmed nor refuted.

Voluntary reports received since market introduction include the following: abnormal dreams, agitation, alopecia, anxiety, aphasia, apnea, ataxia, breast enlargement or engorgement, cardiospasm, cerebrovascular accident, chills, cholestatis, clitorism, congestive heart failure, diplopia, edema, extrapyramidal symptoms, grand mal seizures, hallucinations, hemolytic anemia, hirsutism, hyperbilirubinemia, increased amylase, increased salivation, insomnia, leukocytosis, leukonychia, jaundice, lactation, liver enzyme alterations, methemoglobinemia, nausea/vomiting (most frequently), paresthesia, paranoid reaction, priapism (See WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS: Information for Patients; some patients have required surgical intervention), pruritus, psoriasis, psychosis, rash, stupor, inappropriate ADH syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, unexplained death, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, urticaria, vasodilation, vertigo and weakness.

Cardiovascular system effects which have been reported include the following: conduction block, orthostatic hypotension and syncope, palpitations, bradycardia, atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, arrhythmia, and ventricular ectopic activity, including ventricular tachycardia (see WARNINGS).

Read the Desyrel (trazodone hydrochloride) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects


In vitro drug metabolism studies suggest that there is a potential for drug interactions when trazodone is given with CYP3A4 inhibitors. Ritonavir, a potent CYP3A4 inhibitor, increased the Cmax, AUC, and elimination half-life, and decreased clearance of trazodone after administration of ritonavir twice daily for 2 days. Adverse effects including nausea, hypotension, and syncope were observed when ritonavir and trazodone were coadministered. It is likely that ketoconazole, indinavir, and other CYP3A4 inhibitors such as itraconazole or nefazodone may lead to substantial increases in trazodone plasma concentrations, with the potential for adverse effects. If trazodone is used with a potent CYP3A4 inhibitor, a lower dose of trazodone should be considered.

Carbamazepine reduced plasma concentrations of trazodone when co-administered. Patients should be closely monitored to see if there is a need for an increased dose of trazodone when taking both drugs.

Increased serum digoxin or phenytoin levels have been reported to occur in patients receiving DESYREL (trazodone hydrochloride) concurrently with either of those two drugs.

It is not known whether interactions will occur between monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors and DESYREL (trazodone hydrochloride) . Due to the absence of clinical experience, if MAO inhibitors are discontinued shortly before or are to be given concomitantly with DESYREL (trazodone hydrochloride) , therapy should be initiated cautiously with gradual increase in dosage until optimum response is achieved.

Therapeutic Interactions

Concurrent administration with electroshock therapy should be avoided because of the absence of experience in this area.

There have been reports of increased and decreased prothrombin time occurring in warfarinized patients who take DESYREL (trazodone hydrochloride) .

Read the Desyrel Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 12/24/2016

Side Effects

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