April 28, 2017
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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.)

Desyrel Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 9/16/2016

Desyrel (trazodone hydrochloride) is an antidepressant used to treat depression. The brand name Desyrel is no longer available in the U.S. but may be available in generic form. Common side effects of Desyrel (trazodone hydrochloride) include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • drowsiness,
  • dizziness,
  • tiredness,
  • blurred vision,
  • changes in weight,
  • headache,
  • muscle ache/pain,
  • dry mouth,
  • bad taste in the mouth,
  • stuffy nose,
  • constipation, or
  • change in sexual interest/ability.

The initial adult dose of trazodone is 150 mg/day in divided doses. The dose may be increased by 50 mg/day every three to four days. The maximum dose for outpatients usually should not exceed 400 mg/day in divided doses. Trazodone may interact with HIV medicines, antifungal medications, digoxin, seizure medicines, warfarin, or MAO inhibitors. Tell your doctor all medications you use. During pregnancy, trazodone should be used only when prescribed. This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Desyrel (trazodone hydrochloride) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Desyrel in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Stop taking trazodone and call your doctor at once if you have a penis erection that is painful or lasts 6 hours or longer. This is a medical emergency and could lead to a serious condition that must be corrected with surgery.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any new or worsening symptoms such as: mood or behavior changes, anxiety, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, or if you feel impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive (mentally or physically), more depressed, or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself.

Stop taking trazodone and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • extreme mood swings, restlessness, or sleep problems;
  • dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeat;
  • easy bruising or bleeding;
  • agitation, hallucinations, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination;
  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out;
  • headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, seizure, shallow breathing or breathing that stops; or
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling.

Less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:

  • drowsiness;
  • mild headache;
  • constipation; or
  • blurred vision.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Desyrel (Trazodone Hydrochloride)

What is Patient Information Overview?

A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.

Desyrel Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS: See also the Warning section.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness, blurred vision, changes in weight, headache, muscle ache/pain, dry mouth, bad taste in the mouth, stuffy nose, constipation, or change in sexual interest/ability may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To relieve dry mouth, suck on (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute.

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: shaking (tremors), nightmares, ringing in the ears, problems urinating, blood in urine, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), shortness of breath, stomach/abdominal pain.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: chest/jaw/left arm pain, fainting, fast/irregular heartbeat, seizures, eye pain/swelling/redness, vision changes (such as seeing rainbows around lights at night).

This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section). Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms: fast heartbeat, hallucinations, loss of coordination, severe dizziness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, twitching muscles, unexplained fever, unusual agitation/restlessness.

For males, in the very unlikely event you have a painful or prolonged erection (priapism) lasting 4 or more hours, stop using this drug and seek immediate medical attention, or permanent problems could occur.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for Desyrel (Trazodone Hydrochloride)

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Desyrel FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


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 entire FDA prescribing information for Desyrel (Trazodone Hydrochloride)

Desyrel - User Reviews

Desyrel User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Desyrel sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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