Jul 21, 2022

Generic name:  trazodone  [ TRAZ-oh-done ]
Drug class:  Phenylpiperazine antidepressants

What is Desyrel?

Desyrel is an antidepressant that is used to treat  major depressive disorder .

Desyrel may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Stay alert to changes in your mood or symptoms. Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor.

Desyrel is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Desyrel if you are allergic to it.

Do not use Desyrel if you have used an  MAO inhibitor  in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include  isocarboxazid ,  linezolid ,  methylene blue  injection,  phenelzine ,  tranylcypromine , and others.

After you stop taking Desyrel, you must wait at least 14 days before you start taking an MAOI.

Tell your doctor if you also take stimulant medicine, opioid medicine,  herbal products , or medicine for  depression , mental illness,  Parkinson’s disease ,  migraine  headaches, serious infections, or prevention of  nausea and vomiting . An interaction with Desyrel could cause a serious condition called  serotonin syndrome .

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • liver or kidney disease;
  • heart disease, or a recent  heart attack ;
  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder;
  • seizures  or  epilepsy ;
  • narrow-angle  glaucoma ;
  • long QT syndrome ;
  • drug addiction  or suicidal thoughts; or
  • bipolar disorder  (manic depression).

Some young people have thoughts about suicide when first taking an antidepressant. Your doctor should check your progress at regular visits. Your family or other caregivers should also be alert to changes in your mood or symptoms.

Taking Desyrel during pregnancy could harm the baby, but stopping the medicine may not be safe for you. Do not start or stop Desyrel without asking your doctor.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry to track the effects of  trazodone  on the baby.

Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed while using this medicine.

Desyrel is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take Desyrel?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take Desyrel after a meal or a snack.

Your symptoms may not improve for up to 2 weeks.

Do not stop using Desyrel suddenly, or you could have unpleasant symptoms (such as  agitation , confusion, tingling or electric shock feelings). Ask your doctor before stopping the medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Detailed Desyrel dosage information

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose can be fatal when Desyrel is taken with alcohol, barbiturates such as phenobarbital, or sedatives such as diazepam (Valium).

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness,  vomiting , penis erection that is painful or prolonged, fast or pounding heartbeat, seizure (black-out or convulsions), or breathing that slows or stops.

What should I avoid while taking trazodone?

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Ask your doctor before taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as  aspirin ,  ibuprofen ,  naproxen ,  Advil ,  Aleve ,  Motrin , and others. Using an NSAID with Desyrel may cause you to bruise or bleed easily.

Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how Desyrel will affect you. Your reactions could be impaired.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.

Desyrel side effects

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

Stop taking Desyrel 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.

Report any new or worsening symptoms to your doctor, 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.

Desyrel may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden  dizziness  (like you might pass out);
  • slow heartbeats;
  • unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding; or
  • low levels of sodium in the body– headache , confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady.

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering,  fast heart rate , muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination,  nausea , vomiting, or  diarrhea .

Common side effects of Desyrel may include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness;
  • swelling;
  • weight loss ;
  • blurred vision;
  • diarrhea,  constipation ; or
  • stuffy nose.

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.

Desyrel side effects  (more detail)

What other drugs will affect Desyrel?

Using Desyrel with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect Desyrel, especially:

  • any other  antidepressants ;
  • phenytoin ;
  • St. John’s wort ;
  • tramadol ;
  • a diuretic or “water pill”;
  • medicine to treat anxiety, mood disorders, or mental illness such as  schizophrenia ;
  • a blood thinner– warfarin ,  Coumadin ,  Jantoven ; or
  • migraine headache  medicine– sumatriptan ,  Imitrex ,  Maxalt ,  Treximet , and others.

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect Desyrel. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines,  vitamins , and  herbal products . Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

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