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Drugs reference index «Desyrel»


Generic name: Trazodone hydrochlorideBrand names: Desyrel

Why is Desyrel prescribed?

Desyrel is prescribed for the treatment of depression.

Most important fact about Desyrel

Desyrel does not provide immediate relief. It may take up to 4 weeks before you begin to feel better, although most patients notice improvement within 2 weeks.

How should you take Desyrel?

Take Desyrel shortly after a meal or light snack. You may be more apt to feel dizzy or light-headed if you take the drug before you have eaten.

Desyrel may cause dry mouth. Sucking on a hard candy, chewing gum, or melting bits of ice in your mouth can relieve the problem.

  • If you miss a dose...Take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 4 hours of your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at once.
  • Storage instructions...Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container away from light and excessive heat.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Desyrel.

  • Side effects may include:Abdominal or stomach disorder, aches or pains in muscles and bones, anger or hostility, blurred vision, brief loss of consciousness, confusion, constipation, decreased appetite, diarrhea, dizziness or light-headedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, excitement, fainting, fast or fluttery heartbeat, fatigue, fluid retention and swelling, headache, inability to fall or stay asleep, low blood pressure, nasal or sinus congestion, nausea, nervousness, nightmares or vivid dreams, tremors, uncoordinated movements, vomiting, weight gain or loss

Why should Desyrel not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Desyrel or similar drugs, you should not take Desyrel. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Special warnings about Desyrel

In clinical studies, antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and adolescents with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of Desyrel or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Desyrel has not been studied in children or adolescents and is not approved for treating anyone less than 18 years old.

Additionally, the progression of major depression is associated with a worsening of symptoms and/or the emergence of suicidal thinking or behavior in both adults and children, whether or not they are taking antidepressants. Individuals being treated with Desyrel and their caregivers should watch for any change in symptoms or any new symptoms that appear suddenly—especially agitation, anxiety, hostility, panic, restlessness, extreme hyperactivity, and suicidal thinking or behavior—and report them to the doctor immediately. Be especially observant at the beginning of treatment or whenever there is a change in dose.

Desyrel may cause you to become drowsy or less alert and may affect your judgment. Therefore, you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how Desyrel affects you.

Desyrel has been associated with priapism, a persistent, painful erection of the penis. Men who experience prolonged or inappropriate erections should stop taking Desyrel and consult their doctor.

Notify your doctor or dentist that you are taking Desyrel if you have a medical emergency, and before you have surgery or dental treatment. Your doctor will ask you to stop using the drug if you are going to have elective surgery.

Be careful taking Desyrel if you have heart disease. Desyrel can cause irregular heartbeats.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Desyrel

Desyrel may intensify the effects of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while taking Desyrel.

If Desyrel is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Desyrel with the following:

Antidepressant drugs known as MAO inhibitors, including phenelzine and tranylcypromineOther antidepressants such as fluoxetine and desipramineBarbiturates such as secobarbitalCentral nervous system depressants such as meperidine and triazolamChlorpromazineDigoxinDrugs for high blood pressure such as clonidine and guanabenzPhenytoinWarfarin

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Desyrel during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. This medication may appear in breast milk. If treatment with Desyrel is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding your baby until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage for Desyrel


The usual starting dosage is a total of 150 milligrams per day, divided into 2 or more smaller doses. Your doctor may increase your dose by 50 milligrams per day every 3 or 4 days. Total dosage should not exceed 400 milligrams per day, divided into smaller doses. Once you have responded well to the drug, your doctor may gradually reduce your dose. Because Desyrel makes you drowsy, your doctor may tell you to take the largest dose at bedtime.


Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. An overdose of Desyrel in combination with other drugs can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of a Desyrel overdose may include:Breathing failure, drowsiness, irregular heartbeat, prolonged, painful erection, seizures, vomiting
  • Desyrel Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Desyrel MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Desyrel Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Desyrel Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Trazodone Prescribing Information (FDA)

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