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Thread: Trazadone for insomnia

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    Default Trazadone for insomnia

    My Dr prescribed trazadone for insomnia and sleeping issues (she had prescribed Ambien in the past but it's clear that docs are being much more careful about it now.) In my research of trazadone, it has very mixed reviews. Has anyone used this for insomnia? Apparently it's somewhat of an off-label use, as it was originally developed as an anti depressant.
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    Do a forum search for trazadone. Lots of info.

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    Hi @megg,
    Trazadone is an older anti depressant that has been used for decades for insomnia and sometimes anxiety due to it's sedating effects.

    I was RX this years ago, everyone reacts differently but, it knocked me out cold! I was so hung over and groggy the next day

    I never took it again. My starting dose was 25 mg I probably should have broken it in half for 12.5 mg to start. Although my experience

    wasn't great many people find it helpful. Good luck, I hope it helps with your insomnia.

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    Helpful megg, Roz Rated helpful

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    I've known some people recommend taking the first dose of trazadone not before but, but actually in bed. This was pretty high doses for depression and the concern was if someone (particularly in the elderly) takes it downstairs with a glass of water, then brushes their teeth, they might not make it upstairs to bed before the heavy sedation kicks in.

    Some of the sedation from trazadone comes from an anti-histamine effect which people become tolerant to quite quickly. It of course also has serotonergic effects and these probably last longer.

    Similar to the recent thread on amitriptyline for sleep, trazadone also has a lot of side effects. Very dry mouth being one. Priapism being another one in men. This is rare but can be serious (penis amputation serious - I am not joking).
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    I've taken trazadone on and off most of my adult life to help sleep. It works quite well for me with minimal side effects. If I remember right it may have made me drowsy they next day at first, but not any longer, even if I don't take it for a long time them resume. It does make me really hungry though!
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  7. #6
    Thanks everyone for the comments! I had done a search in the forum but I found mostly negative reviews, so it's good to hear that it has worked for some of you. What I am concerned about is what @Allycat mentioned - feeling totally groggy the next day. I think I'll try it this weekend when I don't have to worry about getting up to go to work in the morning. Again, thanks for the insight.
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    That's a great idea @megg, nothing worse than trying to get through a work day in a total fog and pretend you're fine.

    I do the same thing, if I'm not sure about the effects of a medication I wait until Friday to take it, just in case. Insomnia can be debilitating.

    On the bright side, my insomnia is so much better, I'm sleeping with out any medications yay! I do have bouts when I'm really stressed, usually

    work related UGH. I hope you can find something that is helpful, best of luck and don't give up. Hopefully you're sleeping now.
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    Is Trazadone the same as Seroquel?
    Sanofi Ambien is pretty good though pricey.
    I haven't slept in a year due to health issues
    so I know what it's like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roz View Post
    Is Trazadone the same as Seroquel?
    Definitely not. Seroquel is quetiapine, an atypical antipsychotic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roz View Post
    Is Trazadone the same as Seroquel?
    Sanofi Ambien is pretty good though pricey.
    I haven't slept in a year due to health issues
    so I know what it's like.
    They're two very different drugs, but if you haven't slept in a year, I'd recommend you try both of them. Seroquel is stronger than Trazodone -- it's more likely to knock you out, but also will make it much more difficult to get up the next day.
    @megg : I was prescribed 50mg of Trazodone for a while. I don't know if using it for sleep is still technically considered "off label" or not, but it's primary use today is definitely as a sleep aid. It also has some anti-depressant properties. It worked very well for me. It definitely helped me sleep, and I never developed a tolerance to it or had any bad side effects. The only downside about Trazodone is that it lasts for a while, so if you take it before bed and have to wake up eight hours later, you'll probably feel extra tired in the morning. That's part of why I decided to stop taking it -- I felt like I didn't need it anymore, but I also was sick of being so groggy in the morning.
    Helpful megg, Roz Rated helpful

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  12. #11
    Thanks for the info @Skeletal_Wings. I tried it last night and I did sleep quite well.. however, in the morning, I just keep sleeping and sleeping, waking every so often, but unable to get myself up. Once I finally forced myself out of bed, I felt fine, but it was definitely strong. I wonder if taking it earlier in the evening would be better... (I took it in bed, just as I turned out the light to sleep.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by megg View Post
    Thanks for the info @Skeletal_Wings. I tried it last night and I did sleep quite well.. however, in the morning, I just keep sleeping and sleeping, waking every so often, but unable to get myself up. Once I finally forced myself out of bed, I felt fine, but it was definitely strong. I wonder if taking it earlier in the evening would be better... (I took it in bed, just as I turned out the light to sleep.)
    When I talked to my doctor about the problem I was having with getting up in the morning, that's what he suggested, that I take it earlier. I tried doing that and I was less tired in the morning but the medication made me so tired once it kicked in that trying to stay awake was miserable, so I'd usually just end up going to sleep earlier. Which is sometimes good, but sometimes I had things to do at night. But yeah, it's definitely worth a try. How much trazadone are you taking? Cause it also may be worth trying to lower the dosage. I was prescribed 50mg, which I thought was already supposed to be a really low dose, but before I stopped taking the medication I was taking 25mg for a while and that still helped me sleep and made me less tired in the morning.
    Another thing about Trazadone that I personally experienced that doctors won't tell you is that if you take it for a while and then try to stop, it'll be especially hard to sleep. At 50mg, my doctor said it was fine to just stop taking it, but then after a week of only getting a few hours of restless sleep a night I decided I had to start taking it again. In order to get off of it, I had to taper myself down to 25mg for a while.
    Helpful megg Rated helpful

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  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Skeletal_Wings View Post
    When I talked to my doctor about the problem I was having with getting up in the morning, that's what he suggested, that I take it earlier. I tried doing that and I was less tired in the morning but the medication made me so tired once it kicked in that trying to stay awake was miserable, so I'd usually just end up going to sleep earlier. Which is sometimes good, but sometimes I had things to do at night. But yeah, it's definitely worth a try. How much trazadone are you taking? Cause it also may be worth trying to lower the dosage. I was prescribed 50mg, which I thought was already supposed to be a really low dose, but before I stopped taking the medication I was taking 25mg for a while and that still helped me sleep and made me less tired in the morning.
    Another thing about Trazadone that I personally experienced that doctors won't tell you is that if you take it for a while and then try to stop, it'll be especially hard to sleep. At 50mg, my doctor said it was fine to just stop taking it, but then after a week of only getting a few hours of restless sleep a night I decided I had to start taking it again. In order to get off of it, I had to taper myself down to 25mg for a while.
    I was prescribed 100mg! Wow, that now seems like a lot! I will try cutting it in half. I've been taking it an hour or so prior to bedtime and I really have been sleeping better. The grogginess in the morning isn't horrible, but tomorrow is the first day I have to get up for work so we'll see how that goes. I'm currently tapering off tramadol (which I originally used for pain, but I believe I became addicted to due to its anti-d qualities), and as I know trazadone can be used as an anti-depressant, I felt it might be a good transition. And honestly, I'm feeling pretty good currently. (Will be completely off by Thursday so we'll see if I feel the same then.)

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    I have had trouble staying asleep for many years. I have a few sleep disorders and have done the sleep hygiene drill to give myself every chance of a good night's sleep. I've tried antihisamines but they are hit and miss with me and occasionally cause noticeable cognitive issues the next day. Ive tried the z meds and found they work ok, but I don't seem to get a real restful sleep.My sleep doc seems hesitant to prescribe anything ongoing and I haven't pushed it.

    After doing some reading I ordered some trazodone to give that a try. The pills I ordered were 100 mg and that knocked me on my butt .. as well as making me groggy the next day. Sooo after doing some more reading I started splitting the pills and tried a few different smaller doses.

    For the first week I took with 25 mg. A fe weeks in I'm still at 25 mg, I may go up to 50. The only real side efect I noticed was some morning grogginess. Taking the dose earlier in the evening seems to take care of that issue for the most part. A little "slow to start" in the morning beats the heck out of what I feel like when I slept 2 - 3 hours the night before.

    For now this works. Making it work took some doing. Taking it earlier in the evening helps with the morning grogginess, but I had to adjust the dose down to the smallest that had any value or I fell asleep too early. Worked for me .. won't work for everyone. If you're giving it a trial, be flexible with the dosage (taking the smallest amount that still helps) and take it earlier in the evening if you're groggy in the morning.

    Only real side effect to speak of so far is dry mouth. Since everything else medical science has created leads to weight gain and ED, I'm watching out for those two but so far .. neither has reared their ugly head.

    Your mileage will undoubtedly vary.
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    @Bungalobill I've tried trazadone for sleeping many years ago but I did not like the after effects/Side effects. I know get perscibed Mirtazapine to help me sleep which works great for me.

    They come in 15mg, 30mg and 45mg and you can get the 45mg as dissolvable in your mouth tablets, I tried them first from a friend and they were great and at first they knocked me out.

    I asked my doc if he would perscibe me them and I get 30mg a night for sleeping and I don't get any bad side effects or bad after effects.

    I hope you find something that works for you.
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    Trazodone is very difficult to get off IMO, w/d symptoms go on for longer than benzos.

  18. Quote Originally Posted by megg View Post
    My Dr prescribed trazadone for insomnia and sleeping issues (she had prescribed Ambien in the past but it's clear that docs are being much more careful about it now.) In my research of trazadone, it has very mixed reviews. Has anyone used this for insomnia? Apparently it's somewhat of an off-label use, as it was originally developed as an anti depressant.
    Trazadone 50 mg is the first line prescription sleep me for 1/2 the population. The other 1/2, including me, have horrible dreams on it (kind of like remembering your own child birth, just kidding). The drug is non-addictive and it is definitely worth trying along with the other non-addictive sleep meds that can be prescribed by doctors. It has been a life saver for a friend of mine.

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    I despise Trazodone. I woke up in sweats, feeling hung over and I was always dehydrated. I would wake up and my eyes were so dried out I had to blink and use eye drops to be able to see again. This is heresay from what my current therapist has told me, but apparently a majority of older antidepressants were being studied and tested for allergy medicine. However, then they found out these drugs worked on depression. That's why it feels like you downed an entire bottle of Benadryl after taking Trazodone.

    I didn't follow-up our conversation with any research, but it makes sense because as I've been working with my psychiatrist, many of the prescriptions I've tried have left me feeling very dehydrated, and just plan gross. Clonidine is another one that basically does the same thing, but not as strong as Trazodone.

    It's tough because I think Benzos work the best and have a better overall effect on anxiety and insomnia, plus they are fast acting, but it's so easy to build a tolerance to them, whether you mean to abuse them or not.
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    Actually, I think Tylenol PM Gel Caps and/or Melatonin work better than Trazedone without the awful side effect. One of my Drs turned me onto the Pure brand of melatonin and I take it every night so that I don't have to take so many benzos, and no hangover.

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    I just had a thought. My Dr. put me on Temazepam for awhile. It's in the Benzo class and controlled, but it's not that strong. I'm one of those persons that falls asleep and then wakes up every hour on the hour, but the purpose of Temazepam is not necessarily to knock you out, but to give you uninterrupted sleep throughout the night.

    I hate to have to recommend a benzo, but Temazepam is much lighter than xanax, valium, ativan, etc. and might train your brain to sleep through the night.

    I've had insomnia since being a child, so when I discovered some of this drugs, it was life changing. I felt great in the morning, I looked great because I had a good night's sleep, and it helped keep my anxiety at bay. Perhaps ask your Dr. about Temazepam. I think the brand name is Restoril? Also, much better than ambien too!!
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