Trazodone, also prescribed as Oleptro, is a serotonin modulator that can cause physical dependence with chronic use and withdrawal if you try to stop taking it all at once.
This medication is FDA-approved to treat depression, and can also be prescribed off-label for the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, or agitation.
Stopping trazodone after developing a physical dependence on the drug may cause symptoms of withdrawal. For this reason, detoxing from trazodone through a taper is typically recommended.
Do You Need To Detox From Trazodone?
If you’ve been taking trazodone regularly for at least one month or longer, your doctor may recommend gradually reducing the dosage you’re currently taking to minimize withdrawal.
Detoxing from trazodone may also be necessary if you:
- take high doses of trazodone
- misuse trazodone for nonmedical purposes (i.e. prescription drug abuse)
- have a history of drug abuse or addiction
- misuse trazodone in combination with other drugs (including alcohol)
Long-term use of trazodone can cause what’s known as physical dependence. This can develop as a result of the drug’s long-term effects on certain chemicals in the brain.
Physical dependence may cause the development of side effects if you miss a dose of trazodone or try to quit trazodone all at once.
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How Trazodone Detox Works
Trazodone detoxification, or detox, typically involves a tapering process. A taper is a process of reducing the amount of trazodone you take over a period of time.
For instance, your doctor may recommend lowering your dose for a specified amount of time, then provide clear instructions for how to reduce it further until you have weaned off.
Trazodone detox can also be completed in a detox facility or addiction treatment setting, which may be recommended if you have a history of polysubstance abuse or drug addiction.
Side Effects Of Trazodone Detox
Getting off trazodone after taking it for some time may cause certain withdrawal symptoms. These can be mild to severe in nature depending on factors related to your drug use.
Trazodone withdrawal symptoms may include:
- difficulty falling or staying asleep
- mild diarrhea
Late withdrawal symptoms may include:
- muscle pain
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
- stomach pain
Trazodone Detox And Withdrawal Timeline
Withdrawal symptoms may begin to set in within the first 48 hours after either reducing your dosage or stopping trazodone. This may feel like a cold, but without a fever.
Stopping cold-turkey, or all at once, may cause more intense symptoms of withdrawal.
Days 1 to 3: Within the first one to three days, a general feeling of discomfort, as well as difficulty sleeping, fatigue, and agitation are common signs of trazodone withdrawal.
Days 4 to 10: Some additional symptoms, including restlessness, tremors, and gastrointestinal distress may occur after the first few days of the detox process.
Days 11 to 31: Some withdrawal symptoms may appear and go away over the course of the first month of withdrawal. How long this lasts may depend on certain factors.
Factors that can affect the timeline of trazodone detox include:
- dose taken
- drug formulation
- duration of drug use
- frequency of drug use
- use of other drugs (including prescription and illicit drugs)
- drug abuse
- overall health
- genetic factors
- detox method (i.e. tapering or stopping cold-turkey)
What Are The Risks Of Trazodone Detox?
Before making any adjustments to your trazodone use, it’s important to first consult a doctor. Stopping trazodone cold-turkey, especially after long-term use, could be risky.
Potential risks of trazodone detox include:
- rebound insomnia
- intense withdrawal symptoms
- relapse of depressive symptoms
While trazodone withdrawal isn’t known to be dangerous on its own, it can be highly uncomfortable and difficult to manage if you don’t first taper your dosage.
Treatment For Trazodone Detox
Those who are at risk for severe withdrawal as a result of trazodone dependence, or addiction to multiple drugs (including trazodone) might consider finding a detox program.
Detox programs for drug withdrawal are offered by specialized detox facilities, as well as some inpatient and outpatient drug rehab centers.
Medical detoxification is the highest level of care for people who are detoxing from drugs known to be highly addictive or cause severe withdrawal, such as alcohol and benzodiazepines.
Medically supervised detox can offer 24-hour supervision, treatment for withdrawal symptoms, and may be able to refer you to a nearby substance abuse treatment program.
Trazodone detox can take place on an outpatient basis. That is, without entering a detox facility for overnight care. However, this will depend on the nature of your drug use.
Outpatient detox may be suitable for people who:
- are not at risk for severe withdrawal
- have only mild trazodone dependence
- do not have a substance use disorder
- do not have a serious medical condition
- have a strong support system at home
Your doctor, or an outpatient addiction treatment provider, can help you come up with a suitable outpatient detox plan for safely withdrawing from trazodone.
Trazodone Detox FAQs
Find answers to frequently asked questions about trazodone detoxification and withdrawal.
❓ What Happens When You Stop Taking Trazodone?
✔️ Completely stopping trazodone all at once, without tapering off the drug, may cause symptoms of withdrawal, including insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, and agitation.
❓ Is Trazodone Addictive?
✔️ Trazodone is considered non-addictive. However, it can cause physical dependence with long-term use, which may result in withdrawal if you stop taking it.
❓ Is Trazodone Detox Dangerous?
✔️ Detoxing from trazodone does not typically cause life-threatening effects. However, it can cause physical discomfort, difficulty sleeping, and emotional distress without support.
Find Trazodone Detox And Addiction Treatment Today
Trazodone is a drug that can cause physical dependence with long-term use. If you need help detoxing from trazodone, we may be able to help.
Call our confidential helpline today to learn more about trazodone detox and how to find a trazodone detox program that’s right for you or a loved one.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) — OLEPTRO (trazodone hydrochloride) extended-release tablets
- U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Misuse of Prescription Drugs Research Report
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Trazodone
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: PubMed — Mechanisms of the development of trazodone withdrawal symptoms