Trazodone was developed in the 1960s. The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Trazodone for the treatment of depression in 1981. Some of the brand names for Trazodone are Oleptro, Desyrel and Desyrel Dividose. Often, a very important thing to know about a medication, like Trazodone, is experts don’t fully and completely understand how it works. They also seem divided about whether or not physicians should even prescribe it to their patients.
Trazodone is known to modulate and increase levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that’s associated with mood feelings of pleasure. Most trazodone abuse starts by taking more than the prescribed dosage. With the potential for addiction and withdrawal, Trazodone should only be taken according to the prescribing physician’s instructions.
- It is unknown at this time just how many users are actively engaged in getting a Trazodone high.
Getting “high” on Trazodone is possible because of the sedative effects of the drug on the central nervous system, though feelings of “euphoria,” which is what most recreational drug users want to achieve, are not common from just taking trazodone by itself. Here are a few of the ways people abuse Trazodone;
- Crushing pills and inhaling them to experience a mild euphoria and sedative effect
- Pulverizing pills with the intent of snorting the powder like it’s cocaine
- Smashing pills and adding it to tobacco or marijuana to smoke it
- Reducing pills to powder and adding it to a caffeine, alcohol or soda beverage
The groups most likely to abuse Trazodone are those using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons, people with a history of addiction and individuals that mix other substances, such as alcohol, with their prescribed medications.
- Most people who use Trazodone to get high prefer Trazodone immediate release tablets rather than extended release.
According to teendrugabuse.org, though, users will often take the medication – street name “sleepeasy” – with other drugs, such as alcohol, amphetamines and ecstasy.
The medication itself is taken orally and comes in the following dosages:
- 150mg tablet and extended-release tablet
- 100mg tablet and extended-release tablet
- 50mg tablet and extended-release tablet
Trazodone Side Effects
Using Trazodone to get “high” does not come without consequences and risks. Side effects can include:
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Headaches, blurred vision, dry mouth and dizziness
- Nausea, vomiting and feeling hung-over the following day
It is possible to overdose on Trazodone especially when mixed with alcohol. Depending on how much of the drug was ingested, overdose can present as drowsiness, vomiting or breathing problems. So, a trazodone “high” has the potential to be dangerous, especially when mixed with the wrong combination of substances.
Physicians generally tend to avoid prescribing the medication to teenagers because Trazodone is known to have the opposite effect on depression in young people. It can, in fact, increase suicidal thoughts and tendencies in the first two weeks of use.
Trazodone addiction is treatable. Friends and family should stay vigilant for any signs that their loved one might be abusing or has developed a dependence on this prescription drug. Here are some of the warning signs. The signs and symptoms of someone getting a Trazodone high:
- A person spends a greater amount of time talking about or planning to take Trazodone
- If someone is trying to get more of the medication after their prescription period
- User begins ignoring obligations, such as work, family or hobbies, for more time to abuse Trazodone
- If a person complains that the prescribed dose of Trazodone is getting them “high”
Initially, Trazodone was thought to be non-addictive, but withdrawal from the drug is serious enough that it can cause patients to continue using it to avoid the uncomfortable side effects. The longer a person uses or abuses trazodone, the more likely they are to experience withdrawal symptoms, most commonly if they stop taking the drug all at once. These symptoms can include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Tightness in the chest
- Feeling frustrated, irritable or angry
- Disorientation and confusion
- Fatigue and faintness after standing too quickly
- Headaches, muscle pains and weakness
Off-Label Uses of Trazodone
The medication is most often prescribed for major depressive orders, such as depression, anxiety, as well as alcohol dependence. However, because trazodone has a sedating effect, a growing number of physicians prescribe it to patients for insomnia, a practice known as off-label use.
Other conditions that doctors sometimes prescribe off-label use of trazodone for include:
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Bulimia nervosa
- Erectile dysfunction
- Nightmare control
The number of Trazodone prescriptions has increased from around 13 million in 2004 to almost 26 million in 2014.
- “By some measures,” writes Psychology Today contributor Dr. Matthew J. Edlund, “[trazodone] is now the most commonly prescribed sleeping pill in the U.S.”
According to data collected by CVS pharmacies, Trazodone is most often prescribed to patients between the ages of 40 to 60, about 44 percent of prescriptions. Those over the age of 60 come in second, receiving an estimated 37 percent of trazodone prescriptions.
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