Depression is a condition more than just a passing blue mood, a “bad day,” or temporary sadness. It is characterized by a low mood that can sometimes appear as irritability. Oftentimes, a person with depression is not able to enjoy activities that he or she normally enjoys. Major depression on the other hand is a profound sadness or a sense of despair lasting at least two weeks, but usually they go on much longer. Both can be treated naturally but some require medication especially with major depressive disorder. The most common prescription is PLIVA 434 also known as Trazodone hydrochloride 100 mg. Trazodone is used in the treatment of insomnia; anxiety; sedation; fibromyalgia; major depressive disorder (and more), and belongs to the drug class phenylpiperazine antidepressants. It is a common antidepressant medicine sometimes called “mood elevator” which affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression.
Trazodone is the generic name for the brand-name product called Oleptro™. It is available as a tablet or an extended-release tablet. The doctor prescribes the medication and gives an advice on how much to take and when to take it. It should be taken the same time each day and not on excessive or fewer doses. Always follow doctor’s instructions as taking this medication incorrectly or stopping immediately causes side effects which may worsen your condition.
Common Side Effects
Before taking trazodone, talk with your doctor about any health conditions you have or have had in the past such as:
- Bipolar disorder
- Kidney or liver disease
- Blood or bleeding disorders
- Heart disease
- A heart rhythm problem called long QT syndrome
- Low blood pressure
- Low blood sodium
- Recent heart attack
In summary, Commonly reported side effects of trazodone include: blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, and xerostomia. Other side effects include: syncope, edema, ataxia, confusion, diarrhea, hypotension, insomnia, sedation, and tachycardia. Serious side effects which may need emergency attention include:
- Signs of an allergic reaction: itching or hives; swelling or tingling in the face, lips, mouth, throat, or hands; chest pain or tightness; or difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Confusion, weakness, or decreased coordination
- Stiff, rigid muscles or uncontrollable muscle twitching or tremors
- Fever, sore throat, or other signs of infection
- Fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- Painful, prolonged erection
- Extreme dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
It is important to inform the doctor if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to become pregnant. It should not be taken if you have ever had a bad reaction to this medicine or are allergic to any of its ingredients. Also, refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how it affects you. Make sure all the doctors who you see, including your dentist, know that you take trazodone. This is especially important if you need any type of surgery, because it may react with anesthetic medicines used during certain procedures. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including over-the-counter medicines, herbal remedies, vitamins, and supplements. Give your doctor an up-to-date list of all your medicines so that he or she can be sure they will not interact with trazodone.
Warnings and Precautions
Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior, whether or not they are taking antidepressant medications, and this risk may persist until significant remission occurs. Suicide is a known risk of depression and certain other psychiatric disorders and these disorders themselves are the strongest predictors of suicide. There has been a long standing concern, however, that antidepressants may have a role in inducing worsening of depression and the emergence of suicidality in certain patients during the early phases of treatment.
All patients being treated with antidepressants for any indication should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for emergence of agitation, irritability, unusual changes in behavior, clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases and to report such symptoms immediately to healthcare providers.
This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.