Trazodone is a common antidepressant that is available almost worldwide. Furthermore, it is one of the most common antidepressants in the market. In fact, in 2014 alone, doctors gave out 26 million prescriptions of the drug in the US. Besides depression, some medical experts have also agreed that patients may take Trazodone for anxiety.
Italian scientists from Angelini Research Laboratories discovered Trazodone in the 1960’s as a second-generation antidepressant. However, its approval in the US only came about in 1981 after the Food and Drug Administration finally allowed its sale. It is considered as the first non-tricyclic antidepressant the FDA approved in the US.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a mental disorder that causes people to experience excessive fear or worry. It is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the world. In fact, it affects at least 44 million adults in the US alone. Sadly, only about a third of them get the proper treatment. (1)
Anxiety may be due to various factors such as the environment, stress, trauma, or genetics. Its severity can range anywhere from mild worry to disabling panic attacks. Multiple forms of it exist such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorders, and social anxiety disorders. It may also worsen through time if the patient disregards its symptoms.
The treatment of different types of anxiety may sometimes require varying drugs or therapies. It is almost impossible to say that a single treatment or drug can work for all kinds of anxiety disorders. Hence, for this reason, it is advisable that patients always consult medical experts before taking any medication such as Trazodone for anxiety.
Can I Use Trazodone For Anxiety?
Scientists have grouped Trazodone under the serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI) class. Some mental disorders such as depression and anxiety are often linked to an imbalance in a person’s serotonin levels.
Trazodone can help to rebalance a person’s serotonin levels by helping block the reuptake of the said neurotransmitter. Although anxiety is an off-label use of Trazodone, many scientists agree that it is effective in reducing the symptoms of the disorder.
The FDA, however, warns patients of the possible dangerous side effects of the drug. Some studies have shown that people taking the drug have a higher suicidal tendency in the early stage of the drug therapy. This side effect is most especially prevalent in people under 24 years old. For this reason, doctors do not advise children and teenagers to take trazodone. (2)
Other Uses Of Trazodone
Besides depression and anxiety, some studies and reports attest that Trazodone can efficiently treat other mental disorders. Medical experts, however, advise extreme caution when taking drugs such as Trazodone for their off-label uses.
Trazodone may also treat mental disorders such as:
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
- Schizophrenia (in adjunct with other drugs)
- Erectile Dysfunctions
Trazodone may help you reduce the symptoms of anxiety. However, just like with any medication, one must take additional precautions when taking it. Make sure to first get an opinion from a competent medical expert before taking Trazodone for anxiety.