IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

24 May 2022
Medically reviewed by
Freny Menezes
Pharm. D
is-trazodone-a-controlled-substance
Table of Contents

In the 1960s, trazodone was developed in Italy as an antidepressant drug. Early on, the antidepressant wasn't popular among the medical community because of its side effects. But over time, internists and clinicians began to see the drug's potential advantages when used in modest dosages. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved trazodone, the drug's generic name, in 1981 for major depressive disorder under the trade name Desyrel. Today, the drug is administered under the trade name Oleptro to treat anxiety disorder, unipolar depression, and sleep problems like insomnia.

In the world full of medical dependency for the condition you face, it should be necessary to get treated with a perfect drug. The other important aspect for looking at this scenario is finding a medicine that is not a controlled substance. So here the question arises, is trazodone a controlled substance?

What Is Trazodone (Desyrel)?

Trazodone belongs to the drug class of Serotonin receptor antagonists and reuptake inhibitors. It is also available in its brand versions known as Desyrel, Desyrel Dividose, Oleptro.

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Trazodone is used to treat conditions such as depression and Major disruptive disorder. It might also get mood, energy and appetite back with the medicine. Trazodone is also used in treatment such as anxiety, panic attacks and even insomnia.

This medicine was approved by the FDA on 02 February 2010. It is wholly responsible for any medicine that has to be sold legally. Buy Trazadone online from a certified online pharmacy. It is a prescribed medicine. Without the approval by the FDA, the medicine can be dangerous as well. 

Mechanism Of Trazodone

Trazodone is an antidepressant medication that helps you deal with depression and other related problems. It works on the brain directly. Serotonin is a chemical released into the brain after consuming Trazodone and helps you achieve a stabilized mood. 

Trazodone acts by blocking serotonin transporters and serotonin type 2 receptors. It is a derivative of triazolopyridine. Trazodone blocks histamine and alpha-1-adrenergic receptors in addition to preventing serotonin reuptake. Additionally, it causes substantial changes in 5-HT presynaptic receptor adrenoreceptors.

Trazodone was initially developed to treat depression and anxiety problems, but it is now frequently recommended as a sleep aid at night for individuals with acute insomnia.
Depending on the medication, patients who take it for a sleep issue can feel the sedative effects within 30 minutes. Patients who take Trazadone as an antidepressant may not notice symptom relief for one to two weeks, and it may take up to four weeks to experience the full benefits.
Weight gain is not a frequent adverse effect of trazodone, although it may occur in some individuals. The likelihood of weight reduction with Trazodone is slightly higher.
It can be dangerous to consume alcohol when taking Trazodone. Trazodone may intensify alcohol's effects, causing potentially fatal overdoses and severe intoxication. Extreme sleepiness from the combo might potentially result in accidents and falls.

Indications Of Trazodone

FDA approved indications

  • Trazodone is an antidepressant with FDA approval to treat major depressive disorders. It can be used alone to treat depression or with other medications or psychotherapies.

Off-label indications

  • Trazodone is widely used off-label for anxiety, Alzheimer's disease, substance abuse, bulimia, and fibromyalgia. Other indications include
  • Insomnia
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Cocaine and alcohol withdrawal
  • Prevention of migraine
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)  

What Is A Controlled Substance In Medicine?

Controlled substances are prescription drugs that have the potential to cause addiction or abuse in the user.  Specific conditions are always treated with prescription-only medications. Controlled substances have negative effects that would harm a person and are, therefore, more dangerous.

The federal government oversees the regulation of these medications. If someone uses it without a valid prescription, they may spend time in jail or face serious legal repercussions. 

Does Trazodone Come Under The Controlled Substance Act?

A special Act that has been imposed for controlled substance medications. In this act, the drugs were classified into different categories from schedule 1 to 5. Schedule 1 drugs have a high chance of dependency and have no medical use. In schedules 2 to 5, medicine has fewer addiction properties and more medical usage. Especially in schedule 5, it has the lowest possibility for abuse. 

Narcotics are a class of drugs that includes illegal street drugs and prescribed medications that are not illegal. Codeine, fentanyl, methadone, and tramadol are some of the most used and abused narcotics.

Even though trazodone requires a prescription and comes with hazards, it is neither a narcotic nor a controlled substance. Although the risk is not as great as with many other sleep aids, it does have some abuse potential.

The medication has hypnotic properties in addition to its more well-known use as a generic antidepressant (sleep-inducing). Although its primary usage is to treat severe depressive illness, it can also be recommended to patients with sleep disorders like insomnia and anxiety. Make sure to talk to your doctor before using trazodone for sleep. 

Side Effects Of Trazodone

Before consuming Trazodone, you should know about its side effects. Side effects are usually divided into two variations such as common and severe. If you find any of the common side effects do consult a doctor before it gets severe. If at all you feel severely affected, then get medical help as soon as possible.

Common Side effects Severe Side effects
Blur in vision Low/ Slow heart beats
Blocked nose Mood swings
Weight loss Anxiety
Drowsiness Chest pain
Dizziness Severe headache

Precautions That You Should Follow

Precautions are cautionary steps that you should follow before taking any drug. It is to avoid any unwanted side effects from occurring. Some things that you should keep in mind before consuming Trazodone are as follows:

Do not take the medication if you are suffering from

-Liver issues
-Kidney problems
-Seizures
-Heart attack
-Bipolar disorder

  • Inform your medical professional of all the medications you use before starting Trazodone. 
  • Comply with all instructions provided by your doctor when taking trazodone hydrochloride tablets.
  • The best time to take trazodone hydrochloride tablets is after a meal or a small snack.
  • Consult your doctor if you experience drowsiness after taking trazodone hydrochloride tablets.
  • Your doctor may alter the dosage or time you take your trazodone tablets.
  • Never stop taking trazodone hydrochloride tablets without first consulting your doctor.
  • Trazodone hydrochloride tablet dosages have to be taken whole or cut in half along the score line. 
  • Take trazodone hydrochloride tablets whole; do not chew or crush them. 
  • If you take too much trazodone, contact your physician or head to the emergency department as soon as possible.
  • Avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in other risky activities if you are on Trazodone.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or using drugs that cause drowsiness or vertigo while taking Trazodone.
  • Let your doctor know if you experience any of the following symptoms: agitation, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, aggression, impulsivity, akathisia, hypomania, or mania.
  • Women who plan to become pregnant or are nursing should talk to a doctor about whether they should continue taking Trazodone, as it is not advised for use in these situations.

Drugs Interactions:

1. Avoid using Trazodone within 14 days of MAOI use.
2. Trazodone may enhance how the body reacts to alcohol, barbiturates, and other CNS depressants.
3. Patients receiving trazodone simultaneously with Digoxin or Phenytoin have seen elevated serum levels of these drugs.
4. Trazodone should be used with caution when combined with other medications that may impact the neurotransmitter systems because of the drug's mode of action and the possibility of serotonin syndrome.
5. Patients should be observed for and warned about the potential risk of bleeding associated with the concurrent use of trazodone and NSAIDs, aspirin, or other medications that affect coagulation or bleeding due to a possible association between serotonin-modulating drugs and gastrointestinal bleeding.
6. Some of the other medicine that may interact with Trazodone are as follows:

  • Tramadol
  • Warfarin
  • Jantoven
  • Sumatriptan
  • Treximet 

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Trazodone is a member of the antidepressant medication class, more precisely, it is a serotonin modulator and an atypical antidepressant. In the US, trazodone is neither a narcotic nor a controlled substance. For use, a prescription is necessary.

Trazodone affects the neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine and serotonin, which are feel-good hormones. Trazodone blocks the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, making more serotonin accessible. An imbalance in these neurotransmitters is one of the primary causes of depression.

Therefore, even if Trazodone is not a controlled substance, like many other prescription drugs, there are still some dangers related to using it. People can misuse it without a prescription, use it too often, or overdose.

Using Trazodone in a manner other than intended is deemed abuse. Do not take the medication for an extended period. You may experience many side effects with Trazodone, of which dizziness and drowsiness are the most common.

To get a Trazodone, you need to get a compulsory prescription from the doctor.

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