Desyrel (Trazodone) Patient Information

Find out why Desyrel is prescribed, Desyrel side effects, Desyrel warnings, effects of Desyrel during pregnancy, more - in plain English.

Generic name: Trazodone hydrochloride
Brand name: Desyrel

Pronounced: DES-ee-rel

Desyrel (trazodone) Full Prescribing Information

Why is Desyrel prescribed?

Desyrel is prescribed for the treatment of depression.

Most important fact about Desyrel

Desyrel does not provide immediate relief. It may take up to 4 weeks before you begin to feel better, although most patients notice improvement within 2 weeks.

How should you take Desyrel?

Take Desyrel shortly after a meal or light snack. You may be more apt to feel dizzy or light-headed if you take the drug before you have eaten.

Desyrel may cause dry mouth. Sucking on a hard candy, chewing gum, or melting bits of ice in your mouth can relieve the problem.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 4 hours of your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container away from light and excessive heat.

What side effects may occur with Desyrel?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Desyrel.

    • More common Desyrel side effects may include: Abdominal or stomach disorder, aches or pains in muscles and bones, anger or hostility, blurred vision, brief loss of consciousness, confusion, constipation, decreased appetite, diarrhea, dizziness or light-headedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, excitement, fainting, fast or fluttery heartbeat, fatigue, fluid retention and swelling, headache, inability to fall or stay asleep, low blood pressure, nasal or sinus congestion, nausea, nervousness, nightmares or vivid dreams, tremors, uncoordinated movements, vomiting, weight gain or loss

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  • Less common or rare side effects may include: Allergic reactions, anemia, bad taste in mouth, blood in the urine, chest pain, delayed urine flow, decreased concentration, decreased sex drive, disorientation, ejaculation problems, excess salivation, gas, general feeling of illness, hallucinations or delusions, high blood pressure, impaired memory, impaired speech, impotence, increased appetite, increased sex drive, menstrual problems, more frequent urination, muscle twitches, numbness, prolonged erections, red, tired, itchy eyes, restlessness, ringing in the ears, shortness of breath, sweating or clammy skin, tingling or pins and needles

Why should Desyrel not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Desyrel or similar drugs, you should not take this medication. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.


Special warnings about Desyrel

Desyrel may cause you to become drowsy or less alert and may affect your judgment. Therefore, you should not drive or operate dangerous machinery or participate in any hazardous activity that requires full mental alertness until you know how this drug affects you.

Desyrel has been associated with priapism, a persistent, painful erection of the penis. Men who experience prolonged or inappropriate erections should stop taking this drug and consult their doctor.

Notify your doctor or dentist that you are taking this drug if you have a medical emergency, and before you have surgery or dental treatment. Your doctor will ask you to stop using the drug if you are going to have elective surgery.

Be careful taking this drug if you have heart disease. Desyrel can cause irregular heartbeats.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Desyrel

Desyrel may intensify the effects of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication.

If Desyrel is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Desyrel with the following:

Antidepressant drugs known as MAO inhibitors, including Nardil and Parnate
Barbiturates such as Seconal
Central nervous system depressants such as Demerol and Halcion
Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Drugs for high blood pressure such as Catapres and Wytensin
Other antidepressants such as Prozac and Norpramin
Phenytoin (Dilantin)
Warfarin (Coumadin)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Desyrel during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. This medication may appear in breast milk. If treatment with this drug is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding your baby until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage for Desyrel


The usual starting dosage is a total of 150 milligrams per day, divided into 2 or more smaller doses. Your doctor may increase your dose by 50 milligrams per day every 3 or 4 days. Total dosage should not exceed 400 milligrams per day, divided into smaller doses. Once you have responded well to the drug, your doctor may gradually reduce your dose. Because this medication makes you drowsy, your doctor may tell you to take the largest dose at bedtime. CHILDREN

The safety and effectiveness of Desyrel have not been established in children below 18 years of age.

Overdosage of Desyrel

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. An overdose of Desyrel in combination with other drugs can be fatal.

  • Symptoms of a Desyrel overdose may include: Breathing failure, drowsiness, irregular heartbeat, prolonged, painful erection, seizures, vomiting

If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

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Desyrel (trazodone) Full Prescribing Information

Detailed Info on Signs, Symptoms, Causes, Treatments of Depression

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, January 4). Desyrel (Trazodone) Patient Information, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Last Updated: January 27, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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