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A few antidepressants – like trazodone – possess sedative properties, which make you sleep properly. Though such drugs are used for the treatment of major depressive disorders (MDD), doctors use them for treating insomnia / sleeplessness. Good sleep is a basic prerequisite to boost your energy levels and the reduce anxieties. In this light, trazodone – a widely used antidepressant – is given to manage sleeplessness through off-label use. But, are there alternatives to trazodone for the treatment of insomnia? It can do you a lot of good to know more in this regard.

Mental health problems can take the shape of nervousness, spells of panic, staying depressed for long, weird thoughts, hallucinations, etc. If you leave them unattended, you are likely to encounter severe mental disorders. Some of the common signs of being depressed include a noteworthy drop in appetite, unable to sleep well, difficulties in remaining focussed, being aggressive, etc. Your caregiving team will recommend changes to your diet, daily lifestyle and prescribe drugs to boost the presence of neuro-transmitters like norepinephrine, serotonin, etc.

In this milieu, what is trazodone?

This med belongs to a category called serotonin antagonist & a reuptake inhibitor. Its main function is to increase the presence of neurotransmitters like serotonin in the brain. In the process, it helps you sleep well, eat properly and to stay calm. Its sedative capabilities are the main reason behind putting you to deep sleep. Owing to this, the med is used as a sleep-inducing drug – as an off-label mode.

Since its launch in 1981, its patronage has grown in a steady fashion. Today, it ranks as one among highly prescribed and administered meds in the US. Each year, as high as 26.5 million prescriptions get written out for this antidepressant med.

What are the alternatives to trazodone for treating insomnia?

Trazodone is used at markedly lower dosage forms for treating insomnia. It is mainly administered onto those who experience sleeplessness owing to depression. However, this med is known to work for people who are not under depression but are experiencing insomnia.

Trazodone is not a sleeping tablet. You need to know that this med does not possess the clearance of FDA for treating insomnia. It is hence administered through an off-label route. There are however a few alternatives to this medication – which essentially is an antidepressant drug. Of the various other options, benzodiazepines – such as triazolam, estazolam, etc. – have the needful approvals to treat insomnia. In case you are also quite restless/anxious (and hence are sleepless), drugs like lorazepam are prescribed. These meds can treat sleeplessness and calm your anxiety level.

Another alternative is Ramelteon – this drug acts in a similar fashion as melatonin. The latter is your system’s sleep-inducing agent. The good thing here is – ramelteon is unlikely to cause adverse effects; also, it is not known to be habit forming.

A recent addition to this list of alternatives is – orexin receptor antagonist (ORA) meds. The key ingredients of this genre of meds work by inhibiting substances in your system that nudge your body to get up from sleeping. The only catch is – these meds are quite expensive as compared the several other options listed here.

While you are using any of the aforesaid alternatives to trazodone (to get proper sleep), beware of drugs that can make you dependent and addictive. For instance, benzodiazepines can be habit-forming. If you stop taking this med all of a sudden, you may develop signs of withdrawal; these include discomforts such as sweating profusely, nausea and / or vomiting. Hence, it is a good practice to take a qualified medical specialist’s guidance while choosing the right alternative to trazodone to treat insomnia.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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