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Trazodone, otherwise known as Desyrel and Oleptro, is an antidepressant for treating anxiety or clinical depression. Because of its sedative effects, it is also often prescribed as a sleep aid. While it lacks the same history as other over-the-counter prescription drugs, Trazodone does have some capabilities to be abused, especially when mixed with other medications.

In the rest of this article, we will be digging into its side-effects and other essential tips. While it might lack the history of other drugs, Trazodone still can be a part of some abuser’s cocktail. 

Lady taking trazodone

What's the potential for Trazodone Abuse?

Studies tell us that Trazodone has a reasonably low likelihood to cause dependence. It is important to note that studies have said that low probability doesn’t mean there is no likelihood. That means that Trazodone, even by itself, has the potential to become an addictive substance.

Because the drug is to be a member of the “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors” (SSRI) list, they address chemical imbalances in the brain. Combining the drug’s sedative effects with this information, and you can see it has a fair bit of potential to be addictive. Much like any addiction, that feeling of feeling “off” without it can start to creep up.

Trazodone Side Effects

Below are some side effects you may experience when suffering from addiction:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Confusion
  • Dry eyes and mouth
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue

There have also been some more severe side effects recorded:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Seizures
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory problems
  • Fainting

Trazodone & Alcohol

When people abuse Trazodone, the most common sign of its abuse comes from its mixing with alcohol. Alcohol can have a pretty extreme effect on the brain, especially when combining them with your medication.

Trazodone is known to increase the effects of intoxication. It will allow alcoholics to become drunk quicker, bringing them closer to that escapism that they crave. Alcoholics see this as a cheap shortcut to getting drunk.

Mixing Alcohol

In many cases, this provides addicts with another avenue to become dependent. They combine the side effects of Trazodone with those of alcohol. These include the following:

  • Bad coordination
  • Reduced reaction time and alertness
  • Poor judgment

As you may expect, people who mix Trazodone and alcohol likely didn’t start here. Instead, they usually have a history of drug abuse that goes back to other drugs. Some of them may prefer other drugs to abuse but find it easier to get access to Trazodone. Given its lower chance of dependence, Trazodone is not considered a controlled substance. This regulation allows doctors to prescribe them in higher numbers.

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How To Identify Trazodone

The first step to finding someone who is suffering from Trazodone abuse is through locating Trazodone. Trazodone typically comes in two primary pill forms:


Pliva 433 is under Trazodone Hydrochloride at 50 mg dosage. indicates this to be used to treat depression and major depressive disorder, but it is also a sedative. It is not a controlled substance based on the Controlled Substance Act (CSA).

You can identify it by spotting a small 9 mm pill with a line running down the center on one side and the words “PLIVA 433” on the other side. With either dosage of this drug, you require a prescription to do this. 


The only difference between 433 and 434 is the dosage. Pliva 434 is a 100 mg dosage, making them more sought after by those who abuse this medication. It is small, round, and slightly larger at 11 mm large. It also requires a prescription to use.

What Are The Signs of Trazodone Abuse?

  • The one taking the medication does not have a prescription.
  • They are taking the drugs in excessive amounts that exceed the prescription.
  • They are combining Trazodone with alcohol or other more potent drugs.
  • The abuser begins to display withdrawal symptoms of Trazodone or other drugs.
  • The abuser shirks significant responsibilities at work or among friends or family.

What Are The Signs of a Trazodone Overdoese?

For those who become regular abusers of the drug, they may have one of the following symptoms:

  • Feelings of being restless
  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Shivering
  • Twitching muscles
  • Fever
  • Unusual heartbeat

Expect these signs to be more extreme if one takes alcohol.

How Can I Safely Take Trazodone?

Anytime you, or a friend, may decide to stop abusing the medication, you must first consult a medical professional. A doctor or therapist has the training to know what coming off a drug will do to your body. They will provide you with some crucial steps needed to do this right.

In extreme cases, the doctor may recommend you for medical detox. Medical detox involves you being weaned from a drug under the watchful eye of medical professionals. You may see this with assistance from other medication, but it will include removing harmful chemicals over time.

If you decide to take this step, do so with a friend—contact loved ones or family members who support your decision to step away from this lifestyle. If you can find someone to join you to stop taking the medication, you can both support each other. Finding non-judgmental support is key to success. The stigma behind drug abuse is not helpful.


Trazodone is a medication used for the treatment of anxiety and clinical depression. When used right, it can help those struggling with mental illness to find a better life. However, its ability to modify brain chemicals and sedative effects make it a deadly combination that can be part of an abuser’s cocktail.

While Trazodone lacks the potency of other prescription drugs, it does have the potential to be mixed with others. Alcoholics tend to mix this medication with their preferred drink to increase the effectiveness of intoxication. This escapist mentality can result in extreme side effects, including blurred vision, lack of focus, and impaired reaction time.

It is important to note that Trazodone abuse is more likely among those with a history of drug abuse. Look for the signs of abuse and be sure to stay in contact to provide a constant beacon of support. Whether you are the one suffering or someone else is, it is essential for them to feel comfortable to move on.