Trazodone and Alcohol - The Damage of Mixing
Trazodone and alcohol do not compliment one-another. Trazodone is an anti-depressant while alcohol is a depressant, and the result of mixing the two can be severe.
We present the information on this page as a generalized, educational overview. Specific details below regarding treatment protocols may not reflect the protocols utilized by Compass Recovery.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to learn more about Compass Recovery and our individualized programs for those struggling with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Trazodone and alcohol are two substances that you should not use together because of their stark difference. Trazodone is an anti-depressant while alcohol is a depressant. Although doctors usually recommend trazodone for insomnia and to reduce depression, anyone can find access to alcohol.
Individuals use alcohol during social engagements to improve their mood, but excessive alcohol intake can lead to intoxication, which may affect one’s physical and mental capability. If trazodone and alcohol are not related, what is the connection between them, and why should you care about them?
Why Should You Care about Mixing Trazodone and Alcohol?
Trazodone works mainly as an anti-depressant, while alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that slows down the parts of the brain. Alcohol lowers the level of arousal in individuals.1
When people use alcohol to improve their mood and are prescribed trazodone to aid sleep, depression, and anxiety, they may be tempted to mix the two to create a heightened effect. The American Addiction Centre reports that the mixture of trazodone and alcohol can make individuals highly intoxicated, leading to drowsiness and sometimes an overdose.2
Statistics on Trazodone
Trazodone drug class is an anti-depression medication. The estimated number of prescriptions in the US from 2008 – 2018 is about 23,889,624.3 Research on the trazodone effect in depression patients showed an improved sleep quality for participants in the study group.4
Several studies have identified the effective use of trazodone for insomnia and daytime sleeping. A similar survey of the hypnotic effect of trazodone on 16 adults showed that 50mg of trazodone taken 30 minutes before sleep could maintain a sound sleep.5
Three clinical trials used the Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire and found that trazodone improved the quality of sleep after 6 weeks of treatments. Special attention was placed on the use of trazodone for insomnia because it is a crucial symptom of depression.6
Statistics on Alcohol
Alcohol is one of the most widely abused drugs in the US.7 It is an essential ingredient in wine, beer, and spirit, and people have used it to form social relationships. Modest drinking is enjoyable, but excess consumption of alcohol can lead to adverse outcomes. Alcohol is considered a depressant that results in staggering movement, sluggishness, distorted speech, and slow reaction to situations.8
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 85.5% of adults between 18 – older reported that they used alcohol.9 Alcohol is also a risk factor for accidents, injuries, disabilities, crimes, and diseases.10
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that about 3 million deaths result from the dangerous use of alcohol. While Europe and Australia take the highest number of adults who consume alcohol, North Africa and the Middle East take the lower rate with only 5% of adults partaking in alcohol consumption.10
What is Trazodone?
Trazodone is an anti-depressant drug that is used to treat depression. Trazodone balances the chemicals in the brain. Aside from depression, you can use trazodone to treat anxiety, insomnia, and a combination of anxiety and depression. Trazodone can also improve mood and increase concentration. The trazodone side effects are dizziness, headache, fatigue, and dry mouth.
Trazodone drug class includes serotonin, antagonist, and reuptake inhibitors. These are antidepressant medications used to treat depressive disorders.
How Does Trazodone Work?
Trazodone enhances the levels of serotonin and noradrenaline – chemicals that improve mood – in the brain. When you are sad, the levels of these chemicals naturally decrease. Trazodone helps to restore the levels of these chemicals to improve one’s mood.
The Dangerous Interaction When You Mix Trazodone and Alcohol
The mixture of alcohol and trazodone often results in devastating effects, which include:
Although trazodone overdose is less common, it can happen when you mix alcohol and the drug. Due to its high level of intoxicating elements, trazodone may increase some of the effects of alcohol, leading to an overdose.
The use of trazodone and alcohol for an extended period can also result in substance dependence and trazodone withdrawal. Withdrawal signs include poor sleeping habits and anxiety.
The combination of trazodone and alcohol can cause extreme drowsiness, which can lead to severe and life-threatening accidents. The two agents have intoxicating elements that may affect the respiratory system and nervous system when taken in large doses.
Trazodone interactions with alcohol may also cause serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome means the levels of serotonin are incredibly high for the brain to endure, which may lead to death.
What are the Other Side Effects of Trazodone and Alcohol?
The short-term effects of mixing alcohol and trazodone can make a patient dizzy and sleepy. Other side effects include:11
These effects are often mild and go away soon.
Mixing together alcohol and trazodone in an attempt to improve one’s mood can lead to severe and long-term effects as well. Long-term effects of combining trazodone and alcohol can include:11
Trazodone withdrawal occurs when patients feel sick whenever when they stop using trazodone and alcohol together. This abrupt stoppage of substance use often causes victims to react in different ways. Some of the symptoms of trazodone withdrawal include:
Treatments for Trazodone and Alcohol
Therapists who specialize in substance use can help clients identify the underlying causes of addiction. They can also help clients set achievable mini-goals and long-term goals while they overcome their addiction. Some of the most effective therapies for addiction include cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing therapy, and person-centered therapy.
Other Treatment Options
Another way to treat trazodone and alcohol is detox. Detox involves getting rid of any traces of trazodone and alcohol in the body. The next step is going to a rehabilitation and recovery center While going for recovery may be far-fetched for some individuals, it is a suitable option to help clients with severe cases. Recovery helps clients find the underlying causes of trazodone and alcohol abuse and teaches them to use different coping mechanisms.