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Side effects of trazodone

Like all medicines, trazodone can cause side effects in some people, but many people have no side effects or only minor ones.

Common side effects

Some of the common side effects of trazodone will gradually get better as your body gets used to it. There are things you can do to help cope with them:

Feeling sleepy or tired

Take trazodone in the evening and try to cut down the amount of alcohol you drink. If you take trazodone twice a day, talk to your doctor. Feeling sleepy should become less of a problem after a few days as your body gets used to the medicine. Do not drive, ride a bike or use tools or machinery if you're feeling sleepy or tired.


Make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Try not to drink too much alcohol. Talk to your doctor if the headaches last longer than a week or are severe.

Feeling sick (nausea)

Try taking trazodone with or after food to see if that helps. It's best to avoid rich or spicy food while you're taking this medicine.


Eat more high-fibre foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables and cereals. Try to drink several glasses of water every day. If you can, it may also help to do some exercise.

A dry mouth

Try sugar-free gum or sugar-free sweets.

Tell your doctor if this advice does not help or the side effects do not go away.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects are rare and happen in less than 1 in 1,000 people.

Call your doctor or contact 111 now if:

  • the whites of your eyes turn yellow, or your skin turns yellow although this may be less obvious on brown or black skin – this can be a sign of liver problems
  • you have difficulty pooing (constipation) or you're unable to pee
  • you are bruising more easily than usual or have unexplained bruising
  • you get more infections than usual, such as a sore throat or skin infections
  • you have a fast, slow or abnormal heartbeat

Go to or call 111.

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E now if you have:

  • a long-lasting and painful erection that lasts longer than 2 hours – this may happen even when you're not having sex
  • a seizure or fit
  • thoughts of self-harming or ending your life

Find your nearest A&E

Serious allergic reaction

In rare cases, it's possible to have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to trazodone.

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E now if:

  • you get a skin rash that may include itchy, red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • you're wheezing
  • you get tightness in the chest or throat
  • you have trouble breathing or talking
  • your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat start swelling

You could be having a serious allergic reaction and may need immediate treatment in hospital.

Sexual side effects

Trazodone can cause problems with ejaculation. Some people say it gives them a higher sex drive, others say it makes it lower.

Other side effects

These are not all the side effects of trazodone. For a full list, see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.


You can report any suspected side effect using the Yellow Card safety scheme.

Visit Yellow Card for further information.

Page last reviewed: 9 March 2022
Next review due: 9 March 2025