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Trazodone for insomnia..

My doctor prescribed trazodone 100mg (I think it said mg) for my insomnia that I have suffered with for the last 15 years due to a thyroid problem I had years ago.

I took it for the first time last night, but I did not fall asleep or even come close to falling asleep. I took it at 8:30pm and went to bed at 9pm, but ended up getting out of bed at 10pm because I could not sleep. The only difference I feel is a huge headache this morning. Will this medication eventually work and I just have to give it time?

I have been on Ambien for the last 2 years, but I can only take it once every seven days (20mg) or it will not work. I average about 2-3 hrs of sleep without sleep medication, I can literally go 36hrs straight with out any sleep, and then I crash and can actually sleep 4-5 hrs, but I am used to it and do not have a problem with work or any other activities. I do not fall asleep at my desk. I am unable to nap.I know my body is fatigued, but my mind will not shut down AT ALL, so NO SLEEP.

Just thought I would get opinions on this medication....


23 Responses
585414 tn?1288944902
I wouldn't reccomend it because it puts a person at risk for acquiring tardive dyskinesia, a long term Parkinsonian condition which I have from the use of anti-psychotics. Unlike the current generation of antipsychotics (as opposed to the ones in development) there are many anti-depressents (Trazadone's original use) and sleep aids that do not cause this risk. Lunesta can be taken every day without risk of addiction. Rozerem can as well and since it was developed from Melatonin even though it is a prescription medication it actually adjusts the sleep cycle as well as promoting sleep. I would ask about those two instead.
Avatar universal
I tried the Rozerem and Melatonin and they did nothing for me. I have not however tried the Lunesta. I will ask my doctor about that one.

I have even been put on Symbytax (sp) in order to try and help me gain weight. I gained 4lbs, but that was it. I looked that one up and it is for severe bipolar disorder. I am not even diagnosed with depression.

Why are doctors so quick into anti-depressants for other symptoms?

I guess I will just have to live with the insomnia.

Thanks for your input....
Avatar universal
Do you feel like you don't need sleep (i.e. can function normally with 2-3hrs per night)?  Or like you need to sleep but can't fall asleep?
Avatar universal
I've had some success with trazodone.  I've never heard that it can cause tardive dyskinesia.  Suppose its possible. Dont suppose I'd give up and trying it just one night.  Give more time, if you are able to handle the side effects.  For me, I do sometimes feel tired and with headache following day, but not always.  Trade-off for me as I, like you, cannot sleep.  

I tried Ambien, but was very spacey (more than normal :)) the next day.  And would sleep walk (and talk, and eat) with Ambien.  But if it works for you?  Maybe Lunesta.  

I was on Seroquel for a short time.  That stuff would absolutely knock me out.  It was the only thing I've found which could do that.  It's not usually prescribed just for insomnia alone though.

Good luck.  Let us know if you find something which works for you!!
Avatar universal
Okay i have been on trazodone for six nights now, and all it does is decrease my appetite. Funny thing is the doctor gave it to me for insomnia and hoping for weight gain, but all it does is the opposite. (Could be I need a higher dosage) I did get rid of the headache 2 days ago. It does give my brain energy, like a hyper feeling.

I want to take my ambien, but the on call doctor told me not to and to continue the same dosage until my regular doctor comes back from vacation.

I don't know if I need the sleep, but doctor tells the amount of sleep I get is not normal. I do not have trouble getting up in the morning, or doing my job, or any other activity. I do not nap, and can honestly function on little sleep, always have since I had graves disease 14 yrs ago.

The reason for treating the insomnia is that my doctor thinks i have a weak immune system (constant infections of one sort or another) and feels that the lack of sleep is causing my body to become weak. I guess that is a good theory.

I will let you guys know what she says next week. I am being scheduled for a sleep study. Hoping insurance pays for it, but if not, no big deal. Like I keep saying, I am used to it. It does not bother me to get little sleep. I do go on stretches of going on 36hrs with no sleep, than I sleep for about 3hrs, but that is it. I either watch TV or listen to music, or if I am bymyself, clean house or do laundry.
585414 tn?1288944902
Well I can tell you as regards insurance "hope" won't work. If you are denied you have to appeal the denial of coverage. I have some knowledge of benefits appeals as I have helped people in this regard as a volunteer and I myself and am in the middle of a Medicare Part D appeal for Zofran.
   Someone did make a fair point about what a psychiatrist would reccomend so I think the best way to restate what I said is to know that Tradazone can cause tardive dyskinesia. You can google "patient education, tardive dyskinesia" for more information. Best to ask your psychiatrist why they chose it. If they have a specific reason that I would not know then that would be their decision. But if its because of pricing then in that case I would strongly suggestion appealing coverage for something else. Ambien is problematical because a person can build up a tolerance over time. Lunesta can be given every day (that's clinically valid information, on the website). If the Tradazone isn't working though why not ask about Lunesta. As for "brain energy like a hyper feeling'' remember Tradazone's standard usage is an anti-depressent and in someone with bipolar can set off mania. You might want to report the side effect to your psychiatrist in that regard. I was prescribed Anafranil for what was originally classified as ocd and since I have the bipolar aspect of schizoaffective it made me dangerously manic. Regardless though you have physical disabilities so I know things are more complex but do keep your psychiatrist up to date and let them know if its not helping and any side effects you are encountering and ask if Lunesta might be an option.
The only "reccomendation" I would give is not to chose a prescription because of pricing or to let a denial for coverage stand but I can give you more specifics about insurance denials if you pm me. Thanks.
627145 tn?1230309226
My experience with trazodone was that it made me sleep, but I lost at least 12 lb in 2 weeks on it, which was a shock.  Weight loss is a common short-term side effect.  It also made me a little irritable during the day - impatient or something.  

If your mind isn't shutting down and allowing sleep, have you considered relaxation therapy with biofeedback?  You may be able to learn alternative behaviors to that racing mind habit.  I learned how to relax for the first time with that.  
Avatar universal
"Why are doctors so quick into anti-depressants for other symptoms? "

I don't know about your sleeping problems, but antidep are prescribed for anxiety because the 2 can go hand in hand. My pharmacist and other docs gave me that data since I had more of a problem with anxiety, while the antidep manufacturer's drug info line person said she couldn't comment on whether the drug would help with anxiety because it was just tested for depression. She took all my story for their research files though.
Drug trials can cost $500,000,000 so if a drug gets approval for something but will work for a related issue maybe the drug company won't waste money on another set of trials. Possibly the patent would expire for the second usage when the first usage expires, but that is just a guess.
I have to assume this antidep also work for sleep since your doc prescribed it, but you might check with your pharmacist.
585414 tn?1288944902
No a doctor can prescribe a medication for any usage off label. They don't have to be approved. There are often drug trials just to expand a prescription's ability to be patented and not have competition from generics. That's why Wellbutrin was remarketed as Zyban for smoking cessation so the patent would extend another 7 years. The initial research is funded by the government and when a medication is "viable" then the pharmaceutical companies are handed the result. Yes I do get concerned that they use profit over people but that's not something my psychopharmocologist would disagree with or psychiatry as a whole. They can't regulate what becomes a prescription and the FDA has less say than it should. Clearly things should be further regulated.
   As for anti-depressents working on anxiety though, there you are of course correct. But here we are talking about Tradazone being used as a sleep aid. I would say in this case or in any case the best reason to find out why a psychiatrist picked a particular prescription and for what aspects of your disability is to ask them. There are multiple forms of depression and bipolar and various medications are helpful on some more than others. I can't figure out exactly what is going on but clearly if someone's psychiatrist has there's no reason not to ask and get a detailed clear explanation.
Avatar universal
While I'm skeptical of most dr's and drug dealers....uh, I mean drug companies, I do think this is the case with Trazodone as sleep aid.  In fact, for quite some years now it is the primary reason it is prescribed.  Trazodone was originally put on market as an anti-depressant, and drs and patients alike noted the sedating effects.  The fact is Trazodone to be effective as an antidepressant usually has to be taken at higher doses, such that, the sedating effects would be limiting.   But taken at lower dosage, folks found it to be a decent sleep aid, with less chance for withdrawal side effects of most anti-depressants.
Avatar universal
Trazadone works a real treat for me.  I sometimes have mid-sleep-cycle partial wakefulness, and can't get up or go back to sleep for two hours. I lose about three hours out of my day and never get them back.  If it happens to me two or three days in a row, I take 50 mg an hour before bedtime the next night, and I usually sleep soundly.  To break the cycle, I sometimes take it two or three nights in a row.  If I take it for more than three nights, it stops working.
Avatar universal
I think you should try the Seroquel creston 1966 mentioned. I could only handle 1/2 a tablet and I was out like a light. Trazadone gave me terrible, vivid nightmares. Lunesta left such a horrifying taste in my mouth the entire next day, it was intolerable. On Rozerem I would wake up frequently during the night with extreme difficulty falling back to sleep. With Ambien I would wake up and go down to the kitchen and eat in the middle of the night. Presently I do well with 1 mg of Xanax, but your situation sounds a lot more severe. I would try Seroquel if I were in your position.
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