Nurses LPN/LVN


Does anyone here know why Trazodone (Desyrel) is given? I administer alot of that medication from 50mg to 150mg to my patients and i want to know what that drug is used for? In the med book it is classified as antidepressant but also unlabeled use is for management of insomnia and management of chronic pain.


4,516 Posts

It is used by several cardiologists I work with as an adjunct for care of ill patients with high anxiety and sleep problems..during the acute phase of hospitalization in ICU. Its sedative effect is what the cardiologists like most I believe, and hypnotic effect when given at HS in a larger dose.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

97 Articles; 21,237 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

You got it - it can be used for all three things.


491 Posts

One, ahem, interesting s/e is priapism, so be on the lookout! LOL


8,343 Posts

Geriatrics usually get it to sleep at night. You'd be surprised how well educated some over 70's are on their meds. One old boy had his own drug manual at home and quizzed the doc every time he got a new Rx.

akcarmean, LPN

1,554 Posts

Specializes in Home Health Care,LTC.

I was on it at one time in order to help me sleep. My son just got put on it for that same reason.



656 Posts


z's playa

2,056 Posts

Trazadone? awful to take as a sleep aid in my works! But the hangover the next day is bad. I was prescribed 150 mg the first time. I slept for 2 days. No kidding. :chuckle

Thunderwolf, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 6,621 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health.

The major reason that this drug is used is that it is NON-addicting, unlike benzos. Yes, it is an serotonin inhibitor antidepressant, but used primarily as a sleep aid due to its highly sedative effect compared to other antidepressants. Sometimes, it is used as a primary antidepressant for some folks, but not usually...just a sleep aid.

Benzos (like Restoril, Valium, Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin) are Benzodiazepines... anti-anxiety meds which work on the GABA system in the nervous system. There has been a big push to try not to use Benzos as sleep aids. And if they are used for sleep aids, they should only be used for the very short term. A major reason why is that Benzos are notorious in disrupting REM sleep. What good is a drug to help you fall asleep if you wake up the next day feeling very "unrested". Your REM sleep is important. Benzos rob it. So, the use of Trazodone becomes very attractive.

Trazodone does not work on the GABA system, does not impair or rob REM sleep, and is non-addicting. All males should be instructed on priaprism, a rare and serious side effect, which should be discussed as matter of fact. Priaprism is a "sustained", inappropriate erection of the penis which is often uncomfortable and "can cause severe damage to penile tissues" since the tissues are UNABLE to release the engorged blood. It is considered a medical emergency and the person should present to an ER to drain the penis and the med stopped, of course. I was a psych nurse for 10 years and only became aware of two clients who met this condition. Although rare, it is a serious enough condition to warrant instructing male patients, so that way they know exactly what to do if it should ever present for them. Trazodone is highly sedative. Therefore, it is not a sleep aid to take too late at night (like after 11pm) if you have to be up very early am (like 5-7 am). If you do, you will feel drugged in the am. I recommend to patients that this sleep aid should never be taken after 9 pm if you have to get up early in the am for just that reason. The dose as a sleep aid is varied. I've seen anywhere from 50 to 200 mg. It depends on the person and the severity of insomnia. A good doc will allow a person to come to know their sleep aid and work with the patient regarding the right dose for him/her...taper down or up. But, all considering, it is a good med.

Mimi2RN, ASN, RN

1,142 Posts

Specializes in NICU.

I used 100mg for sleep, it certainly did that, without any after effects. The only problem I had was after I took it, before I went to bed. I had to be in bed within 20 minutes or so, as I could feel the effect increasing and would become unstable on my feet.

I hope your patients are all in bed for the night after they have been medicated!


917 Posts

graduatenurse ... the correct spelling of the medication is trazadone. you're stating that you are administering a medication and inquiring what the medication is used for? you need to know this information before you administer any medication. check again in your med book - it's used for a myriad of uses: depression, agoraphobia, essential tremors, drug-induced insomnia, repetitive screaming, some pain syndromes. as each medication is used for a specific effect, it's important to know exactly why the medication is prescribed for your individual patient.

susanmary, i've spelled the name of the drug correctly. it is spelled trazodone, not trazadone. maybe you are the one who need to look it up in the drug guide book. i know it is given to induce sleep but i just wondered why it is antidepressant when it is used to induce sleep and that is why i posted this thread. so look it up!!!


61 Posts

my mom takes 300 to sleep and i take 100 of trazadone. We both love it and we don't feel draggy the next morning. But it has to be taken at a specific time otherwise you will not be able to get up in the morning if you have to get up early. I try to take mine around 9 to 10 and am able to get up by 7 am. Nobody likes getting up early or staying up late when they are tired so use common sense. BTW if anyone is in shock over the amount that my mom takes it's because she nearly lost her leg due to a motorcycle wreck almost two years ago and still suffers a lot of pain and she also takes pain medication. It's the only way she can go to sleep, so she takes it really early because of the amount.

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