Trazodone for Sleep & Insomnia
Trazodone hcl (Desyrel) is a relatively safe and non-habit-forming hypnotic. It is technically considered to be an antidepressant, but due to its sedative properties is actually used more often as sleep aid for insomnia.
Trazodone promotes sleep onset as well as sleep maintenance.
Because trazodone has virtually no potential for abuse and addiction, it may be preferred to benzodiazepines in persons with a history of substance abuse.
Trazodone decreases night-time awakening, REM sleep, and increases slow-wave sleep duration2. However, it can produce small impairments of short-term memory, verbal learning, and equilibrium.
Dose range for insomnia
The initial hypnotic dosage is 25 mg at bedtime. If necessary, it can be slowly titrated up to 200 mg. The usual effective dogage is 100 mg at bedtime5.
Trazodone works fairly quickly - most people fall asleep within 15 minutes after taking it.
Trazodone and Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea (or sleep apnoea) is a disorder characterized by a marked reduction or pause of breathing during sleep followed by brief arousal to restart breathing. Sometimes, normal breathing restarts with a loud snort or choking sound.
Trazodone has an advantage over benzodiazepines and other hypnotics in that it does not depress respiration. It is very important attribute for patients with sleep apnea.
Recently researchers found that trazodone allowed patients with obstructive sleep apnea to tolerate a higher CO2 level without arousal3. Trazodone has been shown to increases the arousal threshold and to be a stimulant of upper airway muscle activity6.
Author: OriginalDrugs Team