Does Trazodone Cause Weight Gain – Side Effects [Review 2023]

Trazodone is commonly prescribed to treat depression and anxiety. It is also used off-label for other conditions, such as insomnia and panic disorder. While trazodone is generally considered to be a safe medication, there are some potential side effects associated with its use, including a change in weight. But does trazodone cause weight gain or weight loss? Let’s find out.

Trazodone causes a change in mood which can lead to an increase or decrease in appetite, so you may either loss or gain weight after taking it for a few weeks.

does trazodone cause weight gain

How Trazodone Works

Trazodone (Desyrel) is a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI). It works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin in the brain, which leads to increased levels of serotonin and noradrenaline.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation, and imbalances can lead to conditions like depression and anxiety. Trazodone works by blocking serotonin receptors and preventing them from being activated.

This helps to increase the level of serotonin in the brain, which can improve mood and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Some practitioners also prescribe trazodone for sleep, and patients with insomnia have found it effective to overcome sleeping problems.

Trazodone is typically taken once daily, and it may take several weeks for the full effects to be felt.


Does Trazodone Cause Weight Gain?

Trazodone is an antidepressant and it may have some effects on weight. It can make you gain weight or drop a few pounds.

In some clinical trials, around 5% of participants who took trazodone for continuous 6 weeks reported an increase in weight, and around 6% experienced weight loss.

trazodone side effects weight gain

It is because everyone responds to medications differently. Since it is studied to change the mood, so does the appetite. Some patients may find an increase or decrease in appetite, so they may either gain or lose weight after taking it for a few weeks.

If you experience any unwanted side effects, such as weight gain or loss, talk to your doctor about how to manage them. They may be able to adjust your dose or switch you to a different medication.


How Much Weight Can You Gain With Trazodone?

Many people worry about gaining weight when they start taking trazodone. After all, weight gain is a common side effect of many antidepressants.

In the clinical study, 5% of the participants who took 150 mg trazodone for continuous 6 weeks, gained 1.2 pounds weight on average. It may sound like a minor weight gain, but results will accumulate with a bigger number when taken for a longer period.

However, it’s important to remember that everyone responds to medication differently. While some people may gain a few pounds, others may not notice any change in their weight. In general, trazodone is not associated with significant weight gain.


How Can Trazodone Cause Weight Gain?

Now that we know that trazodone can cause an increase in body weight, but how does it actually cause this fattening effect? Trazodone can cause weight gain in a few ways:

  • Trazodone may increase appetite, make you hungry, or increase cravings for carbs more than usual.
  • Trazodone may also cause weight gain by affecting the way the body processes and stores fat.
  • A high dosage of trazodone can cause water retention and bloating, which can lead to weight gain.
  • It may also alter metabolism and how the body burns calories. In case of slower metabolism, your body will burn fewer calories, and this can lead to weight gain.
  • Since trazodone is also prescribed to treat insomnia, it makes your body calm and promotes a sedentary lifestyle, which results in less physical activity and slower metabolism – leading to add up some pounds.


Factors That May Impact Weight Gain On Trazodone

There are many factors that may contribute to weight gain while taking trazodone. Some of these include:


Trazodone comes in different variations including immediate release and extended-release. The prescribed oral tablets of trazodone 50 mg, 100 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg are available in the United States.

No matter which variation you take, higher doses of trazodone are more likely to cause weight gain than lower doses. This is because higher doses have a greater impact on serotonin levels, which can lead to increased appetite and cravings.

The recommended dosage of trazodone is anywhere from 100-150 mg per day. If you are taking a higher dose, talk to your doctor about whether or not it’s necessary. They may be able to lower your dose or switch you to a different medication.


Duration of treatment

The longer you take trazodone, the greater your risk of weight gain. A patient who takes trazodone for over a year is likely to gain significant weight.

This is because the body becomes used to the medication over time and the effects on serotonin levels become more pronounced. And as the time span of the treatment increases, so does the dosage of the drug, and of course the risk of developing obesity.


Medical conditions

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may be at a higher risk of weight gain.

This is because these conditions are often treated with medications that can cause weight gain. Trazodone may amplify the effects of these medications and lead to even more weight gain.


Other medications

If you are taking other medications, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or mood stabilizers, you may be at a higher risk of weight gain.

Most antidepressants cause weight gain due to changes in mood and increased appetite.

On the other hand, if you are taking medication to treat any other disease, such as diabetes, hypertension, fever, or diarrhea, chances are the two drugs may develop a drug-drug interaction, and as a result, you may experience weight gain.


Individual’s Situation

Your age, gender, diet, lifestyle, and sleep habits can also play a role in weight gain.

For instance, if you are younger, you may be more active and have a higher metabolism, which can offset the effects of trazodone.

Women are also more likely to experience weight gain than men, because of hormonal changes.

And finally, if you have poor dietary habits or don’t get enough sleep, you may be more likely to gain weight while taking trazodone.


Trazodone Side Effects

As with any medication, there are potential side effects associated with trazodone use.

The most common side effects include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Change in weight – weight gain or loss
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Dry mouth
  • Stuffy nose
  • Constipation
  • Blurred vision
  • Sexual dysfunction

In rare cases, more serious side effects can occur, such as:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures

Trazodone female side effects:

  • Changes in libido
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Vaginal dryness

Keep in mind, these are not long-term side effects, they’ll occur from time to time and aren’t harmful.

Anyone who experiences these or other unusual symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. Overall, trazodone is a safe and effective medication for most people. However, as with any drug, it is important to be aware of the potential risks before starting treatment.


How Long Do Trazodone Side Effects Last?

Most side effects of trazodone are mild and go away within a few days of starting the medication. However, some side effects, such as sexual dysfunction and vaginal dryness in females, weight gain, and some serious heart diseases may persist for longer.


Long Term Side Effects Trazodone

There are several long term side effects associated with trazodone use. These include:

  • Weight gain – it is the most common long term side effect of trazodone. It is unclear why this occurs, but it may be due to the fact that the body becomes used to the medication and starts to store more fat.
  • Sexual dysfunction – another common long term side effect of trazodone. This can include difficulty achieving orgasm, changes in libido, and vaginal dryness in females.
  • Heart diseases – there is an increased risk of certain heart diseases associated with trazodone use. These include irregular heartbeat and seizures.


Does Trazodone Make You Lose Weight

As we have seen that continuous use of trazodone can cause a change in weight. Along with gaining weight, it is also possible for the drug to cause weight loss. In some clinical trials, around 6% of participants taking trazodone reported weight loss, that’s more than reported weight gain.

One study found that patients who took trazodone actually lost an average of three pounds over the course of eight weeks.

Read what antidepressants cause weight loss!

trazodone weight loss

Trazodone affects the level of serotonin, which is an appetite suppressant to control your appetite and reduce food cravings. It either makes you feel less hungry or makes you consume less food – both will result in a fewer calorie intake, and eventually weight loss.

However, this is not a common side effect and is usually only seen in people who are taking high doses of the drug.

Results from some clinical studies show that trazodone taken together with Lexapro or Wellbutrin causes weight loss.


Bottom Line

Weight gain is a common side effect of taking trazodone. This is because the medication can alter serotonin levels, which can lead to increased appetite and cravings.

The risk of weight gain is greater in people who take higher doses of trazodone, take the medication for a long period of time, or have pre-existing medical conditions. If you are concerned about weight gain, talk to your doctor about alternative medications or ways to offset the effects of trazodone.


Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)

Does trazodone cause belly fat?

Trazodone can cause weight gain in various ways. It can increase appetite, leading to overeating and weight gain. It can also cause the body to store more fat, especially in the abdominal area. So, yes trazodone can cause belly fat.


What is the most likely side effect of trazodone?

The most common side effect of trazodone is drowsiness. Other common side effects include headache, dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, and weight change.


Does trazodone cause water weight gain?

Trazodone can cause water retention and bloating, which can lead to weight gain.


Which antidepressants cause the most weight gain?

The antidepressants that are most likely to cause weight gain are tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. However, all antidepressants can cause weight gain in some people.



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