How Long Does Trazodone Take To Work (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 30-60 minutes

Trazodone is a medication. It is an antidepressant medication. It is sold under many brand names namely Desyrel, Desyrel Dividose, Oleptro. It is used to treat depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness. Its chemical formula is C₁₉H₂₂ClN₅O.

These are serotonin modulators. These increase the production of serotonin from the brain which helps in maintaining mental peace which in turn reduces depression.

This medication was first developed in Italy in the 1960s. These medications are also called mood elevators. This belongs to the drug class of phenylpiperazine antidepressants. Even though it is not a true member of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors but it shows some similar properties to this group.

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How Long Does Trazodone Take To Work?

Trazodone was approved by the United States for medical use in 1981. It is one of the most common medications used to treat depression then.

Trazodone is an oral medication. That means that it is consumed in the form of oral pills. The medicine comes in different concentrations such as 100mg, 150mg, 300mg, etc. The more the concentration of the medicine, the more rapidly it will come into action. Also, longevity depends largely on concentration. Usually, the trazodone takes 15 minutes to kick in and come into action.

It is mostly recommended to take this medicine after having a meal in order to reduce its effects. The patient is not given the highest concentration of trazodone straight away. The dosage is increased step by step. In the beginning, 75 mg to 150 mg is given. The dose by increased by 300 mg every third day. This concentration can be as high as 600 mg in the case of hospitalized patients. Increasing the dose by 50-100 mg works well.

The trazodone’s half-life is 5-13 hours. This means that this medicine can last into the body for the next 40 hours.

Life Of MedicineDuration
Half-life5-13 hours
Full-life40 hours

Why Does Trazodone Take This Long To Work?

The work of Trazodone is basically to maintain the natural level of serotonin in the body. Serotonin helps in releasing tension and helps in reducing depression and promoting sleep.

This medication works by inhibiting both serotonin transporter and serotonin receptor. It inhibits the uptake of serotonin. The level of serotonin increases in the brain which in turn makes it less available to other body parts. This way it works as a mood elevator and also is helpful in producing sleep due to high serotonin levels in the brain.

Trazodone can induce its sedation effects in 30-60 minutes after consumption. The sedation caused by it helps in inducing sleep. In order to treat depression it may take about 4 to 6 weeks to show its effects. It is also seen that food can highly affect the absorption of trazodone. If taken empty stomach, it may start to show its effects in 1 hour and if taken without a meal, it may take two hours to more to show its effects.


Trazodone is a medication used to treat major depressive disorder, insomnia, and anxiety disorders. It is one of the most common medications prescribed to treat depression. Depression mainly is a medical condition in which an individual experiences feelings of hopelessness and sadness that does not go away on their own. To treat such feelings trazodone is used.

Even though this medication is very useful in treating disorders, this comes with a set of side effects as well. Some of the most common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, headache, dry mouth, fatigue, blurred vision, constipation, and problem in conceiving a child. This medicine also increases the chances of suicidal thoughts in young adults. This is also known to cause cardiac problems as well. Serious allergic reactions to this disorder are rare.

As it increases the level of serotonin in the brain, it rarely can cause a serious medical condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. Some of the common symptoms of this disorder are hallucinations, loss of coordination, dizziness, etc. It is possible that some serious problems may arise when this medication is stopped. Some of the problems are anxiety, agitation, trouble sleeping.


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