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Dangers of Mixing Trazodone and Alcohol, Side Effects, Interactions, Detox

Trazodone can be exceptionally dangerous when combined with other drugs, especially alcohol. Continue to read more about the dangers of mixing Trazodone and alcohol.

Mixing Trazodone and Alcohol

Can you drink alcohol with trazodone? Drinking alcohol while taking Trazodone can be dangerous. Trazodone may amplify some of the effects of alcohol, which can lead to dangerous levels of intoxication and even overdose and trazodone and alcohol death. Trazodone is considered SARI drugs (serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors), with other members being phenylpiperazine, etoperidone, lorpiprazole, and mepiprazole. Unfortunately, a growing trend among antidepressants, particularly Trazodone users, combines them with alcohol to create a relaxing effect.

Alcohol is one, if not the most abused substance in the world. Many are familiar with the adverse effects of alcohol intoxication, such as impairment in reaction time and judgment, poor coordination, blurred vision, and decreased alertness. Therefore, when taken together, trazodone and alcohol recreational use can lead to severe sedative symptoms and impairment because both Trazodone and alcohol work in the brain to produce similar effects.

Trazodone Alcohol Effects

Trazodone is usually prescribed to treat depression; combining it with alcohol can worsen its effects. Additionally, alcohol may interfere with the effectiveness of the medication and reduce its overall benefits. As such, it is not recommended to consume alcohol while taking trazodone. It is best to talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns about the interactions between these two substances.

Trazodone and Alcohol Death Potential

In general, consuming large amounts of alcohol while taking trazodone can increase the risk of developing adverse reactions. Specific individuals may be more vulnerable to the effects of this combination, such as those with pre-existing medical conditions or taking certain other medications. It is not recommended to mix alcohol with trazodone, and it can even be potentially life-threatening in some cases.

What is Trazodone?

To better understand the effects of mixing Trazodone and alcohol, let us look at “what is Trazodone?” and “can you mix trazodone and alcohol?”. Trazodone is an FDA-approved antidepressant for treating major depressive disorders [1]. Brand names include Desyrel, Oleptro, Trittico, Molipaxin, and Trazorel. It is a prescription drug that can be used in combination therapy with other medications or psychotherapies or for depression treatment. Trazodone can also include treatment for the effects of alcohol withdrawal, anxiety treatment, medications for schizophrenia treatment, and uncontrolled movements resulting from side effects from other medications. Trazodone is not FDA-approved for sleep disorders because it lacks sufficient clinical data to justify its use as a sleep aid.

Trazodone is also used for off-label treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, and bulimia because of its serotonergic receptor antagonism and serotonin reuptake inhibiting effects. This prescription drug has also been used for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment if the first-line treatment use of SSRIs does not show efficacy. The dose of 50 mg to 200 mg of Trazodone has been demonstrated to reduce episodes of nightmares as well as improve sleep habits in studies involving PTSD patients [2].

Do not use this medication if you have used an MAO inhibitor for fourteen days. It is also not wise to consume trazodone, Xanax, and alcohol simultaneously. A dangerous drug interaction could happen. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, methylene blue injection, tranylcypromine, and others. Tell your doctor if you also take stimulant medicine, opioid medicine, herbal products, or medicine for mental illnesses such as depression, Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting.

You should not mix trazodone and.alcohol for several reasons. Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that acts on the neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly GABA. GABA is an inhibitory transmitter that blocks or inhibits communication between neurons in the brain, promoting relaxation, calm, and sedation. Combining anxiety meds and alcohol can worsen the side effects of the medication.

Trazodone Alcohol Dangers

It is not recommended to drink alcohol while taking trazodone. Combining alcohol and trazodone can increase the risk of potentially dangerous side effects, such as extreme sleepiness or difficulty breathing. Sometimes, drinking alcohol while taking trazodone can lead to increased seizures.

After a single dose in a healthy adult, trazodone will be mostly out of your system in one to three days. For trazodone, the half-life is approximately 5 to 13 hours. What are trazodone alcohol risks? Well, both Trazodone and alcohol are known to be deadly when taken in excessive amounts. Learn more about Trazodone alcohol health risks.
After a single dose in a healthy adult, trazodone will be mostly out of your system in one to three days. For trazodone, the half-life is approximately 5 to 13 hours. What are trazodone alcohol risks? Well, both Trazodone and alcohol are known to be deadly when taken in excessive amounts. Learn more about Trazodone alcohol health risks.

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Trazodone Drug Facts

If you struggle with trazodone and alcohol, expert help can put you on the path to recovery.
If you struggle with trazodone and alcohol, expert help can put you on the path to recovery.

Trazodone is a prescription medication classified as a serotonin receptor antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI). Trazodone has been used mainly as an antidepressant. However, it is also used off-label for various conditions, such as insomnia, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, substance abuse, schizophrenia, bulimia, and fibromyalgia. Although Trazodone is an antidepressant, it can also have some depressant effects on the central nervous system.

Generic Name: Trazodone [ TRAZ-oh-done ]
Brand Names: Desyrel, Desyrel Dividose, Oleptro
Dosage Form: Oral tablet (100 mg; 150 mg; 300 mg; 50 mg)
Drug Class: Phenylpiperazine antidepressants


Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.

Seek emergency medical attention in case of an overdose. An overdose can be fatal when trazodone is taken with alcohol, barbiturates such as phenobarbital, or sedatives such as diazepam (Valium).

Overdose symptoms may include:

  • Extreme drowsiness.
  • Vomiting.
  • Painful or prolonged penis erection.
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat.
  • Seizure (black-out or convulsions).
  • Breathing that slows or stops.

Trazodone can also have other side effects that may be of concern. Some of these side effects include nausea, headaches, changes in appetite, weight gain, blurred vision, and difficulty sleeping. People with liver or kidney problems should be monitored closely when taking trazodone. Additionally, people taking other medications, such as certain antibiotics or antifungals, may need to be monitored.

Trazodone Alcohol Warnings

Trazodone is an antidepressant medication used to help people to relieve feelings of anxiety or depression. It is one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the United States. When consumed with alcohol, trazodone can cause drowsiness, confusion, impaired coordination, slowed reactions, and even impaired judgment. Since the combination of trazodone and alcohol can be dangerous, people should discuss their medication and alcohol use with their doctor before taking either.

Trazodone and Alcohol Statistics

Trazodone treats depression and insomnia, conditions that can worsen with alcohol consumption. Although there is little data on overdosing on alcohol and trazodone, overdoses from each substance can be fatal.

Research suggests that trazodone and alcohol can be dangerous when used together. Combining the two can increase drowsiness, confusion, and impaired memory and coordination. In combination, they can also cause a drop in your blood pressure, making you more prone to falls. Long-term use of trazodone and alcohol may lead to issues like liver or kidney damage and depression. It is important to consult with your doctor before mixing the two.

16.1 Million

5.8% (or about 16.1 million people) reported misusing any prescription psychotherapeutic drug in the past 12 months. Many people drink alcohol while using drugs to enhance or modify their experiences with these substances.

Source: NIDA


In 2019, of the 85,688 liver disease deaths among individuals ages 12 and older, 43.1% involved alcohol.

Source: NIDA


About 40% of individuals who know they have an alcohol or drug problem are not ready to stop using, and many others feel they do not have a problem or need treatment.

Source: NIDA

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How Does Trazodone Work?

Trazodone works by increasing the amount of the chemical serotonin in the brain, which helps manage the symptoms of depression. It inhibits the reuptake of serotonin and blocks the histamine and alpha-1-adrenergic receptors. It also induces significant changes in 5-HT presynaptic receptor adrenoreceptors. Trazodone can also be used to treat insomnia, schizophrenia, and anxiety. Research has shown that Trazodone improves apnea and hypopnea episodes in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and the drug does not exacerbate hypoxemic attacks. [3]

Trazodone administration is via the oral route. It may be taken after meals to decrease postural hypotension and lightheadedness. Trazodone may be available as immediate-release (IR) tablets, prolonged-release tablets, and in some cases, injection and oral drops solutions. It can take one to two weeks before Trazodone starts to work, but four to six weeks before you feel the full benefit.

People with chronic pain are often prescribed antidepressants and medications that control the pain. This is because chronic pain affects mood and the likelihood of developing depression. Trazodone should not be used in patients with a history of heart disease or a recent heart attack. This medication can cause or worsen QT prolongation (a disorder of the heart), which can cause an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to seizures, fainting, or even death.

Mixing trazodone and alcohol can worsen insomnia and depression. An overdose of trazodone can be fatal when it is taken with alcohol.
Mixing trazodone and alcohol can worsen insomnia and depression. An overdose of trazodone can be fatal when it is taken with alcohol.

Trazodone and Alcohol Interaction

What are the signs of trazodone and alcohol interactions? Trazodone has a possibility for physical dependence when consumed with alcohol. Drinking 50mg of trazodone and alcohol is no exception. Furthermore, this deadly combination can lead to delirium, hallucinations, and seizures in extreme cases. Mixing Trazodone and alcohol can lead to severe side effects affecting a person’s health.

As mentioned, trazodone 50 mg and alcohol can amplify each other’s effects. Since both agents are central nervous system depressants, taking them together can be risky due to additive side effects from their drug interactions, which include:

  • Dizziness
  • Increased intoxication
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Impairment in thinking and judgment
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Increased depression or anxiety

Alcohol and Insomnia

Common mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD, are related to insomnia, and alcohol and drug abuse disorders are not left out. However, the correlation may be complicated and bidirectional: alcohol and drug use can lead to insomnia, but sleep problems can also increase the risk of substance abuse and addiction. This relationship between alcohol and insomnia is sometimes diagnosed as a co-occurring disorder or a dual diagnosis.

Alcohol can worsen the things Trazodone is meant to treat. If you take Trazodone for a sleep disorder, alcohol can worsen your insomnia. Drinking alcohol has been connected to poor sleep quality and short sleep duration. Not only can drinking alcohol make it more difficult to fall asleep despite making you feel sleepy, but it can also cause sleep disruptions. Alcohol also interferes with the critical rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep.

Alcohol and Depression

If you are taking Trazodone to treat depression, alcohol can worsen your mood. Alcohol and depression are often linked in a couple of different ways. It is common to see abuse of alcohol and depression go hand in hand. These co-occurring disorders in individuals struggling with alcoholism and depression feed off one another. Some individuals with low moods drink alcohol to relieve their depressive symptoms. Alcohol’s impact on brain chemistry can increase the risk of depression. Because suicide and self-harm are more common in those who struggle with drinking, it is essential to be careful about drinking alcohol if you have a history of low mood.

Short-Term Effects of Mixing Trazodone and Alcohol


Individuals with a strong dependency on Trazodone and alcohol usually experience headaches. The onset of a headache is caused by the inflammation within the vessels that regulates blood flow to the brain and modulates the transmission of pain signals.

Although Trazodone overdose is less common, it can happen when you mix alcohol and drugs. Overdoses of both Trazadone and alcohol can be fatal.
Although Trazodone overdose is less common, it can happen when you mix alcohol and drugs. Overdoses of both Trazadone and alcohol can be fatal.

Blurred Vision

Combining Trazodone and alcohol can slow the communication between the brain and the eyes, leading to blurred vision. This interaction is interrupted by how the eye muscles work together, which causes vision changes.


Consuming Trazodone and alcohol can result in nausea. If a person decides to quit drinking or stops taking Trazodone, nauseatic sickness is one of the recurring withdrawal symptoms they experience.


Alcohol damages mental health by suppressing the central nervous system (CNS). A mixture of Trazodone and alcohol exacerbate symptoms by making people tired and sleepy.


Frequent users of Trazodone and alcohol feel constipated most of the time. Constipation happens when your gastrointestinal system is not used to the presence of both Trazodone and alcohol the way your other body parts do. 

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Long-Term Side Effects of Mixing Trazodone and Alcohol


Impairment of vasoconstriction caused by combining Trazodone and alcohol often leads to hypotension. In addition, the different chemical composition of Trazodone causes the blood pressure to lower, which is the reverse for alcohol consumption. However, different chemical properties of Trazodone and alcohol cause blood pressure to reach exceedingly low levels, which causes the person to feel dizzy and weak.


The risk of seizures is usually high when you have two or more alcoholic beverages. However, this risk increases tenfold when Trazodone is combined with alcohol. Since consuming Trazodone and alcohol leads to intoxication, this can eventually result in seizures.

Damage to Central Nervous System

Reward pathways that elevate your mood are primarily affected when you bring alcohol into the equation while using Trazodone. Mixing Trazodone with alcohol causes structural changes in the brain.

Impaired Memory

Brain functioning and neural activity decrease when you combine Trazodone with alcohol. If this combination is continued over an extended period, it can produce an array of cognitive impairments. 

Mixing Trazodone and alcohol can destroy brain cells responsible for cognition and memory. This destruction happens at a fast pace which is faster than the aging process. Increased rate of brain cell decay results in impaired memory and, in some cases, dementia.


Toxic effect of combing Trazodone and alcohol results in a comatose state. This state happens when patients mix Trazodone and alcohol as the desired effect of their administration or due to idiopathic reactions.

Excessive consumption of alcohol and Trazodone slows brain function due to a lack of blood flow to the brain. This can be dangerous if the patient does not recover from it. In addition to these side effects, liver damage, insomnia, respiratory problems, and changes in cognitive function are also experienced by patients.

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Trazodone and Alcohol Overdose

Trazodone and alcohol side effects can cause an overdose. More people abuse alcohol than any other substance worldwide, so most people are aware that alcohol causes you to become intoxicated. Adding an addictive substance or drugs, even prescription drugs, will heighten the risk.

Mixing trazodone and alcohol can also lead to death. When you consume these substances together, they cause extreme drowsiness, and this can lead you to experience a severe accident. Both trazodone and alcohol contain intoxicating elements that may interfere with your nervous and respiratory systems if you have ingested these substances in large doses.

Trazodone and Alcohol Withdrawal

Long-term use of alcohol and Trazodone can also lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Trazodone withdrawal symptoms can include agitation, anxiety, and sleep problems. Instead of quitting cold turkey, people on the medication are advised to be tapered or gradually weaned off under the care of a physician.

Severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome can be quite serious. It can include symptoms such as alcohol-induced insomnia, nausea, increased body temperature, sweating, anxiety, rapid pulse, vomiting, and more severe complications such as hallucinations or alcohol-induced psychosis, delirium, agitation, and seizures. Left unmanaged, alcohol withdrawal can even be life-threatening due to the possibility of grand mal seizures.

Individuals who have become dependent on alcohol and Trazodone may need medically-supervised detox and withdrawal management —either as part of a standalone program or at the start of a rehabilitation program. Medical-supervised detox programs are staffed with healthcare professionals who can monitor the individual’s recovery during withdrawal and provide therapeutic interventions when needed.

Trazodone and alcohol use for long periods increases the short-term risks and raises the potential for further long-term side effects & withdrawal.
Trazodone and alcohol use for long periods increases the short-term risks and raises the potential for further long-term side effects & withdrawal.

Taking Trazodone for Alcohol Withdrawal

Trazodone is often prescribed for insomnia that can occur during alcohol withdrawal. Therefore, taking the drug under medical supervision for alcohol withdrawal syndrome may be helpful. Trazodone is one of the most commonly prescribed hypnotic medications in patients with sleep disturbances in alcohol recovery. A recent study concluded that treating insomnia with trazodone in patients with alcohol dependence might impede improvements in alcohol consumption and lead to increased drinking when trazodone is stopped [4].

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Dual Diagnosis Treatment Trazadone Abuse and Alcoholism

Alcohol is the most abused addictive substance in America, as more than 17 million people in the United States are considered to suffer from addiction to alcohol. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) [5] publishes that over 1.5 million Americans abuse prescription drugs.

Mixing trazodone and alcohol magnifies the side effects and may promote more use. Many options are available to help the person stop taking Trazadone and alcohol and avoid serious side effects from polysubstance abuse. Many Trazodone users respond well to residential rehab programs. 

If you are experiencing Trazadone and alcohol addiction, getting an accurate assessment of all the symptoms is crucial. When a mental health professional has evaluated the symptoms, it may be determined that another form of mental condition is present and needs a particular treatment. Very often, some combination of psychotherapy, medication, or lifestyle changes is effective for coping with functional. 

Medically-Assisted Detox

Detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated Adderall and alcohol withdrawal process but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can offer the necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.


Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – An effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – A comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Person-Centered Therapy – A strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
  • Solution-Focused Therapy – An approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. Traumatic experiences can often result in mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual-diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend mainly on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.

Medication-Assisted Treatments

Detox involves getting rid of traces of trazodone and alcohol in the body. Start a new life drug-free. Contact We Level Up today!
Detox involves getting rid of traces of trazodone and alcohol in the body. Start a new life drug-free. Contact We Level Up today!

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life make you rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Searched for “trazodone and alcohol” addiction treatment?

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Top 3 Trazodone and Alcohol Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can you mix trazodone and alcohol?

    No. Drinking alcohol while taking trazodone can be dangerous. Trazodone may amplify some of the effects of alcohol, leading to dangerous levels of intoxication and even overdose and death. The combination can also cause extreme drowsiness, leading to accidents and falls.

  2. Can you overdose on trazodone and alcohol?

    Yes, and it can be fatal. Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, vomiting, painful or prolonged penis erection, fast or pounding heartbeat, seizure (black-out or convulsions), or breathing that slows or stops.

  3. What happens if you mix trazodone and alcohol?

    While taking a couple of pills of trazodone alone is unlikely to bring you to the emergency room, combining this drug with other substances can be deadly. Taking trazodone with alcohol or other drugs like benzodiazepines is dangerous. Recreational users who use trazodone as a part of a drug cocktail could suffer serious effects.

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Search We Level Up Trazodone and Alcohol Detox & Mental Health Topics & Resources

[1] Drugs, Herbs, and Supplements → TrazodoneU.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health

[2-3] Shin JJ, Saadabadi A. Trazodone. [Updated 2022 Jul 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

[4] Kolla BP, Schneekloth TD, Biernacka JM, Frye MA, Mansukhani MP, Hall-Flavin DK, Karpyak VM, Loukianova LL, Lesnick TG, Mrazek D. Trazodone and alcohol relapse: a retrospective study following residential treatment. Am J Addict. 2011 Nov-Dec;20(6):525-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2011.00172.x. Epub 2011 Sep 29. PMID: 21999497.

[5] Alcohol and Health – – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 

[6] McKay JR. Impact of Continuing Care on Recovery From Substance Use Disorder. Alcohol Res. 2021 Jan 21;41(1):01. DOI: 10.35946. PMID: 33500871; PMCID: PMC7813220.

[7] Fluyau D, Charlton TE. Drug Addiction. [Updated 2022 Aug 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

[8] Justinova Z, Panlilio LV, Goldberg SR. Drug addiction. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2009;1:309-46. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-88955-7_13. PMID: 21104390; PMCID: PMC3039293.

[9] Jahan AR, Burgess DM. Substance Use Disorder. [Updated 2022 May 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:

[10] McLellan AT. Substance Misuse and Substance Use Disorders: Why do they Matter in Healthcare? Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2017;128:112-130. PMID: 28790493; PMCID: PMC5525418.

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