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Trazodone - does trazadone stop anxiety and panic attacks?

14 Answers

steelskyblue 26 Aug 2017

I was prescribed trazodone 50mg at bedtime to combat nighttime insomnia. At the time I developed the insomnia I had just suffered for 8 months working on a horrible project at work under a lot of stress with folks that were well meaning coworkers but were absolutely no help whatsoever. The whole weight of everything fell on my shoulders. I had to live like this working at work, working at home, having to drive to another city weekly to my real home. Well first the insomnia came, insomnia raised blood pressure, then I started getting palpitations in my chest and tingling sensations in my extremities. All heart conditions, diabetes, hormone stuff were ruled out by tons of tests by several doctors, only option left was well I was having panic attacks.


I have always been a high strung person prone to bouts of insomnia once or twice a year lasting no longer than a week or so each time. 43 years into this life, I finally developed panic attacks apparently and to some degree I still do not believe it's panic attack, at my worst I spent night time searching online databases for diagnosis of what I have. Long story short, I think they're right I am panicking. just for clarification, I have eradicated most stress from my life since this began, I have always exercised regularly 5-6 times a week, I do cardio and weight training. I eat balanced meals nicely spaced apart. I don't drink, I don't smoke and never used recreational drugs. My panic attacks are ONLY centered around sleep at the moment, I never have any complaints during the day.

I will randomly have a good week with no problems and then 1-2-3 days in a row of panic attacks at bedtime. Once I have one, I will definitely have another one. Then they stop and sometimes they go away for up to two weeks. No rhyme or reason. There's a link to food that I found, like eating horrible food like burgers, fries heavy stuff definitely can start one that night. Also any kind of negative thoughts about being ill, aging, or frustration with work people doesn't help. Exercising too much too long is also a trigger. Though usually exercise helps.

Now onto your question: I love and hate trazodone. If I am in the middle of a horrible insomnia crisis it is great, because I am tired, frayed, and miserable so it kicks in relaxes me and I sleep a good 6-7 hours and wake up wonderful in the morning. None of that grogginess many people talk about. The next day I am a positive, calm very nice person with plenty of focus and composure -- so much better than my detail obsessed, hyper, somewhat brash, brooding normal self.

This is where the problem begins though. Once my system is restored to this better state, trazodone flips and starts working negatively. So if I keep taking it every night at bedtime, it starts its own panic attacks out of nowhere, and they're nasty. VERY nasty ones. Hands feet burning, my chest both full, and aching, my sternum just feels like it's been punched all day, I can feel my heart beating right underneath my sternum, and if I lay down, this fire like pyroclastic flow goes from my chest up my neck to my forehead where I immediately break into sweat. At its worst, I start trembling and teeth clattering and shaking in bed unable to stay there. I get up. I reset the whole process. Go back to the couch and most nights end up sleeping there in a half upright position -- as laying flat is a trigger for the panic attack.

trazodone took my simple insomnia and made into a world class anxiety trifecta. I think this has happened due to my sensitivity to serotonin levels. You can't be used to one thing your whole life and then have it messed with. Does trazodone fix my anxiety? I believe it creates it and fixes it at the same time.

So does it work. No. I am trying to quit it. I don't think something that increases your serotonin levels CAN cure anxiety which in my view of things isn't about low serotonin, it feels like the opposite, it is being wound up too much. I am not a doctor, I just am a professional hypochondriac at this point and I believe trazodone is a short term fix but a long term bigger problem.

It is however very cheap, easy to get a prescription for, and has on the surface fewer side effects. So if it works for you, don't MESS with it. Just take it.

As always, this view is presented to you, just to share, my own personal hell that I am in.

Votes: +1
Brooker31 17 July 2017

Aging has caused mild sleep disorders for me, typically awaking at 3 AM and not being able to return to sleep. Five years prior my GP prescribed 500 MG of Trazodone to take as needed when I awake. This drug has worked marvelously for me. It has allowed me a quick return to REM sleep and awaking refreshed. I also suffer from situational anxiety disorder for which I have been prescribed 0.5 mg Xanax that I rarely use because of the added benefit from Trazodone. It's a long-standing drug that has been a "miracle" drug for me. Reading the adverse comments in this thread makes me think that for those who have added disorders, this may not be the drug for you.

Votes: +0
Bomber1 18 April 2017

Does trazodone help wiv erectile dysfunction and panic disorder and ocd

Votes: +0
Rumplestiltskin 7 Oct 2016

I'm on Prozac, baclofen, Tramadol, lorazepam, trazodone,Nortriptyptaline,
Metformin all at bedtime.
I came off Zolpidem 10mg.
to trazodone 100mg. I found I could stop the lorazepam and baclofen by using the trazodone for sleep, muscle spasms,
my panic attacks ceased!!! Basically it's freed me from panic attack, muscle spastic twitches knocks me out in less than 60 minutes.
I Sleep thru the night.
trazodone has been a God send for me.

Votes: +0
Ladyofleisure 14 July 2017

Hi just started trazadone feel really groggy & headache does it last

Shelley J 25 Oct 2020

Ive been taking trazodone almost 4 weeks. When will i stop being anxious and having panic attacks? When will i be me again?

Shelley J 25 Oct 2020

Ive been taking trazodone almost 4 weeks. When will i stop being anxious and having panic attacks? When will i be me again?

shellybeans 2 Aug 2016

HI! Yes, Seroquel, at least for me has been beneficial for my anxiety and panic attacks! I am only on it about two months and at only 25mg at bedtime, but I have not had a restless, anxious ridden night from the first night for me.. I find I have to take it about two hours before I want to go to sleep and I don't take it too late or I am groggy the next morning. My sister takes 200mg at bedtime and calls it her Godsend essentially. I personally never tried Trazadone, I used to give it alot in in-patient detox rehabs I worked in for sleep if the patient wanted it but most took it and said it did not help much for sleep or anxiety but we are all are different, as you read here, some have had good results but I can only relay my positive experience with Seroquel, I was shocked with one finally working sooner than later, it is not the solution to all my mental health diagnoses and some meds need tweaking but the Seroquel and my Lamictal for my OCD and Anxiety are staying put n my "cocktail" of head meds.! Hope this helps!

Votes: +0
Teka baby 2 Aug 2016

Does seroquel help control panic attacks

Votes: +0
laurap89 21 March 2013

Hi ive been on trazadone for a year my dr decided to cut me down and take me off them i was on 250mg a night now im 50mg a night but ivbeen taking panic attacks more frequent before it helped now im having one once maybe twice a week. The attacks just come on whei doing day to day things like laundry or watching tv now im scared to leave house incase i have one. Cant get a drs appointment for 3 weeks.

Votes: +0
amsterdam1 8 Feb 2013

Have been taking Trazodone for about 1 year and it woks for me with my sleep and depression. But only just last week was told by my pharmacy they cant get it any more and could not give me the reason why, any know why??

Votes: +0
Lisa1960 23 Nov 2014

How did this turn out? How old are you?

jacota1101 10 Jan 2013

I suffer terrible panic attacks, at this point i'm doing "okay" on Prozac and Xanax PRN. I did take Trazadone at one point for sleep, I was panicing in my sleep continuiosly for a while and eventually became afraid to go to bed! Unforturnately, on the day I tried a dose of Trazadone I had a full blown panic attack 20 miutes after I took it which is a HUGE step backwards because I usually don't panic in my "safe places" ie:home. I react just fine to other SSRI's and have tried many... good luck.

Votes: +0
spot1234 8 Feb 2013

Is prozak stimulating how long before it works ses like I took 5 mg had severe panic attack I heard it keeps u from sleeping. I tried lexs pro had to take 1mg a t s time I add hook inside yo bad is prozac like that

crowsoul 17 Sep 2013

I have awful panic and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) as well as major depression and OCD. For me, Prozac was the winner, though I "fixed" my dosage by alternating 40 and 60mgs after I was used to the drug. My doc agreed with me that my correct level was around 50mgs and since Prozac doesn't come in 50s here, we want with the compromise. Prozac is a drug with a long half life so the side effects never got bad with that type of use.

Moving on to trazadone, I found I was prone to very sudden night terrors, some shortly after REM sleep and some 3 or more hours in. In my case I found that if 50 to 85 mgs of trazadone was taken, I could fall soundly asleep after less than one hour awake and sleep through, barring interruptions. I had to give my usual panic-reducing methods a chance to work, though: progressive relaxation, affirmations, meditation, distraction, exercise, whatever my doc suggested or whatever relaxed me at the time.


I know this is ages late, but as someone who is up ages late looking for antistress stuff, I know sometimes it's still useful to hear other views. I hope you are okay, found your answers, and kept trying. :)

Lisa1960 23 Nov 2014

My son took Trazodone last night and had the same reaction, a full blown panic attack, for 2 hrs. Did you stop trazodone immediately after that? Did this reaction continue? What do you take now? Thank you.

Roxy7000 8 Jan 2013

I take trazodone to help with my insomnia, although I also have major anxiety issues. It doesn't kick in right away, but you will slowly start to feel drowsy. I take 50 mg at bedtime, but am unsure what the dosage would be for only anxiety. I know taking it for insomnia ,makes me extremely lazy, and tired the next day.

Votes: +1
angel1662 6 Jan 2013

hello spot1234,
trazadone is an can be used for deppresio/anxiety/sleeping aid... but speaking for someone like myself that has been on it, in my opinion it didn't do nothing for me accept make me feel groggy the next day... 1 of my conditions is panic with agoraphobia... and it did nothing for me, but I am not saying this med. doesn't work it just didn't for me for my panic is off the hook it's that bad... it didn't even help me sleep at a high dosage, but see i have alot not saying u don't mh issues, and what didn't work for me doesn't mean it won't work for u... so all i can say if u haven't tried it yet, is try it and see what happens, if bye some chance it doesn't work, then the doc will go from there... these meds are all trial and error... it took me so long 2 get to the one that worked for me... good luck and i hope it works for u for i no what it is like first hand to have panic disorder...

Votes: +0
spot1234 9 Jan 2013

Have you tried nefazadone

jelopa418 27 April 2014

what do you take now for the severe anxiety and panic? I'm struggling myself

Lisa1960 23 Nov 2014

Angel, you sound like my son, what do you take now that works, he has severe anxiety, can't turn off his racing mind when stressed. He doesn't sleep at all when highs stressed, at least not at night. Help please!

pickles503 6 Jan 2013

Hi there spot. I'm Anna. Yes, trazodone can be used for anxiety and panic attacks. It's effective, often leading to signficant improvement in anxiety within 2-6 wks. Sometimes it's used for both. My experience was good. I took it for a few years before I changed to another med. I slept better and it slowed down and I had more clarity . Of course, you need to talk to a Dr. about this. Sometimes trazodone is used for insomnia. I hope you find the answer to your question. God bless you, spot. Anna

Votes: +2
kdennis14 24 Feb 2014

Hi, I have been taking it since 2007 and it works well for me too.

ezekiel12142010 19 Sep 2016

Hi Anna, Jackie here. What med did you switch too? I suffer from panic and anxiety attacks, and it helps me to remain calm so that I can sleep which is great. However, now I sleep most of the day away, and occassionaly have insomnia too for random days of the month. The fact that it helps my anxiety and panic is worth staying on in and of itself. But if the med you changed too does that too AND gives you clarity I would like to know what it is so I can discuss this with my dr.
Thank you!

sheryl48 17 March 2017

I only have anxiety in mornings and am on zoloft 3 x day, can i just take the trazadone morning only? we are retired so i dont have to worry about going to work.

Ladyofleisure 19 July 2017

Hi av been on trazadone week tommra anxiety bad today how long take to work

Inactive 5 Jan 2013

Hello spot1235. trazodone/Desyrel is a antidepressant. It is one of the older drugs. It is more often prescribed today for off label use then as an antidepressant. "Off label" meaning for other reasons than as an antidepressant. These include the treatment for Alcoholism, Insomnia, Anxiety and Panic disorders. Regards pledge

Votes: +3
spot1234 6 Jan 2013

Thx im so scared to try it. Every ssri I tried I felt like I was exploding. Do you take it how long to work I cant sleep do you get blurry vision or anxiety when you first start it mr dr told me to take 12 mg to start I heard it was a night mare to come off of. Advise please

ezekiel12142010 19 Sep 2016

I don't understand how it can be an antidepressent AND anti-anxiety? I also did not know it had anything to do with helping with fibromyalgia, which I suffer from as well as Bi-Polar. After YEARS of taking this, I am having sleep issues where I will have either insomnia or I will sleep all day. My Dr. says Trazadone is likely one of the meds that I am on causing this. I drink a good amount of coffee some days, but ironically those are not the days I suffer from insomnia. I am beginning to think changing to something else is not worth it :(

jeffdubguy 18 Jan 2018

Trazadone is great. It’s calming and helps you sleep. It helps me with my depression & anxiety. It’s good for helping prevent panic attacks. At least that’s been my experience. I recently tapered off Xanax after taking it for 25 years. Trazadone is not habit forming like Xanax and other benzo’s. It is nice to have an anti-depressant that doesn’t have sexual sudd effects.

Inactive 5 Jan 2013

Trazodone is used in the treatment of sedation; depression; reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome; insomnia; headache, and belongs to the drug class phenylpiperazine antidepressants.

Trazodone is associated with the treatment of:

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome

Raed more at:

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anxiety, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, trazodone

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