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How long does it take for trazodone to work?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Aug 22, 2023.

Official answer


Trazodone may start to relieve depression 1 to 2 weeks after you begin taking it, but it can take up to 6 weeks for the full benefit of the medication to set in.

If your doctor prescribed trazodone for depression, you should not assume that the treatment is ineffective until you’ve given it the full 6 weeks to work.

However, in the first few weeks of treatment, some patients may experience a worsening of symptoms. If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide while waiting for the treatment to start working, you should talk to your doctor immediately.

Some people may feel drowsy after taking trazodone, so it’s recommended to take it at bedtime.

You should also contact your doctor if you’re experiencing unpleasant symptoms or signs of adverse effects while taking trazodone, such as:

  • An irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • Symptoms of serotonin syndrome (agitation, hallucination, dizziness, tremor, nausea)
  • An erection lasting more than 4 hours (for men)

Consult your doctor before stopping treatment with trazodone. Sudden discontinuation of trazodone can cause withdrawal, which comes with symptoms including insomnia, agitation and anxiety. If you want to stop taking trazodone, your doctor will help you taper off the medication safely, taking gradually lower doses.

  1. National Health Service (NHS). Trazodone. December 13, 2018. Available at: [Accessed July 30, 2021].
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). DESYREL® (trazodone hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. June, 2017. Available at: [Accessed July 30, 2021].
  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus. Trazodone. April 15, 2017. Available at: [Accessed July 30, 2021].

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