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Does trazodone cause weight gain?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on Sep 1, 2021.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

Trazodone may cause weight gain for some people, but it is not a common side effect of the medication. Weight loss was shown to be slightly more common with trazodone.

Research on the drug suggests that the relationship between trazodone and weight change is mixed. While both weight gain and weight loss side effects are relatively rare compared to its other side effects, trazodone may be more likely to cause weight loss than weight gain. In a clinical trial, 5% of people who took trazodone gained weight, while 6% lost weight.

You may notice an increase or decrease in your appetite during treatment with trazodone, a side effect that may be managed with the help of your doctor.

Trazodone is one of many medications used to treat depression. Other antidepressants are more highly associated with weight gain than trazodone. While the reasons why antidepressants may affect weight are poorly understood, there are many connections between the regulation of mood, appetite and weight. One potential explanation is that people may experience an increase in appetite as their depression eases, resulting in weight gain.

For the most part, trazodone is thought to come with a lower risk of weight gain than some other types of antidepressants.

Other than weight changes, trazodone can also cause side effects such as:

  • Swelling (edema)
  • Blurry vision
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue and sleepiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Stuffy nose (sinus congestion)
References
  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). DESYREL® (trazodone hydrochloride) tablets, for oral use. June 2017. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2017/018207s032lbl.pdf. [Accessed August 2, 2021].
  2. Wharton S, Raiber L, Serodio KJ. Medications that cause weight gain and alternatives in Canada: a narrative review. Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes. 2018;11:427-438. https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S171365.
  3. National Health Service ( NHS). Trazodone. December 13, 2018. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/trazodone/. [Accessed August 2, 2021].
  4. Lee SH, Paz-Filho G, Mastronardi C. Is increased antidepressant exposure a contributory factor to the obesity pandemic? Translational psychiatry . 2016;6(3), e759. https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2016.25.
  5. Carvalho AF, Sharma MS, Brunoni AR. The Safety, Tolerability and Risks Associated with the Use of Newer Generation Antidepressant Drugs: A Critical Review of the Literature. Psychother Psychosom. 2016;85(5):270-288. https://doi.org/10.1159/000447034
  6. Albert U, Lamba P, Stahl SM. Early response to trazodone once-a-day in major depressive disorder: review of the clinical data and putative mechanism for faster onset of action. CNS Spectr. 2021;26(3):232-242. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1092852921000304.

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