Trazodone for Insomnia: Worth the Risk?

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

The antidepressant trazodone is currentlythe second most commonly prescribedtreatment for insomnia because of its sedativeproperties, perceived lack of risk, genericavailability, and lack of duration-of-userestrictions. Whereas trazodone is notapproved to treat insomnia, relatively fewstudies actually support its efficacy andsafety.

A literature review of clinical trial dataconcerning trazodone, reported in theJournal of Clinical Psychiatry (April 2005),confirmed the lack of evidence for its effectivenessas an insomnia therapy.A high rateof discontinuation due to adverse effectsaccompanied the use of trazodone, as didthe potential for drug tolerance. The authorconcluded that risk/benefit considerationsmay not warrant trazodone use in nondepressedand/or elderly insomnia patients.