Trazodone and Weight Gain: Can It Cause Some Extra Pounds? (2023)

Trazodone is an antidepressantwhich works in the brain to help treat anxiety and depression. It does this by lowering the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine, and histamine, which are responsible for arousal. Low-dose trazodone antagonizes the 5-HT-2A receptor, the H-1 receptor, and the alpha-1 adrenergic receptors to produce a sedative effect. The drug hasseveral side effectsincluding people who complain of obesity, although this is not common. However, does trazodone cause weight gain? Studies show thatSecond-generation antidepressantsmay be associated with long-term weight gain during treatment for anxiety or major depressive disorder. Weight gain is common with trazodone compared to other antidepressants. But what causes it? Read on to learn more about trazodone weight gain. Discover how the drug causes obesity in users.

Can trazodone cause weight gain? The answer is yes and no. The drug can cause you to gain or lose extra pounds, and it does so in a number of ways.

Does trazodone cause weight gain?

When it comes toTrazodone Classification, this antidepressant belongs to the class of drugs called serotonin modulators, which means it stimulates serotonin, a natural brain chemical responsible for maintaining mental balance. This is achieved by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin using the samemechanism of actionthat use selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Serotonin modulators are alternatives to SSRIs and SNRIs and have similar response rates.

Both weight gain and weight loss from trazodone are reported side effects, but patients should be aware that this should not prompt them to abruptly discontinue the medication or change the dose. Stopping suddenly can have serious health consequences. It is advisable to seek help in tapering off the drug to avoid any inconvenience.

Here are the reasons why antidepressants cause weight fluctuations:

  • increase in appetite
  • Cravings for carbohydrates
  • fat storage
  • interaction
  • better taste
  • hormone levels
  • sedation
  • No motivation
  • side effects
  • social dining
  • Slow metabolism

Depression itself can lead to weight gain or weight loss, depending on the patient. Some people who are depressed may experience an increase in appetite that leads to fill-up. Others may lose their appetite, which can lead to emaciation. Depression can also cause fatigue and lack of exercise, which in turn can cause patients to gain extra pounds.

Trazodone and Weight Gain: Can It Cause Some Extra Pounds? (1)

Trazodone and Weight Gain: How Trazodone Causes Weight Gain

Weight gain from trazodone is a rare side effect. According to research, the drug leads to weight loss rather than bulking up. Other antidepressants also cause patients to gain extra pounds. Research on why the drug makes patients meaty is limited, but researchers have found some valuable information.

There are many factors that can cause you to gain extra pounds while taking trazodone and these include changes in appetite, fat storage, sedation or a slowed metabolism to name a few.

increase in appetite

Trazodone can increase or decrease a patient's appetite. Some people report a loss of appetite during treatment, while others report an increase. Trazodone weight gain can occur because of theAppetitverlustis a common symptom of depression. As soon as the condition is relieved, the patient's taste is also restored, therefore a gradual application of additional meat is possible. Other patients may experience cravings for certain types of food, such as carbohydrates or fat. Available information suggests that some patients experience unusual carbohydrate cravings during treatment. This could be possible as the drug acts as a reuptake inhibitor and serotonin antagonist which could increase cravings for carbohydrates such as junk food, sugary foods or pasta.

fat storage

The drug could alter the body's fat storage mechanism, thereby disrupting the body's homeostatic processes, resulting in more fat storage than before treatment. This is similar to the fill-in caused by taking antipsychotic drugs. Information on exactly how it works is limited, but scientists believe it doesrelated to hormonesfrom adipose tissue and from the stomach to the hypothalamus. Other information seems to indicate that inhibition of serotonin, histamine, and dopamine receptors play an important role in altering the mechanism that stores fat.


Anyother medicinestaken while taking Desyrel could interact synergistically and increase a certain side effect, such as B. to become heavier. It is therefore advisable to consult a doctor beforehandMixing Desyrel with other medicines. This is to avoid serious future health complications.

better taste

Depression can affect taste and make people think the food is not tasty. Studies have found a strong link between depression and altered tastesAdults over 40 years old. It was concluded that major depressive disorder can cause smell and taste disorders. Scientists believe it is caused by aReduction of serotonin and norepinephrine. After treatment, patients usually experience an improvement in taste, prompting them to eat more and seek food. Improved taste coupled with increased appetite actually leads to weight gain.

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hormone levels

The drug can cause hormonal changes, especially when taken for a long time. The available information has established the fact that trazodone has adverse effects on the adult male reproductive system. TheMedications increase testosterone levelsof men by disrupting the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis, leading to testicular oxidative stress. Although the changes can be gradual and subtle, they can still affect weight. Although there are no studies to support this claim.


Desyrel is arelatively sedating antidepressant, usually prescribed for insomnia. The level of sedation can make the patient heavier. The drug inhibits serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and histamine, which are neurotransmitters responsible for arousal. When the patient is sedated, they are less likely to move, resulting in a slower metabolism.

No motivation

Some patients experience a drop in motivation due to trazodone, although their insomnia or physical condition improves. Trazodone is known for thismake patients lazy, especially in the first days of treatment. This is due to the sedative effect that makes it difficult to work. The effect of the drug on the nervous system leads to lethargy, which encourages a sedentary lifestyle. This can then lead to extra pounds as the patient does little to no work.

side effects

As already mentioned, one of theless commonSide effects of the drug are bulking or emaciation. Trazodone weight gain can be induced by any of the above causes. However, compared to gaining a few pounds, weight loss is slightly more common with trazodone. Other side effects of this drug include tiredness, drowsiness, and tiredness. Those who experience these symptoms will be unable to exercise adequately and will also experience drug-induced lethargy.

Slow metabolism

Many antidepressants also slow down your metabolism. That's becauseAntidepressants disrupt brain activityand body metabolism in the regulation of sugar and fat. Such a disorder is likely to increase if the patient has an episode of loss of appetite at the onset of depression. Regardless of how healthy the patient eats and how much exercise they do, they can still experience some working out.

Although gaining or losing a few pounds while on antidepressant medication is reasonable, uncontrolled or sudden weight changes may indicate other medical conditions and the patient should consult their doctor.

Trazodone and Weight Gain: How Many Pounds Do People Gain on Trazodone?

As previously mentioned, side effects of trazodone occur during the treatment of depression. However, how much weight does it add to the patient? No one can say exactly how much weight patients taking Desyrel will gain during treatment. A study of the drug showed that patients gained approximately weight1.2 poundswithin the first six weeks of treatment. While it doesn't seem like a noticeable gain, taking the drug for a long period of time also increases the likelihood of gaining body mass.Weight gain from trazodone is mainly caused by the sedative effects and the urge to eat more during treatment.Hormonal changes and a change in fat storage caused by the drug are also responsible for meat gain. To treat weight gain, patients are advised to consult a doctor. It's very riskystop taking the medicationcold turkey. Also, consult a doctor before giving weight-promoting drugs along with trazodone.

Trazodone and Weight Gain: Can It Cause Some Extra Pounds? (2)

Factors affecting trazodone bulking

ManyFactors affect mass gainin patients on trazodone, such as dosage, length of treatment, genetics, habits, or if another drug is being taken at the same time. Some of these factors can be managed by switching medications. Other factors require a doctor's attention. However, be sure to get medical information before stopping a cold turkey due to drafting. This can have negative effects on your health.


Trazodone contains immediate and delayed release tablets that can make patients heavier. Regardless of which variant of the drug the patient is taking, aA higher dose increases the likelihood of becoming heavier. When a high dose is taken at once, the drug has more control over neurochemistry and physiological function. This means that the body struggles to maintain a normal appetite and metabolism, which can even lead to itTrazodone overdose.

Individual Factors

Individual Factorssuch as food intake, stress levels, general lifestyle, genetics, basal metabolism, physiology and exercise habits also play a significant role when it comes to trazodone and putting on extra meat. The patient should evaluate these factors: when exercise has stopped, stress level has increased, or dietary intake has changed since taking trazodone. Many patients blame the drugs entirely without paying attention to these factors.

Period of time

The duration of treatment is also important. Patients who take trazodone medication for a long time, e.g. For example, those who have been taking it for several years are more likely to see an increase in pounds. Taking the pill for so long gives the drug more impact on the person's psyche, which changes more over time as a result of the drug. The longer the treatment period, the higher the risk of changes. Also, people who take Desyrel for a long time usually increase the dosage due totoleranceto a lower dose. As mentioned earlier, the increase in dosage and drug-induced physiological changes result in extra pounds.

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Other medications

Taking other medicines together with Desyrel can also be the cause of the extra pounds. There is a possibility that the other drugs also have side effects that include gaining extra pounds, or that the two drugs may develop a synergistic interaction that results in mass gain.

If the patient was already on the other medications prior to trazodone and did not gain extra pounds, the antidepressant may be the main culprit. But there is also a possibility that the other medications can lead to weight gain with prolonged use.

Some people see food as a solution to coping with depression, but once the condition is relieved, normal eating patterns are restored and a gradual loss of mass is seen.

Trazodone and Weight Loss: Does Trazodone Make You Lose Weight?

The effect of the drug on the patient's body mass cannot be predicted. In some patients, the drug causes fat loss and not fat gain. A study showed that5.7 percentof 157 people who took part in the study had lost weight while taking trazodone. In some patients, weight loss is transient and eventually leads to weight gain if treatment is prolonged for several months or years. There are several theories about Desyrel and melting.

In some patients, the drug causes gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. These symptoms will inevitably lead to weight loss, but fortunately these side effects usually go away over time.

How to control fattening with trazodone?

Because the patient knows in advance that fill-in is a possible side effect of Desyrel, they can make better decisions when it comes down to itexercise and meals. Here are some of the ways a patient can prevent weight changes during the treatment period:

  • A practice: If the current condition of the patient allows it, exercise is an excellent means of avoiding change and maintaining overall health. Activity doesn't have to be intense to show results. Walking or light yoga does not involve much effort, but still improves health and mood and keeps the patient mobile.
  • cravings: Cravings can be a side effect of trazodone, but indulging in sugar or carbohydrates will make the situation worse. The patient should consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and good fats, including fish, lean meats, olive oil, canola oil, beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Small, frequent meals: In some patients, appetite may increase during treatment with trazodone, so the patient should eat smaller and more frequent meals instead of eating more. This makes the patient want to eat more calories since there is little time between meals to feel hungry.
  • change medication: In some cases, the mass changes still occur no matter what the patient does. Sometimes talking to a doctor and switching medications can be the solution. There are usually alternative treatment protocols or medications that have the same effect on depression without affecting the patient's weight.

Drug switching can provide proper symptom control and avoid the mass change problem. If a change of medication is not possible due to the developed dependence on the drug,Substance Abuse Treatmentnecessary. The trained professionalsDrug Addiction Centerscan help patients overcome their dependence on this drug.

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  11. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. (n.d) How to lose weight while taking antidepressants?. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
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Released on: April 1, 2019

Updated on: January 11, 2022

Trazodone and Weight Gain: Can It Cause Some Extra Pounds? (3)

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About the author

Nena Messina, Ph.D.

Nena Messina is a specialist in drug-related domestic violence. She dedicated her life to researching the connection between crime, mental health and substance abuse. In addition to her work as head of the addiction center, Nena regularly takes part in the educational program as a lecturer.

Trazodone and Weight Gain: Can It Cause Some Extra Pounds? (4)

Medically reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

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8 years of nursing experience in a variety of behavioral and adjunct settings including inpatient and outpatient mental health services for adults with substance use disorders, as well as long term geriatric and hospice care. He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving specific vitamins, nutritional supplements, and the use of ear acupuncture.


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