Trazodone and Weight Gain

Trazodone-2Trazodone (Desyrel) is a drug which is being used for treating depression. It is a SARI atypical antidepressant which acts as a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor. It blocks the reuptake of serotonin and also stops the serotonin from acting on certain receptors. Since it affects serotonin levels in the body, it can help with depression. It is also used for insomnia and anxiety disorders. It can be used as well as a therapy for those who are going off drugs. It has some side effects, were among those is weight gain.

Trazodone And Weight Gain

Trazodone has several functions which can promote weight gaining. It can be due to an increased appetite but also some other factors which we will cover down below.

Appetite Increase

Antidepressants have an effect on reducing the depression, making a person more willing to eat. They feel better and everything tastes better, which increases their appetite. It can be also due to a chemical change in the nervous system. All this can lead to larger portions and more meals a day which can result in weight gaining.

Improved Taste

When you’re depressed, you don’t have the will to eat, everything tastes bland and you don’t have the motivation to eat nice things and to seek out for food. When you start to feel better when on Trazodone, your depression reduction will lead to feeling better and your taste improvement. It will be a good feeling to eat tasty things and to eat a lot more than before.

Fat Storage

As with taking other antipsychotic medications, it can alter the fat storage mechanism and promote fat accumulation. It can result in overweight.

Carbohydrate Cravings

Some people taking Trazodone claim they’ve had sugar cravings when taking medication since increases the serotonin which influences carbohydrate cravings. You can feel like striving for pasta, sugary foods and drinks, candies and junk food.

Slow Metabolism

Trazodone can make your metabolism slow down which can also influence your fat burning processes. You can have the same diet and exercise routine and gain weight when on this drug. Some reported gaining weight even if they’ve kept the same diet and improved fitness routine.

Hormone Levels

You can feel some hormone level changes which can slow down your metabolism, and result in weight gaining. It can also reduce stress hormones which influence the fat burning processes such as adrenaline, cortisol, ATCH growth hormone and T3, T4 hormones.


Since it has a sedation effect to a body, it is prescribed as an insomnia drug of the option. It can influence on weight gain as well since you can feel more sedated than before and less ready to get physically active. This combined can further slow down your metabolism.

Drug Interaction

Some drugs which you are taking simultaneously with Trazodone can affect its function and also promote its effects further on. It can lead to the higher potential for fat storage accumulation and weight gaining.

Social Eating

When you’re on Trazodone, your depression will be reduced and you will be willing to hangout with friends and go out. This can be linked with going out to eat, to ice cream, eating junk food and unhealthy food which can make you gain weight. Especially when you’re in a good company, you don’t notice your portions get bigger.

Factors Which Can Influence Weight Gain When On Trazodone

All of these possibilities of drug effects can be combined and can increase the potential of weight gaining when on this drug. It is also considered to be subjective and different in between every individual, considering other factors such as the dosage, the time span, frequency, genetics, lifestyle, etc.


There are different formats of Trazodone, including immediate release and extended release. It is being produced in tablets. The higher the dosage the higher the potential for weight changes. It is usually started with the low dosage of 150 mg per day, taken in divided doses. The same goes for immediate release and extended release, but the XR is taken once a day. When you’re on a lower dosage, you are less likely to experience weight gain. The higher dose you’re on, the more prone you get for weight alterations.

Time Span

The time span is a period which you can count for how long you are on Trazodone. When you’re on a drug for a longer period, you become more used to its effects. Your body changes over time and your brain gets used to new chemical levels in the presynaptic space. More alterations will occur when longer under the influence of this drug. The longer you take it, the more effects it will have on your body, thus the higher the possibility of a weight gain side effect.

Individual Factors

It is important to include any individual differences among people taking this medication. It does matter in terms of your lifestyle, stress level, genetics, basal metabolism speed, diet, exercise, etc. If you don’t take care of yourself even while not on a medication such as Trazodone, it is more likely you will experience weight gain after you start using it.

Drug Interaction

Some drugs you might use at the same time as Trazodone may influence its effects. They can inhibit or induce Trazodone function, therefore, can promote weight gain a side effect of that drug. In the other hand, the weight alteration can be an effect of the other drug you are using, so it can be attributed to the Trazodone. It is more likely they will have a synergistic interaction which can result in weight influence and fat accumulation with slowing metabolism.

How Much Weight Can You Gain From Trazodone?

Since not everyone have the same side effects due to many factors, there isn’t an exact number of pounds which you can gain while using Trazodone. Some studies have shown a gain of 1 to 2 pounds over 6 months of use. Some people have fewer effects while others will notice greater weight changes. It can be due to serotonin levels since Trazodone is serotonin reuptake inhibitor which can lead to weight gain considering all the factors which we explained above.

Will Everyone Have Weight Gain Side Effect While Taking Trazodone?

As we elaborated above, it is subjective and it depends on from person to person. Not everyone taking Trazodone will have weight alterations. Some will find the small pound changes not too significant while other will notice a big change. It is believed that the weight gain problem can be stopped with antagonists for 5-HT receptors. There is no rule and formula for avoiding this effects, just the things you can do by yourself. Eat well-avoiding junk food and carbohydrates. Drink a lot of water, exercise regularly, avoid stress, be more active. It can be due to sedation and you feeling less energized, but try to cope that the best you can in order to prevent this side effect.

If you notice significant weight gain and you are having other side effects such as anxiety, appetite increase, etc., you may want to withdrawal Trazodone and change the medicine in agreement with your doctor. If you have had experience with Trazodone, write your comment down below to share your experience.


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