Trazodone Half Life, How Long Does Trazadone Stay in Your System?

Treating an addiction to trazodone usually involves therapy, medication, support groups, and lifestyle changes. Read more about the different treatment options for you or your loved ones struggling with trazodone addiction.

Trazodone Half Life, How Long Does Trazadone Stay in Your System?

The half-life of a medication is the time it takes for the drug’s active substance in your body to reduce by 50%. Everyone’s body processes medications differently, so there is no set-in-stone half-life for any drug. If you take Trazodone, you may wonder “how long is trazodone in your system”. It could be for various reasons. For example, you may not want an antidepressant showing up on a pre-employment drug test. Moreover, as with many antidepressants, Trazodone can have some adverse side effects. Altering or stopping your dosage can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Trazodone under different brand names. This prescription drug belongs to the drug class called serotonin modulators. These drugs are used for the treatment of depression and some doctors prescribe them for patients experiencing insomnia. In 2019, around 24 million prescriptions of Trazodone were issued in the United States. With these statistics, it is crucial for every patient using Trazodone to know how this drug works and how long it stays in the system. In this article, information about the Trazodone MOA and its effects, Trazodone half-life, its relation to drug tests, and how to safely remove it from one’s system will be discussed.

What is Trazodone?

To better understand the effects of mixing Trazodone and alcohol, let us look at “what is Trazodone?” and “can you mix trazodone and alcohol?”. Trazodone is an FDA-approved antidepressant for treating major depressive disorders [1]. Brand names include Desyrel, Oleptro, Trittico, Molipaxin, and Trazorel. It is a prescription drug that can be used as part of combination therapy with other medications or psychotherapies or used by itself for depression treatment. Trazodone can also include treatment for the effects of alcohol withdrawal, anxiety treatment, medications for schizophrenia treatment, and uncontrolled movements resulting from side effects from other medications. Trazodone is not FDA-approved for sleep disorders because it lacks sufficient clinical data to justify its use as a sleep aid.

Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could happen. MAO inhibitors include linezolid, isocarboxazid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and others. Tell your doctor if you also take opioid medicine, stimulant medicine, herbal products, or medicine for mental illness, depression, Parkinson’s disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting.

What is Trazodone Used for?

Trazodone administration is via orally through the mouth. It may be taken after meals to decrease postural hypotension and lightheadedness. Trazodone may be available as immediate-release (IR) tablets, prolonged-release tablets, and in some cases, injection and oral drops solutions. It can take one to two weeks before trazodone starts to work, but maybe four to six weeks before you feel the full benefit.

Trazodone should not be used in patients with a history of heart disease or a recent heart attack. This medication can cause or worsen QT prolongation (a disorder of the heart), which can cause an irregular heart rhythm that can lead to seizures, fainting, or even death.

Trazodone is also used for off-label treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, and bulimia because of its serotonergic receptor antagonism and serotonin reuptake inhibiting effects. This prescription drug has also been used for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment if the first-line treatment use of SSRIs does not show efficacy. The dose of 50 mg to 200 mg of Trazodone has been demonstrated to reduce episodes of nightmares as well as improve sleep habits in studies involving PTSD patients [2].

How Long Does Trazadone Last?

Many patients wonder “how long does it take for trazodone to wear off?”. The answer to this depends on what the medication is being used to treat. For instance, when treating depression, this medication works in approximately one to two weeks before the benefits are noticeable. But, when treating insomnia, the effects take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. While the Trazodone mechanism of action results in effective treatment for many, it is not successful in every case. Patients should always work closely with a doctor when using the drug.

Can Trazadone Be Addictive?

Trazodone is addictive or habit-forming, but not in the same way that drugs like cocaine, meth, or heroin are. Rather than an all-consuming physical addiction, a person who abuses trazodone may develop a physical dependence on it and a psychological addiction to it.

Dependence on this drug is marked by withdrawal symptoms Trazodone when the person reduces their dosage or ceases use completely. Alongside dependence, a person may also develop a psychological addiction to trazodone, in which they might feel they have to use it to feel normal or be happy.

Can You Get High on Trazodone?

Although trazodone cannot get you high in the same way drugs as opioids or stimulants can, it can have sedative effects. Despite the lack of euphoria in a trazodone high, the medication produces a relaxing and calming effect that users might find desirable. Trazodone abuse can occur in people to whom it’s been prescribed and in people who take it for trazodone recreational purposes.

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Trazodone Addiction Statistics

Trazodone is a long-term prescription medicine. Trazodone use for months or years is not intrinsically harmful, but it can lead to dependence. A person has developed a reliance when they require Trazodone to feel normal or when they experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking it. Antidepressants may or may not be addictive because most individuals don’t normally crave them. Nevertheless, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms may occur in patients who discontinue using Trazodone abruptly. Patients who no longer want to take this drug should speak with a healthcare professional about gradually cutting back on their dosage until it is okay to stop taking it altogether.


Estimated number of prescriptions in the United States (2020)

Source: NCBI


Average total drug cost (USD) per prescription.

Source: NCBI


Estimated number of patients in the United States (2020)

Source: NCBI


Trazodone Drug Fact Sheet

Why is this medication prescribed?

Trazodone is used to treat depression. Trazodone is in a class of medications called serotonin modulators. It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.

Clinical Data

Trade names Desyrel, Trittico
Other names AF-1161
AHFS/ Monograph
MedlinePlus a681038
License data
US DailyMed: Trazodone
liability None
liability None
Routes of
administration by mouth
ATC code
N06AX05 (WHO)

Pharmacokinetic Data

Bioavailability By mouth: 65%
Protein binding 89–95%
Metabolism Liver (CYP3A4, CYP2D6, CYP1A2?)
Metabolites mCPP
Onset of action By mouth: 1 hour (Tmax)
Elimination half life Trazodone (IR): 4–15 hours
• Trazodone (ER): 9–13 hours
• mCPP: 3–16 hours
Excretion Urine: 70–75%
Feces: 21%

Important Administration Instructions

Trazodone hydrochloride tablets can be swallowed whole or administered as a half tablet by breaking the tablet along the score line.

Trazodone hydrochloride tablets should be taken shortly after a meal or light snack.

Other Uses for This Medicine

Trazodone is also sometimes used to treat insomnia and schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions); anxiety (excessive worry).

Trazodone is also sometimes used to control abnormal, uncontrollable movements that may be experienced as side effects of other medications and for the management of alcohol dependence. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.


Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in pediatric and young adult patients in short-term studies. Closely monitor all antidepressant-treated patients for clinical worsening, and for emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors [see Warnings and Precautions. Trazodone hydrochloride tablets are not approved for use in pediatric patients [see Use in Specific Populations.

Factors that Affect How Long Trazodone Last

Trazodone half life is between five and 9 hours. This means it will take your body (on average) around seven hours to eliminate half of the drug.

In a healthy adult, a single dosage of Trazodone can remain in the body for one to three days. 

But this is not the same for everyone. How long does Trazodone last in your system? There are many factors that influence how long this drug can stay in your system, including:

  • Dosage: The higher the dose, the longer Trazodone metabolites remain in your system. Smaller doses are generally, excreted faster than larger doses.
  • Age: Some studies show the half life of Trazodone is longer in older adults.
  • Weight: Body mass and fat can affect how fast the drug metabolizes and how it’s stored in fat cells.
  • Frequency of use: Taking the drug over an extended period of time means it will take longer to leave your system.
  • Last time taken: Certain tests can detect it only after a few hours or days of taking it. Others can detect it after three months.
  • Genetics and metabolism: These influence liver function and the enzymes that metabolize Trazodone.

Another variable to consider is the type of drug test. Read on to learn how long the medication can stay in your urine, hair, blood, and saliva.

How long does trazodone stay in system? The plasma elimination half-life of trazodone differs from older people (13.6 hours) to younger people (6 hours)
How long does trazodone stay in system? The plasma elimination half-life of trazodone differs from older people (13.6 hours) to younger people (6 hours)
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What is the Half Life of Trazodone?

For Trazodone, the elimination half-life is between 10 and 12 hours, meaning that at that time half of the medication has left your system. This will continue to decrease by half until there is no longer any remaining substance, usually two to three days later. There is a lower half life of 6 hours for smaller dosages.

How Long Does Trazodone Stay in Your System?

If one is wondering, how long does 50mg of trazodone stay in your system The answer may vary depending on different factors such as the dosage of Trazodone consumed and the biological factors of the patient. Moreover, there are different tests where Trazodone can be screened.

Trazodone Blood Testing

A blood test is usually done when there is a suspicion that the person is still actively under the influence of a drug. Every 5-13 hours, the medication loses 50% of its concentration in the blood. Therefore, Trazodone metabolites can be traced in the blood for up to three days.

Trazodone Urine Testing

The parent drug, Trazodone, is eliminated from the body in a maximum of two days, but some of its metabolites can linger for longer. That is why urine tests can trace metabolites even 26 days after the last dose.

Trazodone Saliva Testing

Saliva testing can show drug use in the first few hours after administration, a time window that could be missed by urine testing. As of today, there is no study yet about how long Trazodone can stay in the saliva. However, its primary metabolite, meta-chlorophenylpiperazine, often causes false positives on amphetamines and this can be tested in the saliva for up to 3 days.

Trazodone Hair Testing

It is preferably safer to stop Trazodone, like any other medication, for about three months before going for any drug screening, as any substance one takes may remain in hair cells for up to 90 days. The standard hair drug testing offers up to a 90-day window for drug detection. However, when stopping a medication, a doctor’s medical intervention is required.

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Fastest Way to Get Trazodone Out of Your System

Are you looking for ways to get Trazodone out of your system fast? Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait it out for the drug to be completely out of your system. For example, if you are taking a urine test and are afraid to get a false positive for amphetamine due to trazodone, you have to wait at least 26 days before you can be sure that Trazodone will not affect the drug test results. Of course, this period will still depend on the variable factors we mentioned earlier in the article.

What is the half-life of Trazodone? Trazodone is eliminated from the body in a maximum of two days, but some of its metabolites can linger for longer.

Trazodone Half Life - How Long Does Trazadone Stay in Your System?
What is the half-life of Trazodone? Trazodone is eliminated from the body in a maximum of two days, but some of its metabolites can linger for longer. 

False Positive Test With Trazodone

The false-positive test result is possible with the Trazodone drug. This happens when a drug with a similar chemical structure is fragmented into a component that is similar to the targeted drug. Unfortunately, the screening test sometimes fails to differentiate an antidepressant, such as Trazodone, and crystal methamphetamine. Although Trazodone is not a prohibited substance, one thing to know is that one of its by-products, the meta-Chlorophenylpiperazine, is a powerful hallucinogen and an abused stimulant. In a standard drug test, this compound has the cross-reaction with amphetamines, and this leads to a false-positive result.

Trazodone is among antidepressant drugs that are highly prone to false-negative results. This result can be affected by several factors such as the quantity of the drug ingested, dilute urine, and the duration between ingestion of Trazodone and the time of testing. 3 out of 6 patients who took Trazodone tested falsely positive for meth. Consuming 3 micrograms per mL of Trazodone could already yield a false-positive result, owing to the active metabolite mCPP as this has a similar structure to MDMA (ecstasy).

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Combining Trazodone and Alcohol

Drinking alcohol while taking Trazodone can be dangerous. Trazodone may amplify some of the effects of alcohol, which can lead to dangerous levels of intoxication and even overdose and trazodone and alcohol death. Trazodone is in the category of SARI drugs (serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors), with other members being phenylpiperazine, etoperidone, lorpiprazole, and mepiprazole. Unfortunately, a growing trend among antidepressants, particularly Trazodone users, combines them with alcohol to create a relaxing effect.

You should not mix Trazodone and alcohol for several reasons. Alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that acts on the neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly GABA. GABA is an inhibitory transmitter that blocks or inhibits communication between neurons in the brain, promoting relaxation, calm, and sedation. Combining anxiety meds and alcohol can worsen the side effects of the medication.

Alcohol is one, if not the most abused substance in the world. Many are familiar with the adverse effects of alcohol intoxication, such as impairment in reaction time and judgment, poor coordination, blurred vision, and decreased alertness. Therefore, when taken together, trazodone and alcohol recreational use can lead to severe sedative symptoms and impairment because both Trazodone and alcohol are working in the brain to produce similar effects.

Trazodone is nearly completely absorbed after oral administration, although food delays absorption and reduces peak serum concentration.
Trazodone is nearly completely absorbed after oral administration, although food delays absorption and reduces peak serum concentration.

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Treatment for Trazodone Side Effects and Alcohol Abuse 

To determine the most effective ways to treat Trazodone side effects and co-occurring alcohol addiction, it’s crucial to assess all the symptoms accurately. When a mental health professional has evaluated the symptoms, it may be determined that another form of depression is present and needs a particular treatment. Very often, some combination of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes are effective for coping with functional.

Medically Assisted Detox

Detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated process of alcohol withdrawal but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to alcohol use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common side effects of Trazodone during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give the necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of alcohol withdrawals.

Psychotherapy for Depression

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of depression, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Person–centered therapy is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
  • Solution Focused Therapy – an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.
Ideally, when you detox from trazodone, you slowly come off the drug to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
Ideally, when you detox from trazodone, you slowly come off the drug to minimize withdrawal symptoms.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Alcoholism and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.

Medication-Assisted Treatments

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for alcohol use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Contact one of our helpful treatment specialists today if you or a loved one are struggling with long-term substance abuse, Trazodone side effects, and other co-occurring mental health conditions such as depression. We Level Up NJ can provide information on dual diagnosis and detox programs.

6 Most Common Trazodone Addiction FAQs

  1. What is Trazodone half life for sleep?

    Normally, prescription sleeping pills are used for no more than two weeks. The three to six-hour half life of Trazodone makes it most suitable for treating sleep onset insomnia or maintenance insomnia.

  2. How long does trazodone 100 mg stay in your system?

    After a single dose in a healthy adult, Trazodone will be mostly out of your system in one to three days. Trazodone half life is approximately 5 to 13 hours. This means that every 5 to 13 hours, the level in your blood will drop by 50 percent.

  3. How long do the effects of Trazodone last?

    Trazodone’s effects last for less than a day, but just because the drug’s brain effects have worn off does not mean it is out of your system. Plus, trazodone can cause a number of side effects and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms —both of which can continue long after the drug’s intended effects have worn off.

  4. How long for Trazodone to wear off?

    Trazodone’s effects last for less than a day, but just because the drug’s brain effects have worn off does not mean it is out of your system. Plus, trazodone can cause a number of side effects and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms —both of which can continue long after the drug’s intended effects have worn off.

  5. Trazodone how long does it stay in your system?

    Trazodone stays in the body for three days or less. It’s usually in the system for 42 hours. After this period, traces of the drug can still remain in the body at lower levels.

  6. How long does 50 mg of Trazodone last?

    The half life of Trazodone is between 5 and 13 hours. This means the medication will most likely stick around in your system for up to the next 40 hours after you’ve taken your dose.

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