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Medically Reviewed

The Dangers of Mixing Trazodone and Alcohol

- 6 sections

Medically Verified: June 5, 2024

Medical Reviewer:

Sahil Talwar, PA-C, MBA


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in America. You can find someone drinking alcohol in almost any setting. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 78.5% of people have consumed alcohol at some point in their lives.[1]

Because of how commonplace drinking alcohol is, you might not consider the interactions it can have with your medications. Alcohol can cause adverse side effects when combined with a variety of medications, including some over-the-counter drugs. One substance that you should not mix with alcohol is a prescription antidepressant known as trazodone.

Trazodone is a serotonin antagonist reuptake inhibitor (SARI) that doctors prescribe to treat depression, anxiety, and insomnia. This medication provides many benefits and is not considered habit-forming. However, mixing it with alcohol increases the risk of dangerous complications such as serotonin syndrome and life-threatening overdoses.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What side effects trazodone can cause
  • Whether it is okay to mix alcohol and trazodone
  • What are the dangers of combining trazodone and alcohol

What are the Side Effects of Trazodone?

While trazodone is not addictive, it can lead to sedative effects. That is why it is so effective in managing the symptoms of anxiety or insomnia. It can also lead to other side effects that you should be aware of before taking this medication.

The common side effects of trazodone include:[2]

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Feelings of weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness and drowsiness
  • Nightmares or sleep disturbances
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in sex drive or ability

If you experience adverse effects of trazodone, they should subside once your body adjusts to the medication. You should always tell your doctor about the side effects you are experiencing.

To experience the benefits of trazodone, you have to take it consistently. Long-term use of trazodone is considered safe and beneficial for conditions like depression, anxiety, or insomnia. You should avoid mixing it with other substances without consulting your doctor first.

Can You Mix Alcohol and Trazodone?

It is not recommended to mix alcohol and trazodone. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Trazodone hydrochloride tablets may make your sleepiness or dizziness worse if you take it with alcohol.”[3]

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. Similarly, trazodone can have sedative effects. When you combine these substances, you can experience increased side effects such as severe dizziness, drowsiness, or vomiting.

Additionally, the effects of alcohol can worsen mental health symptoms. If you are taking trazodone to treat a condition like major depressive disorder, drinking alcohol can make your condition worse and reduce the efficacy of your medication.

What is the Risk of Combining Trazodone and Alcohol?

Consuming alcoholic drinks while taking trazodone can be incredibly risky. While this combination can cause increased symptoms like dizziness and drowsiness, there are more important adverse effects to be aware of.

Additional dangers of combining alcohol and trazodone include:

Serotonin Syndrome

Both alcohol and trazodone increase the amount of serotonin released in your brain. Taking two substances that increase the availability of serotonin can lead to a dangerous condition known as serotonin syndrome.

The symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:[4]

  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast heartbeat and high blood pressure
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased body temperature and excessive sweating
  • Severe coordination issues
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Without medical attention, serotonin syndrome can become life-threatening. If you believe that you or a loved one have developed serotonin syndrome, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately.


Because both alcohol and trazodone depress the central nervous system, combining them could result in an overdose. This is more likely to occur if you are taking large doses of either trazodone or alcohol. That being said, it is a significant risk that you should consider before drinking while you are taking trazodone.

The symptoms of a trazodone and alcohol overdose might include:

  • Extreme drowsiness and fatigue
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Seizures

If you believe that someone is experiencing a trazodone and alcohol overdose, contact 911 immediately. The symptoms of an overdose can quickly become life-threatening without professional medical intervention.

Find Help for Alcohol and Trazodone Abuse

If you suffer from trazodone and alcohol addiction, you should seek help from a drug rehab center. Combining these substances can be incredibly dangerous, leading to overdoses and conditions like serotonin syndrome. Thankfully, Charlotte Detox Center is here to help you overcome withdrawal and begin your recovery journey.

While withdrawal can be difficult, our detox program makes it easier to overcome. Charlotte Detox Center offers medication-assisted treatment and medically managed detox services. We also provide compassionate care for those recovering from substance abuse.

Contact us today for more information on how we can help you overcome trazodone and alcohol addiction.


  1. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): Alcohol Use in the United States
  2. Medline Plus: Trazodone
  3. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Trazodone Label
  4. The National Library of Medicine (NLM): Serotonin syndrome