What is Trazodone?
Trazodone is an antidepressant that regulates serotonin production and reuptake. By increasing the concentration of usable serotonin, this medication elevates mood, counteracts pain and restores normal sleep patterns. This medicine mitigates the symptoms of both depression and anxiety, in most cases.
How It Treats Fibromyalgia
According to researchers, trazodone enhances the quality of sleep, improves cognitive lucidity and functioning, and diminishes the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Of course, researchers have also sparked major concerns about potential side effects.
According to a series of controlled, clinical studies, Trazodone proved to be just as effective as other antidepressants on the market. Of course, these studies have also revealed a number of alarming side effects, including a heart condition that will be discussed.
This medication has the unmatched ability to treat both constipation and glaucoma. Unlike many medications, it does not induce anticholinergic reactions, hence its effectiveness in treating these conditions. Trazodone is also known to produce sedative effects, which can markedly reduce symptoms of agitation, anxiety and sleep deprivation. Of course, fibromyalgia sufferers who experience chronic fatigue and lethargy are greatly inconvenienced by these sedative effects.
Additional confirmed side effect is that of cardiac arrhythmias. This has been experienced by patients with and without preexisting heart conditions.
Another seldom observed, but, serious side effect is known as priapism, in which the male penis does not recede from its erect state for a period of at least 4 hours. While this is a rare condition, it does signal concern among men in the fibromyalgia community. The first few months of treatment for this condition generally present the highest risk for this side effect.
Given the side effects of this medication, precautionary measures should be taken by patients and doctors. If a patient is highly sensitive to trazodone, then a smaller dosage may be sufficient in this case.
As for minors combining trazodone with other antidepressants, doctors and parents should heed the warning signs presented by researchers-namely suicidal tendencies among youth. In terms suicidal thought processes, precautionary measures and early intervention are crucial. Both suicidally depressed minors and adults should consume this medication in small doses for safety purposes. Many antidepressants have been known to evoke an indifferent mental state, and therefore, increase the prospect of suicide. Another alarming side effect of this medication is the rare incidence of seizures.
With regard to overdoses, Trazodone is safer than some antidepressants on the market. Furthermore, people rarely succumb to overdose on this med, as trazodone toxicity levels are mild at most. But in rare cases, when trazodone is consumed in excess, it spikes toxicity levels in the bloodstream and lowers blood pressure. In one of the worst cases of trazodone overdose ever reported, a patient developed blockages in the atrioventricular region of the heart, along with the failure of several organ systems
Trazodone interacts with a liver enzyme known as CYP3A4. This particular enzyme is responsible for the metabolic processes that activate trazodone. Essentially, when this enzyme is impeded in some way, concentrations of trazodone increase drastically in the blood stream. Specific foods, herbs and medications are responsible for suppressing the effects of CYP3A4, which can be dangerous. One of these foods happens to be grapefruit, but only in large quantities.
How Does Trazadone React With Other Medications?
Patients are advised to never combine Trazodone with other medications. Trazodone may increase the potency of alcohol, depressants, and barbiturates in the bloodstream in some cases. For this reason, it may induce fatigue and disorganized thinking. Generally, patients who ingest trazodone with other medications spike their digoxin and phenytoin levels.
In terms of trazodone and its impact on anesthetics, more research should be conducted in this field. Additionally, more research should be pursued in the studies of trazodone and its relative effect on monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
Is Trazadone the only option?
While Trazodone confers its share of benefits, it presents a few perilous risk factors, as well. Patients should thoroughly acquaint themselves with both the risks and benefits before taking this medication.
If trazodone proves to be ill-suited for a patient, a different brand of antidepressant may be the solution. Luckily, patients can choose one of many routes to recovery and may very well expand their treatment options if they choose to.
As stated, fibromyalgia heightens the risk of developing tachycardia, arrhythmia, and severe fatigue in many cases. In select incidences, this med has intensified preexisting suicidal tendencies in patients. If you have a history of suicidal thought patterns or tendencies, consult with your doctor to discuss alternative treatment options. Additional treatments may include the use of anticonvulsants, sleep aids, muscle relaxers, and steroid injections.
Many patients have either supplemented or replaced traditional therapies with homeopathic remedies. Physical therapy happens to be one of the most sought after treatments methods, as it aids mobility and range of motion.
Furthermore, massage therapy can remove energy blockages, promote qi flow, smooth trigger points, and reduce muscle tension and pain. Shiatsu massage, deep tissue massage, and trigger point massage therapy are widely acclaimed in the fibromyalgia community. Shiatsu massage is especially effective because it interacts directly with nerve pathways in the central nervous system.
When trazodone presents insurmountable risks to a patient’s health, acupuncture and biofeedback prove to be viable means of treatment. In terms of homeopathic medicine, acupuncture and biofeedback are remedial sources of recovery and pain relief. Biofeedback enables the mind to achieve a certain degree of mastery over bodily functions, including pain. Furthermore, acupuncture has been said to modify how the nervous system perceives and expresses pain.
Fibromyalgia patients are often advised to curtail their diets, in terms of excluding sugar, junk food, trans fats, caffeine, MSG, and nightshade plants. Sugar and caffeine are one of the most aggravating stimulants for a fibromyalgia sufferer. Essentially, a raw diet is the only viable dietary option there is for such patients. And of course, aerobic exercise has proven to be highly effective for patients who require pain therapy.