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Trazodone and Weight Gain: Causes & Individual Factors

Trazodone (Desyrel) is a medication that is approved for the treatment of depression. It is classified as an atypical antidepressant that functions as a “SARI” (serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor). In addition to inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, it also blocks excess serotonin at various receptor sites. It is believed that the combined effect of reuptake and antagonism help decrease depression.

The drug has also been found to be beneficial among those with anxiety disorder as well as insomnia. Many doctors prescribe Trazodone to help those undergoing withdrawal from harder drugs like opioids to help the patient cope with dysphoria and insomnia. Like all antidepressants, Trazodone can have side effects, including that of weight gain.

Trazodone and Weight Gain

In clinical trials, there was a clear connection between taking Trazodone and gaining weight. In one study, those who took Trazodone for 6 weeks gained an average of 1.2 pounds. While this may not seem like a striking gain, many people take the drug for a longer duration than 6 weeks, potentially leading to continued weight gain. Many speculate that the weight gained on Trazodone is largely due to its sedating effect and tendency to increase appetite.

How Trazodone Causes Weight Gain: List of Possibilities

There are many factors that may contribute to weight gain on Trazodone. These include things like appetite changes, sedation, and slowed baseline metabolism. Keep in mind that these are only possibilities and aren’t necessarily proven.

  • Appetite increase: Many antidepressants have the potential to change a person’s appetite. Some people with depression don’t eat adequate amounts of food. When an antidepressant starts working, they realize that they should eat, and they gain some weight. Others believe the appetite increase has to do with neurochemical alterations being made by the drug and that even those who were eating properly prior to taking the medication may develop a bigger appetite.
  • Carbohydrate cravings: Some claim that Trazodone makes them crave carbohydrates. While this isn’t proven, it is possible that a medication functioning as a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor could increase carbohydrate cravings. Scientists know that there are clear links between serotonin production and eating carbohydrates. If you notice that you’re seeking out sugary foods, junk foods, and pastas – it could be due to taking this drug.
  • Drug interaction: Anyone who is taking another medication in addition to Trazodone may not realize that the two drugs may interact. In some cases, drugs interact synergistically to amplify a particular side effect like weight gain. Therefore if you are on another medication, it is possible that both are influencing you to pack on weight.
  • Fat storage: Some speculate that it is possible for the body’s fat-storage mechanisms to get altered when a person takes a drug. There is clear evidence for this as a result of taking antipsychotic medications. Trazodone may disrupt your body’s homeostatic processes, which may result in more fat storage than usual.
  • Hormone levels: Those who take this drug for an extended duration are more likely to experience drug-induced hormone changes. The changes in hormones may be subtle and gradual, but they can result in very real changes in weight. While this hasn’t been proven, many self-reports indicate that antidepressants “mine” certain hormones, making it easier to gain weight.
  • Improved taste: When certain people get depressed, food doesn’t seem to taste very good. When they become less depressed, they often experience an improved taste. In other words, things start to taste good again, leading them to eat full meals and seek out food. When this improved taste is coupled with an increased appetite, it makes it very easy to gain weight.
  • Motivational deficit: Some individuals may react to this drug by experiencing a drop in motivation. They may feel better or have their insomnia under control, but their motivation may plummet as a result of using Trazodone. This is largely due to the depressant effect the drug has on the nervous system.
  • Sedation: Trazodone is considered to be a relatively sedating antidepressant, which is why it’s often prescribed for insomnia. The sedation alone may be responsible for some degree of weight gain. If you take it and feel more sedated than usual, you may have a tough time getting as much physical exercise, which will reduce your metabolism.
  • Side effects: Other side effects from the medication can include sleepiness, fatigue, and feelings of tiredness. Those who experience fatigue and/or increased sleepiness will have a tough time getting sufficient exercise. They may become increasingly lazy because it’s too difficult to overcome the drug-induced lethargy. In some ways, the side effects can indirectly cause a person to experience weight gain.
  • Slow metabolism: Many antidepressants are thought to slow your baseline metabolism. This means that regardless of if you are eating a strict diet and getting proper exercise, you could experience a gain in weight. Some people have reportedly kept their diets and exercise the same while taking Trazodone and noticed that they gained some weight.
  • Social eating: When you’re less depressed, you’re more likely to engage in social activities. This generally includes going out to eat with friends. You may not realize it, but if you are eating out more, you’re consuming larger portions and (potentially unhealthy food). This increase in “social eating” makes it easy to gain weight.

Note: It is important to keep in mind that weight gain may be due to a combination of these possibilities. For example, a person taking the drug may experience sedation, an increased appetite, and a slowed metabolism resulting from the drug.

Factors that influence weight gain on Trazodone

It should be mentioned that there are many individual factors that may influence weight gain on Trazodone. These include things like: the dosage you are taking, personal factors (e.g. genetics, habits, etc.), the duration over which you took Trazodone, as well as whether you are taking any other medications.

1. Dosage

There are different types of Trazodone including immediate release and extended release tablets. Regardless of the variation of the drug you are taking, a higher dose makes it more likely that you’ll gain weight. A starting dose for the immediate release is generally 150 mg per day taken in divided doses. A starting dose for the extended release version is 150 mg taken once daily.

Someone taking 150 mg (a low starting dose) will be less likely to gain weight compared to someone taking a high dose. Anytime you increase your dose, you are increasing the likelihood that you are going to gain weight. When you double the dose, you are essentially doubling the likelihood that you’re going to gain weight.

This is due to the fact that at higher doses, side effects are more likely. When you take a high dose of Trazodone, you are giving it more control over your neurochemistry as well as physiological functioning. This makes it difficult for your body to maintain a healthy metabolism and normal appetite.

2. Individual factors

Many people do not realize that there is significant individual variation when it comes to experiencing weight gain on Trazodone. This is largely due to specific individual factors such as: stress level, exercise habits, dietary intake, genetics, baseline metabolism, physiology, and overall lifestyle. Be sure to evaluate whether you have stopped exercising, have experienced increased stress, or changed your dietary intake since you started taking Trazodone.

It is important to avoid placing full blame on the drug if you have changed certain aspects of your lifestyle. New tests like GeneSight are now being used to help people predict how much weight will be gained based on individual genetic biomarkers.

3. Time span

Over what duration have you been taking Trazodone? Individuals that have been taking this drug for a long period of time are more likely to gain weight than those who’ve taken it for a short term. Someone that’s been on the drug for a long term (e.g. years) has essentially allowed the drug to have more influence over their physiology. Over time, your physiology will become more altered as a result of using the drug.

The longer the duration over which you take this medication, the greater the extent of the alterations that will occur. Additionally, people that take the drug for a long term generally end up having to increase their dosage due to developing tolerance for a lower dose. The dose increase coupled with drug-induced physiological alterations over time can lead to weight gain.

4. Other medications

If you are taking other medications, it is important to consider that they may also be a direct cause of your weight gain. If you were taking the other drugs prior to Trazodone and didn’t gain any weight, maybe Trazodone is the primary culprit. However, it is always important to consider that other drugs could eventually cause weight gain when used over time. Additionally, it is possible that both Trazodone and the other drug are eliciting effects that lead to weight gain. The final possibility is that the two drugs have a synergistic interaction that leads to weight gain.

How much weight will you gain from Trazodone?

It is impossible to determine exactly how much weight you’ll gain on Trazodone. Assuming you end up gaining weight, some research suggests that you’ll gain between 1 and 2 pounds within the first 6 months of treatment. For most people, gaining this small amount of weight isn’t a very big deal. Many people believe that the antagonism effect that the drug has on various serotonin receptors essentially cancels out some of the weight gain that would occur if its mechanism of action were solely that of serotonin reuptake inhibition.

Will everyone gain weight while taking Trazodone?

No. There are some people that take this drug and end up losing weight, and many people who end up experiencing no change in weight. Although the drug does end up being sedating and can make some people feel fatigued or groggy, the effect of weight gain is thought to be canceled out by the antagonism at various 5-HT receptors. If the drug were to function solely as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, it would likely lead to more weight gain.

Trazodone: Cost-Benefit Analysis

If you’ve been taking Trazodone and packed on some serious weight, it is important to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. You should determine whether the “costs” (e.g. weight gain) outweigh the “benefits” (e.g. degree to which the drug is helping). If you’ve gained a lot of weight and the drug doesn’t seem to be helping your depression, anxiety, or insomnia, you may want to consider switching medications and/or Trazodone withdrawal. If you’ve gained minimal weight and the drug seems to be working well, this would be an example of where the benefits outweigh the costs – which is what you want.

Did you gain weight while taking Trazodone?

If you have experienced weight gain from taking Trazodone, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. It may help others to know how much weight you gained, the dosage you were taking, how long you had been taking the drug, as well as other possible factors that you believe may have contributed to the weight gain. If you have any other thoughts or theories as to what may have lead to an increase in weight from this drug, be sure to leave a comment.

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{ 56 comments… add one }
  • dana September 26, 2018, 11:27 pm

    I am fat as a pig! I had no idea that Traz would cause weight gain! I stopped my low carb diet because I had reached my desired weight… I would take a Traz just when I needed it back then… I have been taking 25/50 mg nightly for about 6 months now.

    I noticed my weight gain and went back on the low carb diet… it didn’t work! I could easily lose a pound a day on that diet but, it didn’t work this time! Now I know! Discouraged and fat!

  • Sownbey August 23, 2018, 12:13 am

    I have been taking 50 mg of trazodone nightly for the last three months and I am strict about my eating habits. I have noticed that I do see a bit of a weight gain. I have been taking 50 mg of trazodone nightly for the last 3 months and have noticed a slow weight gain And could not understand why.

    Now I know. This is very upsetting to me and I am stopping taking this medicine now. The dose of trazodone taken helped initially with sleep, but I have noticed I am still awake 4 hours after taking this dose often now. I prefer insomnia to weight gain.

  • Angela August 18, 2018, 1:47 am

    Uuuugggghhhh! I started 100 mg Trazodone 6 months ago at night to help with sleep! I was 20 lbs overweight then and hoped getting sleep would help me lose the weight but now I have packed on 20 more! I am throwing it out!!! Had no idea. I was told it would have the opposite effect and would help me.

  • joanne July 21, 2018, 6:42 am

    I’ve been taking it for 2 months and gained 8 lbs.

  • Debra July 9, 2018, 6:53 pm

    I gained a total of 25 lbs on trazodone over a year, and about 20 of those were in the first four months. I was so happy to be sleeping (after years of trying other drugs for Periodic Limb Movement Disorder) that I hardly noticed the weight gain until I stopped fitting into my clothes.

    I also had the out of control cravings for carbs and sweets that I had never before experienced, and just raging constant hunger. I was only on 100 mg for about 3 months before tapering to 50, then 25. I finally decided my weight gain was as detrimental to my health as my insomnia.

    I’ve since tapered to two 12.5 mg, in an effort to wean myself off the truck completely. But 12.5 mg is not a clinical dose and my sleeping has already suffered. On the bright side, I have lost 8 pounds already in just two months without doing anything else.

    I wish there were something that I could take to help me sleep that did not cause this kind of ridiculous weight gain.

  • Memy July 9, 2018, 5:10 pm

    Wow! That’s what first comes to mind… Wow!! I came across this just by chance and all the comments hit home. I am a pretty active person and mostly make healthy choices when it comes to what I eat. I jog 5 days a week 2-3 miles each time.

    I have a total gym that I have totally not been using because I am so depressed about my weight gain and I feel very lazy, no motivation. Last two times I went running I quit after a mile an 1/2 and just walked the rest of the way to my car.

    I’ve been talking to myself lately about how disgusted I am with the weight I have put on. I have been on Trazodone for three years now. I started out at 100 mg due to lack of sleep from a antidepressant I was taking. I stopped taking the antidepressant about a year & 1/2 ago.

    But I kept taking the Traz, I cut back to 50 mg’s in the last year just because I know it’s not good for me. I too have been putting on the weight despite my healthy lifestyle. Lately all I want is sweets. I don’t want to stop eating. I don’t want to control my appetite.

    This type of behavior is not me. I am 5’3 – the normal weight for me is 143. I’ve gained 18 pounds even with my exercise routine. My stomach is so big. :( I’ve never had a tummy problem before. I have been so depressed and lethargic, especially in the A.M.

    I am definitely quitting this stuff today!! Thanks so much for this info. Best wishes to you all.

  • Sleepy March 30, 2018, 7:47 pm

    I, too, am having an unreasonable amount of weight gain on Trazodone and cravings for carbs and sweets. I’m going to experiment with ways to control this effect with L-glutamine and also will try to minimize taking it.

    Trazodone has been a lifesaver for me, I get good quality sleep with it and this is very beneficial for my ability to work and feel good overall. But the weight gain is out of control and I’m not willing to keep buying bigger clothes.

  • Violetfemme66 March 25, 2018, 4:35 pm

    Wow, just happened to come across an article describing weight gain on Trazodone. Now things make so much sense. I was prescribed this med for chronic insomnia. Sometimes 3 nights without sleep and it was affecting everything: Ability to work, lack of energy for a workout, even driving safely.

    So, sure the drug works and helps me sleep. But the totally inexplicable constant hunger, carb cravings, non-stop eating without feeling satisfied makes sense! I was always active and ate a very healthy diet. Now I’m groggy the next day and, in fact, depressed more than before I started taking this med because of the weight gain!

    I sometimes make myself sick from eating too much sugar. That has NEVER been my MO. I’m stopping this drug. I’m going to try natural remedies or the theory that my body will rest when it needs to.

  • Niki January 10, 2018, 9:38 pm

    I’ve been on Trazodone for 6 years and had no idea it could cause weight gain. I was about 118 when I began and now weigh in at 155. I also have thyroid disease and really thought that was causing my weight issues but have been treated for that for 19 years!

    I just brought this up with a new physician and she is the only doctor to ever consider this connection. Here’s to hoping I’ll get back to my natural weight. My last doctor told me eating too much causes weight gain :(

  • Larry January 3, 2018, 9:33 pm

    My doctor made me switch from Ambien to Trazodone because of his concerns. I was taking Ambien for 10 years and I had no concerns, but my regular GP retired and had to get the new one. The new doctor refused to continue prescribing Ambien. Now on month two and gained 7 pounds.

    I have a full gym downstairs but too tired to work out and not motivated. I am highly considering going off the Trazodone or limiting it to when I have three nights of no sleep (chronic insomniac). The initial 50 mg dose did not work, but the 100 mg does for sleep, but I can no longer bare the weight gain and am technically considered highly obese.

  • Jenn March 10, 2017, 2:37 am

    I was prescribed Trazadone 100mg/night solely for the purpose of sleep about 6 months ago. I was not depressed, and having been preciously prescribed Ambien over a long period of time, that was no longer an option for me. I weighed about 110 lbs (and I am 5’4″) when I started taking this medicine.

    I’m now at 132, more than I’ve ever weighed in my life. While not overweight by any means, gaining 20% of my body weight over 6 months is not healthy. My exercise habits have not changed, nor has my eating… I can only attribute it to this drug having maybe slowed my baseline metabolism.

  • Aida March 8, 2017, 9:40 am

    Yes. I did gain weight. 15 kg actually. I have started the medication 2 years ago. In the beginning I lost some weight (48kg). Now I weigh 63kg… I am trying everything to lose it, but actually I feel so much happy and friendly, so the battle in losing it is failing completely. LOL.

  • Teresa February 13, 2017, 1:44 am

    Trazodone does cause severe carb cravings. I was 112 lbs when I started taking it and now 155 lbs. I take it for insomnia.

  • Ashley October 26, 2016, 12:51 am

    I have been on trazodone for my depression for the past 8 months and am now weighing more than I have ever. I have never been above 145 lbs and as of when I started taking traz I was weighing 135ish and now I am up to 180. I only take 100mg a day and have gained 45 lbs. Not happy at all about it.

  • Deborah Micheau October 24, 2016, 3:05 pm

    Wow!! At least there is an explanation for my weight gain. I’m stopping today! I have gained 25 pounds. I even was asked if I was pregnant!!! I’m 50 years old 😢

  • Missy August 10, 2016, 11:47 pm

    I have been taking Trazodone for three years now. When I started at a dosage of 50 mg per day I was 200 pounds. I am up to 400 mg per day and am now 274 Pounds!!! Needless to say that when my shrink informed me today that Trazodone is the cause I requested a taper right off of it. It helped me sleep in the beginning but does nothing for me now. I am looking forward to losing the weight.

  • Michelle Konarski August 6, 2016, 8:33 am

    I cannot believe what I’m reading. I have been on Trazodone for 8 years and the weight I’ve gained is ridiculous. I take 100 mg at night for sleep. It was prescribed to me when I was in rehab to help me sleep. I have been gaining more weight as time goes on and now I’m 45 lbs over my usual weight. I feel disgusting, have zero energy to do anything, my knees are really painful and my cravings are through the roof.

    Anything sweet. I eat so much I feel sick sometimes. I am now almost 24 hours without a dose and hoping for a change. When I was on Remeron the same thing happened. I went to my shrink and said I feel better emotionally but I want to cut my wrists because I have gained so much weight. I’m going off this crap. I used to use sleep to escape, but my stresses that were causing that reaction are gone, so wish me luck.

  • Jessica Walker July 30, 2016, 8:00 pm

    I am also like everyone above. I had to leave my hometown for a few weeks and had left all my medication at home with trazodone being one of them. In 21 days I went from 178 to 145 and never changed my diet or activity level. I came home and began taking my meds again and boom I’m right back up to 168. That is clear cut for me that trazodone is the reason for my weight gain and have decided to no longer take this medication. I’m only day two free of trazodone so we will see what happens in the next few weeks.

  • Star June 7, 2016, 4:32 am

    In 6 weeks on 25mg a night I have gained 8 pounds. I wake up okay with energy (unless I take 50mg.), but I do have swollen hands, feet, and stomach. I am not sure if the weight and swelling is linked to a reaction of this and heart issues (as many with heart problems seem to have this issue) or just some people in general. All I know is I quit Ambien after 2 years cause it causes depression and memory issues (full time student). But I CAN’T handle this weight. Won’t be taking it anymore. Will see what the scale says in a few days. 😃

  • Robin May 20, 2016, 9:17 pm

    I just started doing some reading on the side effects of trazodone after I noticed some abdominal weight gain. I started taking about 25-50mg at night as a result of a serious car accident and as grateful as I am for being able to sleep better. I am not too happy about the extra weight.

    I have tons of energy so fortunately I did not notice any change with that. Plus I just retired after 40 years of working at a stressful job in a hospital. So now I am thinking that maybe I should just go off of it, hope for the best and then blame the weight gain on extra glasses of wine.

    • Robin May 3, 2018, 11:46 pm

      Robin – my life totally mimicked yours down to our jobs and car accident. It was so crazy to read what you wrote. I’m a nurse I gained 25 pounds taking trazodone and although it honestly gave me the best sleep I had… it makes me depressed because of the weight gain and just feeling zapped all day long. Quitting the trazodone and like you… blaming the extra weight gain on a glass of wine. LOL.

      • Gina September 7, 2018, 9:10 pm

        I’ve gained 30 pounds and finally figured out it was due to Trazodone. I’m getting off of it. Has anyone gone back to the weight they were before taking Trazodone?

  • Lar April 29, 2016, 4:43 am

    I recently started taking Trazodone for stress related insomnia. I am under 30 and it was given to me because the doctor said it was non addictive. Taking it for the last three weeks I have felt more fat in my stomach, maybe a pound or two. I actually noticed the weight gain in the last two weeks but did not even think of the drug having any effects until I looked it up today.

    Also, I have started getting intense carb and fat food cravings in the last week, even when not hungry at all. I am not sure if this is the drug or the stress or possibly both. I’m certainly going to try sleeping without it now.

  • Ellie April 27, 2016, 3:44 am

    Wow! I’ve read every comment and it sounds like we could all join into a club. I too have been on Trazodone for a couple of years now for insomnia and fibromyalgia. It takes me about two hours. to even get it together in the morning. At night I take a 100mg. and of course can’t go to sleep until I feel tired, but when that sucker kicks in so does the hunger.

    I eat so much it’s ridiculous but still go to bed knowing I could eat more. It feels like my brain shuts off telling my body I’m full. Anything and everything my eyes see is devoured. Not proud just honest. I have gained 29lbs and it just pretty much started to happen maybe 6 months ago. I am bipolar so the med helps with that along with alzprazolam, 150mg of cymbalta, and 150mg of bupropion a day.

    Talk about feeling like I’m on my own island! Still have my depressive moments but truly need this med trust me. I also gained my weight in the stomach and hip area. Five ft. 2 and now weight 152. I’m 59 yrs. young and look like I’m due for little Johnny any time now. I can’t exercise as I am full of arthritis, especially in the hips and lower back. I have to do something though because my weight isn’t helping any part of my body.

    I was told I have a fatty liver and have to lose weight. Are you kidding me? Sorry you all, I had to woe on me to someone and I happen to stumble right into our new club! LOL. Round and round we go, how we’ll look nobody knows. There is no such thing as luck, everything is for a reason so I hope and pray it works out to the positive for everyone. Until next time my new friends.

  • CANDACE March 29, 2016, 5:55 pm

    I am so glad it’s not just me!! I have even joined crossfit to lose weight and it hasn’t worked, I still have a lot of belly fat. I have also gained 25 pounds and it has really upset me. I am going to speak to my doctor about weaning off of this.

  • Vivian February 8, 2016, 4:25 am

    After reading all these stories about Trazodone and weight gain, I’m glad I’m not alone. It is also my story. I’ve been on Trazodone for about two years and have gained 40 pounds. I’ve been on 50mg taken every night for insomnia and depression. Also, I am taking Fluoxetine which I started at the same time.

    I have RA. No RA meds are working for me right now. I am five feet, small boned, so you can imagine what an extra 40 lbs looks and feels on me. I can’t stand myself, I’m not rich and can’t afford to buy clothes constantly. I hurt all over. After reading all your comments, I am definitely weaning myself off of Trazodone.

  • Dee January 28, 2016, 4:39 am

    I have been on Trazodone for several years on and off. About 25-50 mg each night and at one time even more. I weaned off of it after the traumatic event in my life had resolved but was edgy. So I went back on it. I noticed I was so hungry that I couldn’t even think. I would have to find food NOW.

    I was eating huge amounts of food and even got up at night with a raging appetite. Like bad PMS meets the munchies. I am weaning off of it again and I can only attribute it to Trazadone. When I stopped using it, this hunger and weight gain (and lazy mornings) resolved. I am not overweight and I don’t have an eating disorder so it isn’t that.

    I am a small person and five pounds is a lot on me. I am unhappy about the gain and will work hard to get back to normal.

  • Holly December 29, 2015, 7:45 pm

    I too have been taking Trazodone for about 2 years. I also take other things (Seroquel). I have went from 159 to 177 in a couple of months. It works so well, I don’t want to feel bad again, but I think having all of this weight has made me feel worse. Should I just quit?

  • Brenda Trapasso November 16, 2015, 5:16 am

    I have been on 75 mg of Trazodone at night for sleep and everyone’s story above is mine! I have gained 25 pounds! A lot of fat on my stomach and waist which has never happened before. I’m so miserable. I have been doing a low carb, high protein diet for 3 weeks and have lost maybe a pound. I also had the late night cravings, carb cravings and a huge increase in appetite as well as difficulty with feeling full and being able to stop eating.

    I hate feeling this way and am going to discuss weaning off it with my doctor. Maybe insomnia won’t be as much of a problem as it was when I started taking it. I know the fatigue and weight gain I have experienced are affecting my quality of life. Good luck to everyone. Its really frustrating.

  • Karen October 14, 2015, 4:48 pm

    I am 64 and was prescribed Trazadone for insomnia six months ago. The dose has been 150 mg for most of this period. I weighed 139 when I first started taking it and now weigh 152. I take no other meds and while I am really glad to be sleeping again, I hate the shape I am in. Flab, a huge stomach, and extra girth everywhere! I am outdoors a lot, exercise regularly and eat healthy foods but the sugar and carb cravings are crazy making.
    My appetite is enormous. Reading these comments has been a great help. Thank you.

  • Rachel September 17, 2015, 8:59 pm

    I had been on 200mg Trazodone for about 16 months and weaned myself off it over the space of four weeks. I had my last dose at the end of June and since then have gained 9lbs of fat, mostly on my stomach, back and thighs. I have a low-carb, high protein diet and exercise for about 6 hours a week so the weight gain is unexpected. Is weight gain a known side effect of coming off Trazodone? And does anyone know how long I can expect this weight gain to carry on for? I dread the thought that I will continue to gain weight indefinitely :(

  • Luna September 8, 2015, 3:42 am

    Trazodone has caused me to have an insatiable appetite for carbohydrates, especially sweets; for some strange reason, I also frantically crave anything that has a peanut flavor. The cravings are unbearable, especially at night, after I have taken my dose. I was 30 pounds above my ideal weight, but I think I have gained even more in the past 6 months.

    I exercise daily, mostly eat fruit when I crave sweets, and only all natural peanut butter. I don’t keep sweets in my house; I only buy one candy bar or cookie when I just cannot control my craving. But I keep gaining weight! It feels like I never get enough to eat, once I start eating, it is so hard to stop. I lie in bed at night and imagine all sorts of sweets and even regular food and feel as if I could eat all of them and still need more.

    My acupuncturist has put needles in points that are supposed to help decrease my appetite, and I am taking Chromate, but nothing works! Trazodone also makes it hard to wake up and function. I have been on this stuff for 15 years. I want to get off it, but I don’t know how. I can’t even find a psychiatrist right now who takes Medicare (my only insurance). I feel so bad about myself, I don’t even like going outside because even thought clothing can cover my body weight gain to some extent, I gain weight on my face and that is impossible to hide.

  • Heather August 30, 2015, 12:16 am

    I have been on Wellbutrin 300 for 2 years and Trazadone 150 over 3 years. I have lost weight. I’m also sedentary because I’ve been unable to exercise because of two neck surgeries in the last 4.5 years.

    I know weight gain is not pleasant. I wish you strength and positive thoughts with your ailments and an alternative to help with the weight gain.

  • Debi August 12, 2015, 6:42 pm

    I’ve been taking Trazodone for a number of years now (100 mg.) at night for sleep and depression. I’ve experienced weight gain and a nearly debilitating tiredness in the mornings. I’ve become hypothyroid and am now taking supplements for that. I get up tired, I’m ravenous…can’t tell sometimes when I’m full, I just want to keep eating, and I’ve gained about 25 lbs. on my 5′ tall frame.

    My tiredness leaves me less than enthusiastic about exercise. I’ve also recently had a benign brain tumor which has left me with balance issues and vertigo, so even walking is difficult. I’m wondering if there is something else I can take that will help me and cause less weight gain.

    I fight the weight every day. It’s emotionally exhausting and tends to depress me rather than help my depression. I also take Topamax and Abilify. I’m sending my support and encouragement to all who have written in. Except “Rod” who seems to think it’s all a joke.

    • Dee January 29, 2016, 12:14 am

      Wellbutrin is a better antidepressant for people worried about weight. It even helps people lose weight. I was on Trazodone and initially it worked. After a couple of year on 50-100mg each night, I started having cravings like I have never experienced. I would be so hungry, I would be eating the food I was buying standing in the grocery store line.

      It was embarrassing. I was eating for 2 hours after work. I eat healthy but would just keep eating and eating. At first I didn’t know what was causing it because I had been on Trazodone for so long. I went off of it due to sleepiness. Then I went back on a low dose. When I went back on it, hunger went out of whack again. And then something new happened. Every night I would fall asleep.

      About four hours after taking Trazodone for sleep, I would wake up and be starving. I started eating at night (not sleep eating) I was awake. I am petite and none of my pants fit. I am now tapering off of it again and my appetite is back to normal. I did find some research article that showed a graph of no appetite increase.

      But after 1-2 years the appetite did increase with carbohydrate cravings. I told my therapist, and although not a common side effect, it appeared that this was related to the medication.

  • rod August 6, 2015, 1:19 am

    I have been taking Trazodone for 2 and half years for sleep at 100mg. I recently dropped the dosage to 50mg as I was more tired in the mornings than I was prior. I have had no weight gain to speak of. Honestly I do not believe that Trazodone is the culprit in everyone’s weight gain. Put down that pudding bowl and cheese cake!!!

    • Renee September 8, 2015, 4:37 pm

      Trazadone is definitely the culprit in most of these people’s weight gain. I’ve been taking 50 mg of Trazadone for sleep for the past 16 months. It has caused me to go from 117 to 130. And if you saw how I ate, you would be shocked that I’ve put on weight. I eat mostly whole foods, & I’m very healthy. I know that the Trazadone has totally wreaked havoc on my metabolism. And has caused me to be very unmotivated. Which on a daily basis I’m pushing myself to get things done & take the time to exercise. It’s upsetting to me & I’m sure others that are suffering from the effects of this drug that you make light of their weight gain.

      • Kat January 18, 2018, 4:31 am

        I agree wholeheartedly. I maintained a weight of 110 pounds for years before Trazodone and in no time at all, I am at 120 pounds. I am about to escape “Alca-Traz.”

    • Dee January 28, 2016, 4:57 am

      Put down the pudding bowl and cheese cake. I eat neither of those. I am a healthy eater and would wake up and eat handfuls of sunflower seeds, brown rice, etc. I couldn’t get enough food. I didn’t want to eat but I was unable to stop. I felt hungry and I wouldn’t feel full. It was like an alien had taken over my body.

      It was a helpless feeling. It sucks to gain weight on healthy food that one doesn’t even want to be eating. This is not an eating disorder, this is something that happened with this med. As soon as I went off of it, this stopped. I went back on it thinking it was my imagination and it started again.

      I am slowly weaning off of it again. Interesting, when I first when on it, this did not happen. It was after a few years. There is one study I read that said the incident of weight gain goes up over time. Good luck to everyone who isn’t as lucky as you.

    • Louise February 28, 2016, 12:57 pm

      I packed on weight with Trazodone almost immediately after starting to take this drug. No pudding bowls and cheese cake in my case!!! I stopped taking this drug and am trying to deal with the insomnia in my own way now. I was on the 50mg dosage. I also experienced swelling, sweating, blocked nose, dry mouth, nightmares, headaches, uncontrolled twitching. This drug is a no no for me.

  • Slim Carlson July 21, 2015, 6:01 pm

    I have been on Trazadone for about six month now only 50 mg at bedtime. I have gained 15 pounds. I have never had problems with weight in my life. I will stop taking it as I feel weight gain will cause more health risks plus I don’t feel good about myself being overweight.

  • Nonni July 17, 2015, 5:35 pm

    My story is a combination of those written above. A weight gain of 40 pounds has led to a variety of serious illnesses. Primarily, osteo athritis in my knees had been manageable for years. I realize this is a chronic degenerative disease. But additional weight-bearing has not helped. Knee replacement might be the only option in the long run. I’m told I might need a knee replacement.

    But first, I’m advised to lose weight and exercise more. Fat chance… I laugh at the advice to ‘exercise more and you’ll feel better.’ Fine. But if I felt better I’d exercise more….Doctors and drug manufacturers mean well. But they have not experienced taking these drugs themselves. They have excellent text book knowledge of what we go through with these medications. But to bottom line it, they’re saying there is no solution for patients who desperately want to ‘get a life’…

    To all the above commenters, I sincerely wish you the best of luck in this crap-shoot. Thank you to every one of you, especially the author of this article. It provides the best information I’ve read, after years of personal research.

    • Carol Lorraine Stearns March 8, 2017, 1:34 pm

      I have been on anti-depressants for 20 plus years. I started taking 50 mg trazodone about 5 years ago and slowly ballooned up to over 200 lbs. 50 mg works well for me to sleep but losing weight is a slow process. I am down 16 lbs by diligently eliminating sugar, flour and snacking.

      But it has been slow. I will talk with my doctor next time about going on an over the counter replacement. A friend was taking trazodone and dropped 20 lbs after stopping it. I did not know it could cause weight gain.

  • Katy June 16, 2015, 12:46 pm

    I have been on 75mg of Trazodone and 60mg of Cymbalta since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2007. If I don’t take the Trazodone at night, I feel as if I have the flu the next day. I am 5’3, small-boned, and was always naturally very thin. (107 lbs. when diagnosed.) In the past 5 years, I have gained 35 pounds. The weight gain seems to be accelerating. Things I bought 6 months ago are too tight now. I can’t stand living like this, but am afraid to wean off the Trazodone because of the pain.

    • Pam August 12, 2015, 1:40 pm

      Katy, I am also taking Trazodone to help me sleep at night and have been gradually gaining weight. I don’t have the pain that you do but I do take something for my hypothyroidism that is an immune modulator that has also helped people with chronic pain. It is called LDN, which stands for Low Dose Naltrexone, you can find facebook groups that can give you more information and guidance, I belong to two groups and they have been very helpful. It is very inexpensive but you have to have a compounding pharmacy make it for you. I hope this helps! -Pam

    • Donna February 16, 2016, 1:27 am

      Katy I was told I could not take the Trazodone with Cymbalta by my doctor and the Pharmacy. I did a few years back and I ended up in the hospital twice I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I ended up going into my doctor and said YOU’RE fired. I mean so many fibromyalgia patients and he screwed up and it could of cost me my life.

    • Lisa August 19, 2016, 1:22 pm

      I am a fitness instructor and I take 50 mg of trazodone to sleep. I’ve GAINED eight pounds in one week! No bueno.

  • Leigh Ann June 14, 2015, 3:10 pm

    I have been taking 150 mg of Trazadone for insomnia for the past two years. I also take 300 mg of Wellbutrin for depression and started taking the two drugs together for two years. I have gained 30 pounds. My sugar cravings are crazy, my appetite has increased, my insomnia has gone away. I did quit smoking around the same time and I expected to gain ten pounds as a result of that alone. I am really now wondering if the two drugs together are causing my extreme weight gain? Any input is welcome.

    • Kim January 3, 2016, 7:45 pm

      If you haven’t already, ask your doctor to increase the dosage of Welbutrin. I weighed 185 lbs last March and now I weigh 129 lbs. I never blamed the Trazodone for my weight gain but maybe it was the traz. I couldn’t lose the weight until I asked to be put on Welbutrin.

      Needless to say I am very happy! I got back on the treadmill, changed my diet a little and it just fell off. I hope this helps! I take 200mgs a day along with 100 mgs of Trazodone (at night), 100 mgs of Sertraline (am) and .10mgs of Lorazepam as needed. :-)

  • INA June 2, 2015, 6:39 pm

    I’ve been on Trazadone for 24 years due to fibromyalgia. I have developed Hypothyroidism and in turn, have gained over 60 lbs. I have had to struggle to lose weight and still need to lose 25 more to be at my pre-med dose. I have hypertension, extreme dizziness at times, feel unbalanced and suffer with memory loss. My desire is to wean off and have heard that Magnesium may help. My levels are always low. Please advise.

  • Debby May 19, 2015, 11:00 am

    I have been on Trazodone 150mg every night for sleep for 3 months. I had been on Ambien for years due to chronic pain, but my doctor wanted it discontinued. Since I also have some issues with anxiety and depression, Trazodone seemed like a decent alternative. At first I slept better than I had with Ambien – all was good. The huge downfall is the weight gain – I have gained 30 pounds in 3 months with no change in diet. At this point, I would rather live with insomnia than add 1 more pound.

    • Holly December 29, 2015, 6:17 pm

      Me too!!!! I am so worried!! I don’t know what’s going on!!

    • Cathy May 27, 2017, 7:45 pm

      Six months and I’ve gain 38 pounds and I only take 25mg at night. I am going to stop this stuff. I guess I’ll just live without sleep!

  • Rhonda April 29, 2015, 7:50 pm

    I started taking Trazodone for sleep about 18 months ago. My dosage was 150 mg at bedtime however, I decreased it to 75 mg as I was too groggy in the mornings at the 150 mg dosage. The drug worked great for sleep but I have gained 26 pounds in the past 18 months. I am now in the process of weaning off of it and hopefully will be able to get to sleep without it. I believe my insomnia was attributed to the high stress of my work and now that I am retired hopefully things will return to normal. So far after 4 days at 50 mg I have not noticed any side effects.

  • Sabrina April 3, 2015, 2:47 pm

    I started taking Trazodone over five years ago and I am weighing the most I have every weighed. I started with the low dose of 50mg and I am now at 300mg. I am currently at 182 ponds (my average weight was around 155) . I have no energy and I feel it is time to talk to my doctor. The weight has slowly increased and it is out of control at this point and I am miserable. I take Trazodone to help me stay asleep and it does do the job. I am going to slowly stop taking it and see how I do without it.

  • Depressed in NH March 23, 2015, 3:04 am

    I have been taking Trazadone 50 mgs nightly, for the past 8 weeks, and I have gained 8.5 lbs. I am an anorexic and this is driving me nuts. I am also on Buspar, and Topamax, along with Vistaril. The Buspar and Topamax are not new to me. The Trazadone and Vistaril were introduced to me at the same time and so its hard to determine what exactly is causing the weight gain, but I am willing to bet it is the trazadone. I am more inclined to want to binge on sweets now. It’s insatiable and has caused me to start purging behavior. I am going to stop the Traz and see if this can stop both the gaining and the behaviors.

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