This sheet is about exposure to trazodone in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your healthcare provider.
What is trazodone?
Trazodone is an antidepressant and sedative that has been used to treat depression and symptoms of insomnia (unable to sleep or having poor sleep). It is often used in combination with other medications used to treat depression. Some brand names for trazodone include Desyrel®, Oleptro®, and Trazorel®.
Sometimes when people find out they are pregnant, they think about changing how they take their medication, or stopping their medication altogether. However, it is important to talk with your healthcare providers before making any changes to how you take this medication. Your healthcare providers can talk with you about the benefits of treating your condition and the risks of untreated illness during pregnancy.
If you do decide to stop taking trazodone, it is suggested that any reduction in trazodone be done slowly, and under the direction of your healthcare provider, rather than stopping all at once. This might lower the chance of having withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms reported with trazodone have included agitation, anxiety and sleep problems. It is not known if or how withdrawal might affect a pregnancy.
I take trazodone. Can it make it harder for me to get pregnant?
Studies have not been done to see if trazodone could make it harder to get pregnant.
Does taking trazodone increase the chance for miscarriage?
Miscarriage can occur in any pregnancy. Based on the studies reviewed, it is not known if trazodone increases the chance for miscarriage. One study found no increase in miscarriage when trazodone was taken during pregnancy.
Does taking trazodone increase the chance of birth defects?
Every pregnancy starts out with a 3-5% chance of having a birth defect. This is called the background risk. Studies have looked at close to 200 pregnancies where trazodone was taken during the first trimester. These studies did not find an increase in the chance of birth defects above the background risk.
Does taking trazodone in pregnancy increase the chance of other pregnancy-related problems?
One study found no greater chance for preterm delivery (delivery before week 37) or low birth weight (weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces [2500 grams] at birth) in babies who had been exposed to trazodone during pregnancy.
I need to take trazodone throughout my entire pregnancy. Will it cause withdrawal symptoms in my baby after birth?
The use of antidepressants in late pregnancy can cause temporary symptoms in newborns soon after birth. These symptoms are sometimes referred to as withdrawal. Symptoms include jitteriness, breathing problems, or difficulty feeding. However, in one study of 18 infants who had been exposed to 50 mg/day of trazodone for insomnia in the third trimester, withdrawal symptoms were not reported.
Does taking trazodone in pregnancy affect future behavior or learning for the child?
Studies have not been done to see if trazodone can cause behavior or learning issues for the child.
Breastfeeding while taking trazodone:
Information on the use of trazodone in breastfeeding is limited. Small amounts of trazodone have been found in breast milk. If you suspect that the baby has symptoms related to trazodone (such as being too sleepy), contact the child’s healthcare provider. Talk to your healthcare provider about all of your breastfeeding questions.
If a male takes trazodone, could it affect fertility (ability to get partner pregnant) or increase the chance of birth defects?
Studies have not been done to see if trazodone could affect male fertility or increase the chance of birth defects. In general, exposures that fathers or sperm donors have are unlikely to increase the risks to a pregnancy. For more information, please see the MotherToBaby fact sheet Paternal Exposures at https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/paternal-exposures-pregnancy/.
Please click here for references.
National Pregnancy Registry for Psychiatric Medications: There is a pregnancy registry for women who take psychiatric medications, such as trazodone. For more information you can look at their website: https://womensmentalhealth.org/research/pregnancyregistry/.
OTIS/MotherToBaby encourages inclusive and person-centered language. While our name still contains a reference to mothers, we are updating our resources with more inclusive terms. Use of the term mother or maternal refers to a person who is pregnant. Use of the term father or paternal refers to a person who contributes sperm.