Off-Label Trazodone Prescription: Evidence, Benefits and Risks.
Bossini L., Coluccia A., Casolaro I., Benbow J., Amodeo G., De Giorgi R., Fagiolini A.
Although trazodone is approved and marketed in most countries worldwide for the sole treatment of Major Depressive Disorder, the use for this medication is very common for many other conditions, such as primary or secondary insomnia, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder. Other, not officially approved, uses of trazodone include: the treatment of bulimia, benzodiazepine and/or alcohol dependence or abuse, fibromyalgia, degenerative diseases of the central nervous system such as dementia and other organic disorders, schizophrenia, chronic pain, and diabetic neuropathy. In addition, due to its 5HT2A receptor antagonistic action, trazodone may be used to prevent the occurrence of initial and long-term side effects of SSRI, such as anxiety, insomnia and sexual dysfunction. Despite the favorable clinical experience and the encouraging results from the studies that have tested the efficacy of trazodone for some of its off-label indications, it is paramount that large, randomized and controlled clinical trials be conducted in the near future to evaluate which of the many off-label indications are supported by a strong scientific evidence.