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Can I Take Melatonin With Trazodone for Sleep?

Can I Take Melatonin With Trazodone for Sleep?

Sleep is vital to our daily routine as it impacts our mood, energy levels, and overall health. Once a healthy sleep cycle gets interrupted, finding the right treatment quickly is essential.

Approximately 30–40% of adults in the U.S. struggle with sleep issues and often use OTC sleep aids like melatonin or prescription drugs like trazodone to overcome insomnia. If you’ve tried one or the other and your sleep problems persisted, you might wonder—can I take melatonin with trazodone for sleep to get a better result?

The answer to this question isn’t simple, and you should understand how these sleep aids work to make an informed decision.

Can You Take Melatonin and Trazodone Together for Sleep?

Unless advised by a healthcare provider, you shouldn’t mix melatonin and trazodone. Combining these substances may boost their sleep-inducing properties, enhancing the risk of an overdose.

Using trazodone and melatonin together also raises the risk of unwanted reactions, such as:

  • Severe drowsiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness

Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impaired thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. 

If your doctor recommends taking these substances together, you should inform them about all other medications you use so they can recommend safe and effective dosing. You should also avoid activities that require sharp focus until you know how this combination affects you. 

To help you understand why these drugs shouldn’t be mixed, we’ll explain their mechanisms of action and potential side effects.

What Is Trazodone?

Trazodone is an antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder. It belongs to the class of drugs known as serotonin modulators, and its active ingredient is trazodone hydrochloride. 

The medication was approved by the FDA for medical use in the U.S. in 1981. Trazodone isn’t a controlled substance since there’s no evidence that it’s physically addictive. Still, long-term use can lead to dependence, so you should use this medication under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Trazodone comes in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms and is available in six doses:

  1. 10 mg
  2. 20 mg
  3. 50 mg
  4. 100 mg
  5. 150 mg
  6. 300 mg

The average starting dose for sleeplessness is 25 mg–100 mg in tablet form, taken at least an hour before bed. This medicine isn’t suitable for patients under 18, and pregnant women should approach it with caution as well since there’s limited information to conclude that it’s safe for unborn babies.

How Does Trazodone Work?

Trazodone primarily inhibits serotonin reuptake in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of satisfaction, well-being, and happiness. By inhibiting serotonin reuptake, trazodone increases the neurotransmitter’s level in the nerve synapse. It makes you feel more focused, calm, and stable, alleviating the symptoms of depression.

The neurotransmitter is also a precursor to melatonin, the hormone that synchronizes your sleep-wake cycle. The dual action—increased serotonin and melatonin—causes relaxation and promotes sleep.

What Are the Side Effects of Trazodone?

Check out a breakdown of the common and rare side effects of trazodone in the table below:

Common Side Effects

Rare but Concerning Side Effects

  • Dizziness

  • Confusion

  • Blurred vision

  • Lightheadedness

  • Fainting

  • Decreased concentration

  • Headache

  • Constipation

  • Unpleasant aftertaste

  • Nausea

  • Dry mouth 

  • Drowsiness

  • Skin rash

  • Unusual excitement

What Is Melatonin?

Source: Andrea Piacquadio

Melatonin is a hormone your body produces naturally. It’s primarily responsible for regulating your circadian rhythm, an “internal clock” that signals when it’s time to sleep, wake up, and eat. Melatonin is also known as the “sleep hormone” because it helps prepare your body for sleep.

Melatonin supplements are popular among people struggling with sleep issues like insomnia and jet lag. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

How Does Melatonin Work?

Melatonin works in harmony with your body’s circadian rhythm. Your melatonin levels start rising when it’s dark outside, signaling to your body that it’s time to sleep. They then decrease in the morning as the day breaks, promoting wakefulness.

The hormone binds to MT1 and MT2 receptors in your brain to reduce nerve activity. It can also decrease levels of dopamine, a hormone that promotes wakefulness.

What Are the Side Effects of Melatonin?

While melatonin is generally safe for short-term use, it can cause some unwanted reactions. Check out the potential side effects in the table below:

Common Side Effects

Rare but Concerning Side Effects

  • Headache

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Daytime drowsiness

  • Anxiety

  • Tremor

  • Temporary feelings of depression

  • Abdominal cramps

  • Irritability

  • Reduced alertness

  • Confusion or disorientation

These lists aren’t exhaustive, so you should watch out for undesired reactions. If you experience mental or physical changes while on trazodone or melatonin, you should inform your doctor immediately. 

Which Is Better for Sleep—Trazodone or Melatonin?

According to a clinical study published in Sage Journals, trazodone and melatonin can be equally effective for sleep. Another study established that while both substances improved sleep quality among patients with major depressive disorder, melatonin resulted in greater sleep latency than trazodone did after four weeks of use.

However, this is general information, and sleep drugs and aids affect each patient differently. You should consult a sleep medicine specialist to determine which option is best for your specific situation and design a plan that addresses the underlying factors causing your sleep issues. But with a patient-to-specialist ratio of 43,000:1, getting an appointment with a sleep expert in the U.S. can be challenging.

Telemedicine platforms can be a solution as they offer quick and convenient access to sleep doctors. For example, Kick has an acclaimed sleep program that connects you with specialists almost instantly.

Kick—Science-Based Sleep Solutions

Source: Yogendra Singh

Kick, an online performance medicine clinic, offers an effective sleep program that addresses health and behavioral factors contributing to sleep issues.

Our doctor will assess your sleep patterns, lifestyle, and overall health and design a personalized plan that includes:

Kick’s specialist will provide ongoing support and continuous follow-ups to monitor your progress and adjust the plan if necessary.

How Kick Works

To benefit from Kick’s innovative program, follow these easy steps:

  1. Navigate to the signup page to start your 15-minute consultation
  2. Fill us in on your sleep and medical history
  3. Enter your delivery details

Our specialist will review your medical information and prescribe two trial medications, such as:

  1. Trazodone
  2. Doxepin
  3. Cyclobenzaprine
  4. Hydroxyzine
  5. Gabapentin 
  6. Ramelteon

The drugs will be delivered to your doorstep or a local pharmacy, making the process discreet and convenient. 

Designed by a Stanford sleep specialist, Dr. Alex Dimitriu, Kick’s sleep program is risk-free. If our team decides Kick doesn’t have the best solution for your specific sleep issue, you’ll be advised to follow up with your primary healthcare provider. In that case, you won’t pay for the initial consultation as per our Doctor Guarantee.

Source: Andrea Piacquadio

Trazodone and Melatonin for Sleep—Combining Them With Common OTC Sleep Aids

Trazodone and melatonin may also interact with other OTC sleep drugs or aids, although individual reactions vary among patients.  

Can I Take Trazodone With Unisom?

Unisom is an antihistamine with significant sedative and anticholinergic effects, so you should avoid combining it with trazodone. Taking these medications together enhances the risk of side effects, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating

Trazodone and Unisom can also interact with other drugs, potentially increasing the severity of unwanted reactions. For example, taking them with a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor can raise the risk of agitation, confusion, and convulsions.

Can I Combine Melatonin With Unisom?

Unless instructed by your doctor, you shouldn’t mix melatonin with Unisom. The two substances have moderate interaction, so combining them may raise the risk of unwanted reactions. 

You should also avoid alcohol when taking these medications as it can contribute to side effects like severe drowsiness. 

Should You Mix Trazodone With Valerian?

Mixing trazodone with valerian is generally not recommended. Both are central nervous system (CNS) depressants and combining them raises the risk of unwanted reactions, including severe dizziness and drowsiness. Each person’s reaction to this combination varies depending on their health status and the prescribed dosage, so you should consult your doctor for specific advice.

Is It Safe To Mix Melatonin With Valerian?

While melatonin and valerian are generally safe, you should avoid taking them together because combining them may increase the risk of drowsiness. While both are available over-the-counter, you should consult your doctor if you intend to take them for sleep issues. Your healthcare provider will determine whether it’s safe to mix them depending on your health status and other substances you use.

Can You Mix Trazodone With CBD Oil?

You shouldn’t take trazodone with CBD oil. Mixing these substances raises the risk of irregular heartbeat. CBD oil contains cannabis, which may also contribute to drowsiness.

If you must use CBD oil, you should skip trazodone that day. You can also take these substances at different times of the day to reduce the risk of interaction.

You should consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice regarding combining these substances.

Can You Use Melatonin and CBD Oil at the Same Time?

Melatonin and CBD oil can be used together. They’re considered safe and have benefits that complement each other, especially for insomnia. CBD may regulate the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, while melatonin can be effective in reducing the time you need to fall asleep, improving your sleep quality.

Still, individuals can react differently to this combination, depending on their medical history. Consult your doctor before combining these substances.

Melatonin and Trazodone—Alternatives To Consider

Source: Kampus Production

If you’re not the best candidate for melatonin and trazodone, your doctor may recommend other sleep drugs, including:

No matter which sleep aid you use, there’s no miraculous cure for sleeplessness. You must make meaningful lifestyle changes and practice healthy sleep habits to reach a lasting solution.

Featured image source: Ron Lach