You've successfully subscribed to Kick Health Blog
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Kick Health Blog
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.
Trazodone vs. Seroquel—Which To Take for Sleep

Trazodone vs. Seroquel—Which To Take for Sleep

If you’ve been grappling with sleep issues, trazodone or Seroquel could be potential solutions. Even though these medications aren’t primarily indicated for insomnia, they can be safe and effective for treating sleeplessness, especially in the short term.

Trazodone is a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor (SARI), while Seroquel is an atypical antipsychotic, so their mechanisms of action and effects are different. You can learn what these drugs’ potential benefits are, who can take them, and what alternatives to consider in this concise trazodone vs. Seroquel comparison.

How Does Trazodone Work?

Trazodone is an FDA-approved medication typically used to treat major depressive disorders, anxiety, and sleeplessness. This drug’s active component is trazodone hydrochloride.

The medication inhibits the reuptake of serotonin by the nerves in the brain, increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter in the nerve synapse and alleviating the symptoms of depression. Trazodone also suppresses the production of hormones that promote wakefulness, including:

  • Acetylcholine
  • Dopamine
  • Noradrenaline
  • Histamine

This action helps the drug exert sedative effects, promoting relaxation and sleep

Trazodone comes in tablet, capsule, and liquid form 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 typical starting dose for sleeplessness is 25 mg in tablet form, but this varies depending on your health status and specific sleep issues. The sedative effects typically kick in within 30 minutes and last 5–9 hours, so you should take trazodone an hour before bedtime and set aside seven hours for sleep to let the drowsiness kick in on time and wear off naturally.

You should stick to the prescribed dose while on trazodone to reduce the risk of side effects.

Who Can Take Trazodone?

Adults (18+) experiencing occasional sleep issues caused by major depressive disorder, anxiety, or tension can benefit from trazodone. Check out the table below for more details on who can and can’t take trazodone:

Who Should Use Trazodone?

Who Shouldn’t Use Trazodone?

  • Adults (18+)

  • Individuals with sleep problems

  • People with major depressive disorders, anxiety issues, or both

  • Children

  • Individuals with suicidal thoughts or a history of attempted suicide

  • People who are allergic to trazodone or its ingredients

  • Patients with epilepsy or on electroconvulsive treatment

  • Women who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breastfeeding

  • Individuals with porphyria

  • Patients with pheochromocytoma

What Are the Side Effects of Trazodone?

Trazodone carries the risk of side effects, but patients who follow their doctor’s instructions rarely experience them. Some of the unwanted reactions include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Priapism

If you experience next-day grogginess while on trazodone, avoid activities that require sharp focus, such as driving and operating heavy machinery.

How Does Seroquel Work?


Seroquel is a brand name for quetiapine, an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults and children over ten years old. The drug acts on several parts of the brain, including dopamine, serotonin, alpha1, and histamine receptors. 

When administered at lower doses (25 mg–100 mg), Seroquel has antihistamine effects on the alpha1 and 2 adrenergic receptors, which can lead to drowsiness, sleepiness, and sedation. Higher doses affect serotonin and dopamine, so the drug then has stronger anti-depressant and antipsychotic effects. The typical dosage for insomnia depends on your health status—your doctor will prescribe a low starting dose and adjust it until you reach the most effective dose.

Seroquel is fast-acting, but food may delay onset by 1–2 hours. You should take the drug exactly as prescribed by your doctor to benefit from its sedative effects. 

Who Can Take Seroquel?

Even though Seroquel can be effective for sleep, it isn’t right for everyone. Here’s a general breakdown of who can and can’t take the drug:

Who Should Take Seroquel?

Who Shouldn’t Take Seroquel?

  • Adults over 18

  • People with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder

  • Individuals with sleep problems

  • Individuals who are allergic to quetiapine or its components

  • People with irregular heartbeat

  • Patients with stroke or at a high risk of having a stroke

  • Individuals with low blood pressure

The lists above aren’t exhaustive, so you should inform your healthcare provider about any medical conditions you have before taking Seroquel or trazodone.

What Are the Side Effects of Seroquel?

Common side effects of Seroquel include:

  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Agitation
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Sedation

Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience severe or persistent unwanted reactions to Seroquel or trazodone.

Which Is Better for Sleep—Trazodone or Seroquel?

Trazodone and Seroquel can both be helpful for sleep, but clinical trials suggest that trazodone may be a better first-line treatment for insomnia than Seroquel due to observed improvements in sleep time and reduced interrupted sleep.

Each drug’s effectiveness varies depending on your health history and specific sleep problems. Several complex factors can cause insomnia, so these medications alone may not provide the desired results in the long term. The most effective sleep treatment combines gentle medications with cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i), helping you reach a lasting solution. To get the best treatment, you should consult a sleep specialist. 

With a patient-to-sleep-specialist ratio of 43,000:1 in the U.S., getting an appointment with an expert can be difficult. The good news is that telemedicine platforms like Kick offer instant access to experienced sleep medicine specialists. Designed by Dr Alex Dimitriu, a Stanford sleep expert, Kick’s sleep program has earned fantastic reviews on Trustpilot, demonstrating Kick’s commitment to helping you overcome sleeplessness.

Kick—Instant Relief for Occasional Sleeplessness

Source: Andrea Piacquadio

Kick’s sleep program is customized to your health status and specific sleep problems. When you join the program, our expert will prescribe two trial medications to rotate during the first two weeks, reducing the risk of developing dependence on one drug. 

Your doctor will check in with you frequently and adjust the treatment if the initial plan doesn’t yield the desired results. Our specialist will also offer tips on cultivating healthy sleep hygiene, helping you reach an encompassing solution.

Getting Started With Kick

To join Kick, follow three simple steps:

  1. Navigate to our Sleep Visit page to start your 15-minute consultation
  2. Fill us in on your health status and specific sleep problems
  3. Provide your delivery address

You can choose between the convenience of home delivery and local pharmacy pickup. 

Your designated doctor will review your medical details and prescribe gentle but fast-acting sleep drugs. Our medications include:

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

If our team decides Kick isn’t the best solution for your sleep problems, you’ll be referred to your primary healthcare provider. In that case, you won’t pay for the initial consultation, according to our Doctor Guarantee.

Source: Quy Nguyen

Seroquel vs. Trazodone—Potential Interactions With Other Substances

Check out the potential interactions between trazodone and Seroquel with other substances in the table below:


Interaction With Trazodone

Interaction With Seroquel

Anti-seizure medication

Can contribute to the risk of seizures

Can raise the risk of seizure

Anti-HIV medication

Some anti-HIV drugs may enhance the risk of trazodone overdose

Can raise the risk of quetiapine overdose


Can raise the risk of drowsiness and dizziness

Can contribute to dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating

Blood pressure medication

Can enhance the risk of low blood pressure

Can raise the risk of low or high blood pressure, depending on the patient’s age

Dietary supplements 

Supplements like melatonin can contribute to drowsiness

Can enhance the risk of drowsiness

Heart medications

Can add to the risk of irregular heart rhythm

Can raise the risk of irregular heartbeat

Infection medications

No interactions were reported, but risks can’t be ruled out

No known interactions, but consulting your doctor is recommended

Muscle relaxants

May enhance the risk of serotonin syndrome

Can contribute to side effects like drowsiness, blurred vision, and dry mouth

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

NSAIDs and trazodone can affect blood coagulation, raising the risk of bruising even from minor injuries or slight pressure

Interactions vary—some NSAIDs contribute to unwanted reactions, while others don’t. Consult your healthcare provider for specific details

Opioids and CNS depressants

Can contribute to sedation

Can raise the risk of sedation, respiratory depression, or coma

Sleep or anxiety medications

Can enhance drowsiness and sedation

Can intensify dizziness and drowsiness

Grapefruit juice

Can raise the risk of unwanted reactions, especially irregular heartbeat

Can raise the risk of Seroquel overdose


Can reduce trazodone’s potency for sleep

Can reduce Seroquel’s sedative effects


Can raise the risk of side effects

Can enhance the risk of drowsiness, accidental falls, and injury

This list isn’t exhaustive, so you should inform your doctor about the substances you use before getting trazodone or Seroquel prescribed.

Trazodone and Seroquel for Sleep—Alternatives To Consider

Source: Kampus Production

If your doctor decides that the risks of using trazodone or Seroquel outweigh the potential benefits, they may recommend other sleep drugs, including:

Regardless of the sleep drug you use, the only way to overcome sleeplessness in the long run is to combine medications with healthy sleep hygiene.

Featured image source: cottonbro studio