Trazodone and Zoloft may both be a similar kind of medication, antidepressants; however, they are very different medications.
Here we’ll take a closer look at the differences between each of these prescription drugs and why they’re prescribed by doctors.
Though Trazodone is an antidepressant, a medication known for reducing the symptoms of depression, it isn’t necessarily always prescribed by doctors for that use.
In fact, many doctors will only prescribe Trazodone for depression in the instance that other treatment options haven’t been effective. And some studies have shown that Trazodone isn’t always as effective in treating depression as some other medications.
More often, Trazodone is prescribed off-label for insomnia. Though it’s not fully known how Trazodone can help you sleep better, it’s been shown to increase levels of serotonin in the brain leading to a calming effect.
In other cases, Trazodone may be prescribed for anxiety, pain caused by Fibromyalgia, and headaches.
It’s available in capsule form.
One of the benefits of Trazodone is that it isn’t a controlled substance and doesn’t have a high risk of dependency.
That being said, in some cases, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor may lower your dose to wean you off the medication at the end of your treatment rather than having you stop to help prevent these symptoms.
Additionally, Trazodone can cause some side effects. The most common include:
- Numbness or tingling
- Shortness of breath
- Uncontrolled muscle twitching
- Blurred vision
In some cases, your doctor may be able to adjust your dose to minimize these side effects. Additionally, Trazodone should never be taken with alcohol as it can cause negative side effects.
Zoloft is also an antidepressant and is most often prescribed for:
- Postpartum Depression
- Panic Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
Unlike Trazodone, Zoloft isn’t known for as severe of a drowsy side effect which in some cases may make it a better option for treating depression. In fact, it’s been shown to increase mood and energy while decreasing fear and negative thoughts. It does this by increasing levels of serotonin in your brain.
It’s available as either a capsule or in liquid form.
Similar to Trazodone, Zoloft isn’t listed as a controlled substance. However, it should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor as it isn’t right for everyone.
Possible side effects from Zoloft can include:
- Loss of appetite
Similar to Traozone, Zoloft shouldn’t be taken with alcohol as it can increase your chances of experiencing negative side effects.
Which Is Right For Me?
To find out if either Trazodone or Zoloft is right for you, you’ll need to first speak with your doctor.
As we mentioned above, while both medications are similar, they’re beneficial for different uses. You’ll need to discuss your current condition with your doctor, provide a full medical history, and list all other medications you’re taking to help them determine if either is the right treatment option for you.
Reviewed by Dr. Alex Dimitriu
Dr. Alex Dimitriu is a Stanford-trained physician with dual board certification in psychiatry and sleep medicine. The included content is not intended to replace medical advice. Always be sure to discuss any prescription medications with your doctor.