side effects of trazadone for dogs alternatives

Trazadone For Dogs Side Effects & Trazadone Alternatives

Side Effects Of Trazadone For Dogs & Alternatives

What is Trazadone for Dogs?

Trazadone is an antidepressant which inhibits the neuronal uptake of serotonin and causes adrenoceptor sub sensitivity. It blocks serotonin reuptake, leading to enhanced serotonin effects. It is deemed safe and is used to for confinement and for the behavioral calmness of dogs.

When your dog is experiencing anxiety, Trazadone is effective despite it being considered as off-label use. It changes how the dog can be calmer, especially when there are stress factors surrounding your pet. Only use Trazadone as needed.

Dosage of Trazadone

The drug is available in 50mg, 100mg, and 150mg oral tablets, and is also available in 150mg and 300mg extended-release tablets. Trazadone is metabolized by hepatic cytochrome p450 and will reach its peak concentration in 271 minutes. However, its half-life is an hour for each dose.

Its recommended dose is at 1.7mg to 9.5mg per kg every after 8 to 24 hours. Begin dosing at 2 to 3 mg per kg orally every 24 hours. It is typically used with a primary agent, but can also be used as a single agent.

Overdosage of Trazadone can be treated with symptomatic and supportive care. Adverse effects are reported with the use of Trazadone, but no deaths have been reported yet. Overdosage may cause hyperthermia or hypothermia. Maintenance of cardiac output and normal blood pressure should be monitored to avoid complications.

If the signs of overdosage are hard to manage, report to your vet immediately. To maintain normal blood pressure, IV fluid therapy can be used. Also, diazepam and atropine can help manage seizures and bradycardia.

Side Effects of Trazadone

The side effects of Trazadone in dogs include gastrointestinal disturbances, lethargy, ataxia, excitement, hypotension, shaking, restlessness, panting and diarrhea. Priapism, an abnormal persistent erection of the penis, is a rare side effect of Trazadone, which is why exercise is needed when the drug is used during breeding.

Be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with serotonin syndrome as it can be serious and life-threatening for your dog. Serotonin syndrome is a result of too much serotonin in the central nervous system. Some serotonin antagonist like Cyproheptadine help in reversing the signs of serotonin syndrome.

Most side effects diminish with time as the drug gets excreted from the body. Note that it is possible to minimize your canine companion’s risks of developing these adverse reactions. Start first with a small dose of the drug and then increase it gradually. As always, however, it’s best to get guidance from the vet when it comes to dosing.

Cost of Trazadone

Just like other drugs, the cost of Trazadone tends to differ from one place to another. On average though, the price of Trazadone ranges from $0.25 to $0.92 each. However, generic counterparts are cheaper than most branded options, despite still having the same basic effect.

Interaction with Other Drugs

Be careful when it comes to administering Trazadone with other drugs, especially for your pets as they cannot voice out if there is something wrong in their body.

Combining Trazadone with other drugs might lead to complications as the drug is highly susceptible to a lot of interactions. Be cautious when administering Trazadone with strong inhibitors and inducers of CYP450 as those are involved in the metabolism of Trazadone.

Drugs in the class of azole antifungals and macrolide antibiotics will increase the effect of Trazadone. CYP3A4 inducers like phenobarbital, carbamazepine, phenytoin, and rifampicin will decrease the effect of Trazadone. Avoid giving Trazadone with Fluoxetine as the latter may inhibit the metabolism of the former.

Paroxetine, Sertraline, Amphetamines, and Dextromethorphan will increase the risk of serotonin syndrome. Also, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, metoclopramide, and tramadol shall increase the effect of serotonin syndrome for there will be an increase of serotonin in the CNS.

Increased risk of seizure may happen if Trazadone is combined with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants. The use of both drugs will increase its plasma concentration, elevating its effect in the body which in turn may cause the so called serotonin syndrome. Taking Trazadone with Digoxin may increase plasma concentration of the latter.

As a side note, if your dog has liver or kidney disease, he should be closely monitored when taking Trazadone.

Ingredients in Trazadone

Trazadone is a triazolopyridine derivative designated as 2-[3-[4(3-chlorophenyl)-1-piperazinyl]propyl-1,2,3-triazozlo[4,3-a]pyridine-3-(2H)-one hydrochloride.

Trazadone is a white odorless crystalline powder that can dissolve in water. Each tablet contains 50mg to 300mg of Trazadone HCl, but also contains excipients—much like with any other drug.

For 50mg and 100mg tablets, it contains corn starch as binder, dibasic calcium phosphate, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, PEG, Na starch glycolate, and triacetin.

For 150mg Trazadone tablets, it contains excipients like microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, magnesium stearate, and stearic acid.

For 300mg Trazadone tablets, it still contains pregelatinized starch, like microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, stearic acid, and Na starch glycolate.

Trazadone Alternatives

When you want to substitute Trazadone for your dog with other medications, you may ask your vet. Any CNS antidepressant that inhibits neuronal uptake can be a substitute of Trazadone. Bupropion, Aplenzin, Desyrel Dividose, Mirtazipine, Nefazodone, and Remeron are just a few drugs that can be a substitute to Trazadone.


However, CBD oils are generally considered better alternatives for Trazadone use. In fact, many veterinarians believe that CBD offers a more holistic effect than over-the-counter medicines. It was also found that CBD treats neuropsychiatric disorders like epilepsy, neuronal injury, and psychiatric diseases.

Neurotherapeutics found that CBD may even help reduce anxiety. It also treats illnesses with anxiety-related behaviors, including those that are already complicated like post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and, general anxiety disorder. Interestingly, CBD also helps in treating and managing chronic pain, diabetes, acne, and cancer.

What truly makes CBD a great alternative though, is its safety. Unlike conventional medications that harm the liver and kidneys with prolonged use, the naturally derived extract is deemed safe to the organs. Even when taken consistently at relatively high doses, CBD often does not yield any side effects.

But, to be perfectly safe, you must still consult your dog’s vet if you’re planning to switch to CBD.


  1. The Use of Trazadone to Facilitate Post-Surgical Confinement in Dogs by Margaet E. Gruen. Available at
  2. Trazadone for Dogs and Trazadone Dosage for Dogs. Available at
  3. Trazadone in Veterinary Medicine. Available at
  4. Using Clonidine and Trazadone for Anxiety-based behavior Disorders in Dogs. Available at http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.c0m/using-clonidine-and-trazadone-anxiety-based-beahviour-disorders-dogs?.
  5. Desyrel. Available at
  6. Everything You Need To Know About CBD Oil. Available at
Scroll to Top