Early Response To Trazodone Once-a-day In Major Depressive Disorder: Review Of The Clinical Data And Putative Mechanism For Faster Onset Of Action
Most antidepressants have a delayed onset of action and must be administered for several weeks to generate therapeutic effects. Trazodone is a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder. The once-a-day (OAD) formulation of trazodone has an improved tolerability profile compared to its conventional formulations. In this study, we systematically reviewed the evidence available for the antidepressant efficacy and early improvement in depressive symptoms with trazodone OAD treatment.
We conducted a PubMed database search for randomized controlled trials published from 2005 to 2020.
Two studies, a placebo-controlled and an active-comparator (venlafaxine extended-release or XR) study were found. Both the studies demonstrated that trazodone exhibits antidepressant activity at a starting dose of 150 mg/day and results in statistically significant greater reduction in Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) scores within 1 week of starting treatment compared to placebo or venlafaxine XR (
Trazodone, if properly dosed, can be an effective antidepressant with early onset of action and good tolerability. Future studies designed to specifically evaluate onset and timing of improvement of depressive symptoms remain necessary to confirm and extend these results.