Trazodone & Bipolar Disorder
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Q:  Trazodone & Bipolar Disorder

When taking Trazodone, why is it important for the therapist to know you have Bi-Polar Disorder? One concern is that I may be showing borderline bi-polar disorder symptoms and I am just curious as to what it is about bi-polar disorder and this medication together is significant.


Dear Jean -- 
Assuming you've read about bipolar II generally, which would be relevant to your question, I'll turn to the Trazodone issue.  The thing is, it's an antidepressant.  There's quite a controversy over antidepressants in bipolar disorder.  Yet Trazodone is no where nearly as frequently associated with inducing manic symptoms as most of the other common ones are.  In fact, I'm not really sure if it does it at all, I so rarely see it even possibly associated with Trazodone.  I routinely leave Trazodone in place and taper the other antidepressants people are often taking when referred to me, first.   But, I do try to eventually get it out of there in part because of this theoretical risk.  

Dr. Phelps

Published January, 2002


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