Trazodone and alcohol relapse: A retrospective study following residential treatment

Bhanu Prakash Kolla, Terry D. Schneekloth, Joanna M. Biernacka, Mark A. Frye, Meghna P. Mansukhani, Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, Victor M. Karpyak, Larissa L. Loukianova, Timothy G. Lesnick, David Mrazek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Trazodone is one of the most commonly prescribed hypnotic medications in patients with sleep disturbances in alcohol recovery. A recent study concluded that treating insomnia with trazodone in patients with alcohol dependence might impede improvements in alcohol consumption and lead to increased drinking when trazodone is stopped. We set out to investigate the relationship between trazodone use during alcoholism treatment and relapse rates in patients who were discharged from a residential alcohol treatment program. We retrospectively reviewed records of patients with a diagnosis of alcohol dependence in a residential addiction treatment center from 2005 to 2008 and analyzed the association of trazodone use at discharge and alcohol relapse at 6 months. We also assessed the association between trazodone use and relapse at 6 months adjusting for sex, drug dependence, nonsubstance use Axis I psychiatric diagnoses, patient self-report of difficulties with sleep, and anti-dipsotropic medication use at discharge and evaluated pair-wise interactions of trazodone use with the adjustment variables. Of 283 patients eligible for inclusion, 85 (30%) were taking trazodone at discharge. Older age, self-reported sleep problems, and having a nonsubstance use Axis I psychiatric diagnosis were associated with trazodone use. After discharge, 170 (60%) subjects responded to follow-up efforts. Neither intent to treat nor responder only analysis revealed any association between trazodone use and relapse. Our retrospective study of a complex patient population discharged from a residential treatment setting did not find an association between trazodone use at discharge and relapse rates at 6 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-529
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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