Researchers recently investigated health records of people age 50 years or older who took antidepressants (multiple brands) throughout a 7-year period. They compared dementia risk in 5000 users of trazodone to that of over 400,000 users of other antidepressants to determine if trazodone plays a roll in the development of dementia or cognitive dysfunction.
They found that the incidence of dementia in trazodone users was greater than among people taking alternative antidepressants. The median time to dementia diagnosis in trazodone users was 1.8 years.
According to Tiffany Schwasinger-Schmidgt, MD, PhD, "Tazodone is rarely used to treat depression, but is often used in the management of insomnia. She also mentioned that "depending on what trazodone is prescribed for will determine the dosing, and the dosing will affect the potential for development of dementia in patients."
This study lends evidence to the theory that trazodone may be a contributing factor to the development of dementia.
The study was published online February 5 in PLOS Medicine.