Deprax: Uses and Side Effects

Deprax: Uses and Side Effects
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

Deprax is a second-generation antidepressant. Its active substance is trazodone and it’s used to treat chronic depression, insomnia, and anxiety. Although it works fast and has great effects, we can’t ignore its side effects.

Trazodone (whose commercial name in Spain is Deprax) has been on the market for almost 60 years. It was discovered and developed commercially in Italy in 1961. This happened as a result of an attempt to find another therapeutic alternative, another so-called second-generation drug that acts as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). The result was this pink capsule that doctors prescribed until not long ago.

Deprax is a phenylpiperazine. It acts as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and has a anxiolytic and hypnotic effect.

The manufacturer usually points out the drug’s main benefit in the packaging: its effectiveness during the first week of administration. In addition, another factor that patients liked was that it’s an antidepressant that doesn’t cause weight gain. On the other hand, in addition to these benefits, there’s something else worth mentioning. Since it was so cheap, Deprax was a best-seller during the 70s and 80s.

However, one of its main side effects was very evident during those early years: orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure when the person stands up). Little by little, it was discovered that trazodone was much more effective and safe in smaller doses. This adjustment allowed the drug to successfully treat many conditions to this present day.

Deprax is an antidepressant.

Deprax, how does it work and what’s it used for?

Many neurologists and psychiatrists tell us that the brain is much more complicated than we think. To this day, we still don’t know how antidepressants really work, and it’s not always possible to predict which type of drug is the most appropriate for each patient. Deprax, despite having been in our market for almost six decades, continues to have defenders and opponents. Some people warn of its side effects, which are often unpredictable. However, there are many studies that talk about how great it treats different disorders.

Let’s see for what clinical conditions can doctors prescribe Deprax:

  • Clinical depression (with or without anxiety).
  • Chronic insomnia.
  • Excessive worry.
  • Fibromyalgia accompanied by serious sleeping problems.
  • Nightmares and other sleep disorders.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Alcoholism.

It should also be noted that Deprax, according to several studies, helps treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Many patients with insomnia, nightmares, and high levels of anxiety associated with trauma get better with this drug.

How does Deprax work?

As we pointed out, Deprax is a second generation drug that inhibits serotonin reuptake. What differentiates this drug from Prozac, for example, is that it’s a chemical compound from the phenylpiperazine family. This translates into some advantages and disadvantages. The benefit is that it’s a 5-HT2A receptor antagonist. This also means that the drug has a great potential for the treatment of anxiety and depression.

What it also does is block alpha adrenergic receptors and serotonin transporter proteins. All of this can lead to a wide range of non-severe side effects.

Deprax has some side effects.

Side effects of Deprax

There are patients who don’t experience any side effects. Other people, on the other hand, tend to have some problems that may actually be due to other conditions (certain diseases, interaction with other drugs or foods, etc.). However, you should keep in mind that this drug isn’t recommended for people with liver, heart, or kidney problems.

In addition, it can’t be taken in combination with other sedatives, heart drugs, antibiotics, anticoagulants, or even natural medicines such as St. John’s wort. In this sense, You should follow all of your doctor’s orders.

Here are the main side effects of Deprax:

  • Fluid retention.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Rashes and itchy skin.
  • Sweating and tremors.
  • A sensation of confusion and restlessness.
  • Tachycardia.
  • Headaches.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • Flu-like symptoms.
Deprax's side effects can be severe.

In conclusion, there are many other safer drugs with fewer side effects on the market nowadays. However, psychiatrists still prescribe Deprax for one reason. This medication is very effective in patients with concomitant depression, meaning depression accompanied by anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, and psychological distress.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.