Can trazodone upset your stomach? (7+ precautions)

In this article, we will discuss whether trazodone upset your stomach. We will also discuss related research findings, symptoms of upset stomach, how to ensure safe and effective use of trazodone, and what to do if trazodone upsets your stomach. 

Can trazodone upset your stomach?

Trazodone can upset your stomach. It is a common side effect of trazodone, especially in the early phase of trazodone treatment, individuals may experience some gastrointestinal side effects. However, it is important to note that not everyone taking trazodone may have stomach problems. 

Trazodone is approved by the FDA to treat major depressive disorder. Trazodone can also be used in clinical settings to induce sleep and to treat post-traumatic disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, or fibromyalgia (1).   

Trazodone works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and also blocks histamine and adrenergic receptors. Trazodone is available in different dosage forms such as immediate-release or extended-release tablets, oral drops, or injectables. Trazodone may take up to 4 weeks to start working and 6 to 8 weeks to show its complete therapeutic benefits (1). 

What does research suggest?

According to a research study, trazodone is an efficacious antidepressant for major depressive disorder. Trazodone has a relatively low risk of side effects compared to other antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The stomach-related problems are also less compared to other antidepressant treatments with the benefit of inducing sleep (2). 

Another research study indicated that when trazodone is taken along with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which are used as painkillers, there is an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Therefore, it is necessary to be vigilant while using trazodone with these painkillers (3). 

What are the symptoms of trazodone-induced stomach upset?

The symptoms of trazodone-induced stomach upset may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Acid reflux
  • Stomach bleeding (rare) (4)

The side effects mentioned above may subside as your body adapts to trazodone treatment. However, if any of these trazodone-induced side effects become bothersome, please reach out to your healthcare provider. 

How to ensure safe and effective use of trazodone? 

To ensure safe and effective use of trazodone, please adhere to the following guidelines: 

  • Trazodone is available in the form of tablets to be taken with food. 
  • You should take trazodone at the same time each day and swallow the tablet as a whole or you can break it into two halves at the score line. 
  • Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medicines or supplements with trazodone to avoid drug interactions. 
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to trazodone or similar medications before prescribing it to you. 
  • Trazodone can make you dizzy, therefore avoid driving any vehicle or doing tasks that require concentration.
  • You should avoid alcohol use because it may worsen the side effects of trazodone. 
  • Trazodone may take some time to show its therapeutic benefits, therefore you should not stop taking trazodone unless asked by your doctor. 
  • Trazodone when needed to be discontinued, should be reduced gradually to avoid the risk of withdrawal effects (4). 

What to do if trazodone upsets your stomach?

If trazodone upsets your stomach, and it becomes bothersome, please reach out to your healthcare provider. They may prescribe you medicines such as Risek (omeprazole), to protect your stomach lining from the harmful effects of these antidepressants (5). 

Your doctor may also reduce the dose of trazodone and check for your symptoms. If your stomach-related symptoms do not go away, your doctor may gradually reduce your trazodone dose, and switch you to an alternative antidepressant such as Effexor, Wellbutrin, Celexa, etc., which best suits your needs. 

In my opinion, trazodone may cause stomach upset. However, it is important to note that not everyone taking trazodone may experience gastrointestinal side effects. Trazodone is a safe and effective antidepressant, but it may pose a serious risk of gastrointestinal bleeding when taken with NSAIDs which is rare. 

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Shin JJ, Saadabadi A. Trazodone. 2022 Jul 10. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29262060. Available from:


Cuomo A, Ballerini A, Bruni AC, Decina P, Di Sciascio G, Fiorentini A, Scaglione F, Vampini C, Fagiolini A. Clinical guidance for the use of trazodone in major depressive disorder and concomitant conditions: pharmacology and clinical practice. Riv Psichiatr. 2019 Jul-Aug;54(4):137-149. doi: 10.1708/3202.31796. PMID: 31379379. Available from:


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Katz PO, Hatlebakk JG, Castell DO. Gastric acidity and acid breakthrough with twice-daily omeprazole or lansoprazole. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2000 Jun;14(6):709-14. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2000.00775.x. PMID: 10848653. Available from:

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