Does Tramadol cause bloating? 

In this brief article, we will be answering the question, “Does Tramadol cause bloating?” and other queries related to this topic.

Does Tramadol cause bloating? 

Yes, Tramadol can cause bloating, as a secondary effect. Tramadol causes constipation, and it is listed as one of the common side effects of this medication. This constipation can trap gasses in your stomach and cause it to bloat in some people (1). 

Some people may get bloated after meals or may take longer to digest food. These side effects are usually not to be concerned about and they are expected to go away with time. However, if you find your gastrointestinal side effects intolerable, reach out to your healthcare provider (2). 

There may not be any research study solely focused on bloating caused by Tramadol and why it happens, but there are some studies that do mention this side effect and its incidence. 

One study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that among a group of cancer patients taking opioids, including tramadol, bloating was reported as a side effect in approximately 15% of patients (1). 

Another study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that among a group of patients with irritable bowel syndrome, tramadol use was associated with an increased risk of bloating compared to a placebo (2).

This indicates that bloating is one of the expected side effects of Tramadol. Some people may also gain weight while taking Tramadol. However, other factors such as diet and underlying medical conditions should also be considered when evaluating the cause of bloating in individuals taking tramadol.

It is also important to note that Tramadol may lead to weight loss in some cases.

What are some ways to manage Tramadol-induced bloating?

When it comes to managing abdominal distension and bloating, carminatives can be a helpful option. Carminatives are substances that help to alleviate gas and bloating by promoting the expulsion of gas from the digestive tract (4). 

One popular carminative is simethicone, which works by breaking up gas bubbles in the stomach and intestines (4). 

Exploring natural remedies such as fennel tea to alleviate trapped gasses in the stomach can also be beneficial. In cases of constipation, incorporating a high-fiber diet and ensuring adequate hydration is recommended (5). 

However, no matter if it is industrial or natural, medicines should never be started without the consent of your healthcare provider.

Regardless of whether they are industrial or natural, medications should never be initiated without the approval of your healthcare provider due to the potential interactions between herbs and drugs (7).

With the exception of drugs that require fasting administration, some gastrointestinal side effects of medicines can be avoided to some extent when you do not take them on an empty stomach. Since Tramadol capsules can be taken independently of food, you can try taking it between your meals (3). 

What is a recommended diet when taking tramadol?

When managing Tramadol-induced bloating, it is advisable to follow a diet that includes lighter, easily digestible foods. This can include whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts (8). Some people may also gain weight while taking Tramadol. 

Considering the impact on the stomach, it is crucial to pay attention to dietary choices. Consistently consuming foods that are challenging for the stomach to digest can significantly contribute to increased gas (4,5).

In addition, you may also consider incorporating probiotics into your diet, such as yogurt or fermented foods, as they can improve digestive health and alleviate symptoms of constipation and bloating (4,6).

It is always prudent to talk to your healthcare provider, such as a dietitian, to plan meals with the right amount of fiber for you (8). 


What are other side effects to tramadol besides bloating?

Some common side effects of taking tramadol may include (9):

  • nausea
  •  vomiting
  •  sweating
  •  fatigue
  • sedation
  • dry mouth 

More severe side effects include (9):

  • angioedema
  •  increased effect of anticoagulants 
  • serotonin toxicity 

Remember to discuss any side effects experienced with a healthcare professional to determine the most effective preventive measures.

It is also important to note that Tramadol may cause more pronounced side effects if taken with other medications that can also affect your brain, such as antidepressants (Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac, etc), antipsychotics, antiepileptics, mood stabilisers, etc.

If Tramadol is not the right choice of medication for you, your doctor will taper it off for safe withdrawal. Immediate-release tramadol tablets can be cut in half to reduce the dose without getting a new prescription. Just make sure you do not make any changes on your own.


In this brief article, we have explored the query “Does tramadol cause bloating?” and also provided insights on managing bloating associated with Tramadol usage. 

By understanding the relationship between Tramadol and bloating, you can take proactive steps to alleviate discomfort and enhance your overall well-being.

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National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Constipation | NIDDK [Internet]. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 2019.


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