Does trazodone cause a metallic taste? (+3 precautions)

In this article, we will discuss whether trazodone causes a metallic taste after ingestion or not. We will further look at the link between the influence of antidepressant medication taste. Furthermore, we will look at some precautions to avoid a metallic taste due to trazodone. 

Does trazodone cause a metallic taste?

Trazodone may cause a metallic taste. However, metallic taste is not a commonly reported side effect of trazodone but some patients may feel a strange metallic taste or sensation after taking trazodone. 

Trazodone is a serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor antidepressant medication. It is an FDA-approved medication for the treatment of major depressive disorder and is off-label used to treat anxiety, fibromyalgia, and substance abuse in some patients (1).  

Some medications have been reported to induce unpleasant tastes and odors when administered. These chemosensory complaints are due to the sensory properties of some medications that cause strange or metallic tastes after ingestion (2). 

However, trazodone may cause strange metallic tastes in some patients while others may not experience such chemosensory effect of trazodone. If you face alterations in your taste after taking trazodone, consult your doctor. 

What does research suggest?

According to research studies, medications do not only alter their taste but they can also alter the normal signals from other taste stimuli such as foods and drinks (2). There is not much research available regarding the metallic taste due to trazodone. 

An experiment was conducted to determine the influence of medications on the saliva by topically applying the drugs on the tongue. The results of this study showed that the changes in taste due to the medications applied on the tongue were due to alterations in blood plasma and saliva concentrations (2). 

In another study, it was observed that the altered taste in the mouth after taking medications was due to taste dysfunction on nine oral stimuli in which FeSO4 was responsible for causing a metallic taste in the mouth (2). 

However, these studies show that the taste masking due to the drug application was due to altered intensity in some of the nine oral stimuli, and not all of them were affected at the same time (2).

Is altered taste a common effect of taking medications?

All medications are not associated with altering taste in the mouth. Some drugs may directly activate taste receptors causing an altered strange taste that goes away with time. 

In some cases, an altered taste due to medication is because of the penetration or accumulation of these drugs in the phospholipid membranes due to their amphipathic nature (2).

Antidepressants such as sertraline may also cause a metallic taste due to its accumulation in the phospholipid membranes causing an alteration in the biochemical properties of the cell (2).

However, it is important to note that not all patients taking medications may experience an altered taste sensation in the mouth. Some patients may experience a temporary discomfort that goes away with time as the body adjusts to the drug. 

What factors influence your taste while taking trazodone?

Some of the following factors may play a role in influencing your taste while taking trazodone (3):

  • Dry mouth- It is a common side effect of taking trazodone. The dryness in your mouth and less saliva can alter and change the taste of many foods and drinks consumed. 


  • Appetite changes- Trazodone is also associated with causing appetite and weight changes in some patients. The changes in appetite may change your perception of the taste of certain foods.


  •  Gastrointestinal effects- Trazodone is also linked with causing gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal cramps. Due to these common side effects, your taste perception can alter. 

What to do if trazodone causes a metallic taste?

If trazodone causes a metallic taste in your mouth, then you may consider following precautionary measures to avoid such a strange sensation in your mouth (2):

  • Stay hydrated- Drinking plenty of water may help in washing or flushing out the bad metallic taste in your mouth after taking trazodone. You can also add some flavors or fruits to your water for a better taste and antioxidants. 


  • Take trazodone with food- If trazodone gives off a strange taste in your mouth, then try taking it in between meals to mask off the bitter taste of this medication. 


  • Chew gum- Chewing gum might help to overcome the bad metallic taste in your mouth. It can help in increasing saliva and masking the bad and metallic aftertaste of trazodone. Always take sugar-free chewing gums to stay on the healthier side. 


  • Saltwater gargles- Doing gargles with saltwater may help in getting rid of the strange metallic taste of trazodone for some time.

As a pharmacist, I would suggest trying some symptomatic treatments to get rid of the metallic taste but consult your doctor if you feel that the strange metallic taste is causing discomfort. 

Your doctor may help in providing permanent relief to the strange metallic taste by lowering or tampering with your medication dosage. Your healthcare provider may also prescribe another medication that does not cause a bad metallic taste in your mouth. 

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



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


Schiffman SS. Influence of medications on taste and smell. World J Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Mar 26;4(1):84-91. doi: 10.1016/j.wjorl.2018.02.005. PMID: 30035266; PMCID: PMC6051304.


AHFS Patient Medication Information [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc.; c2019. Trazodone; [updated 2020 Jun 24; reviewed 2018 Jul 5; cited 2020 Jul 1]; [about 5 p.]. Available from:

Find a supportive therapist who can help with Depression.

Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours.


AskYourPharm is user-supported. We may earn a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp’s services after clicking through from this site