Does Trazodone cause acid reflux? 

Does Trazodone cause acid reflux? 

Trazodone may cause acid reflux or heartburn, but this side effect is not that common with this antidepressant. People who are new to Trazodone or antidepressants, in general, may feel acid reflux during the early course of their treatment. 

However, most gastrointestinal side effects are temporary and they usually begin to go away as your body adjusts to the medication. Some people may take longer to adjust, as every single individual is different and responds differently to medications. 

Overall, Trazodone is a well-tolerated medication and can actively control symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and other related health conditions (1,2). It can also manage insomnia effectively. (3)

Factors that may contribute to Trazodone-induced acid reflux

Factors that may contribute to Trazodone-induced acid reflux can include:

Muscle Relaxation

Trazodone is known to relax the muscles in the body, including the muscles in the oesophagus. This relaxation can lead to the backward flow of stomach acid into the oesophagus, causing acid reflux symptoms. (4)

Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) Function

The LES is a ring of muscle that separates the oesophagus from the stomach. Trazodone may affect the functioning of the LES, making it less effective in preventing acid reflux.

Gastric Emptying

Trazodone has been shown to delay gastric emptying, which means that food and stomach acid stays in the stomach for longer periods. This prolonged exposure to acid can increase the risk of acid reflux.

Individual Sensitivity

Each person may react differently to medications, and some individuals may be more prone to experiencing acid reflux as a side effect of Trazodone.

Other Factors

Certain lifestyle habits, such as consuming acidic or spicy foods, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, or being overweight, can also contribute to acid reflux while taking Trazodone. The antidepressant can trigger hunger cravings in some people, which may also contribute to acid reflux. 

What to do if Trazodone causes acid reflux? 

Trazodone-induced acid reflux is quite temporary and it gets better with time. However, there are some tips that may help you with your symptoms. These include:

  • Take Trazodone with food.
  • Take OTC acid reducers if your acid reflux or heartburn is disturbing you. 
  • Avoid spicy foods or any other trigger food that increases your acid reflux. 
  • Limit the use of caffeine and alcohol. Alcohol and Trazodone are associated with far more side effects than acid reflux. 
  • Try Probiotics to enhance your overall gut health. 
  • Limit the use of carbonated beverages and citrus juices. 

Make sure you reach out to your healthcare provider if your acid reflux does not improve or if you’re experiencing other side effects. Trazodone is generally a well-tolerated antidepressant, but people respond differently to these meds. 

Make sure you don’t skip Trazodone doses and take it exactly as directed by your healthcare provider. 

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


Haria M, Fitton A, McTavish D. Trazodone. A review of its pharmacology, therapeutic use in depression and therapeutic potential in other disorders. Drugs Aging. 1994 Apr;4(4):331-55. doi: 10.2165/00002512-199404040-00006. PMID: 8019056.


Jaffer KY, Chang T, Vanle B, Dang J, Steiner AJ, Loera N, Abdelmesseh M, Danovitch I, Ishak WW. Trazodone for Insomnia: A Systematic Review. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2017 Aug 1;14(7-8):24-34. PMID: 29552421; PMCID: PMC5842888.


Clouse RE, Lustman PJ, Eckert TC, Ferney DM, Griffith LS. Low-dose trazodone for symptomatic patients with esophageal contraction abnormalities. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Gastroenterology. 1987 Apr;92(4):1027-36. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(87)90979-6. PMID: 3549420.

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