Does trazodone taste bad? (3+ facts)

This article will answer the question, “Does trazodone taste bad?” we will also discuss the reason for the bad taste caused by trazodone along with some measures to manage it.

Does trazodone taste bad? 

Yes, trazodone can taste bad when you chew or ingest it with very little fluid. When you take trazodone with little fluid, the tablet or capsule gets stuck in your throat and starts disintegrating, leaving a bad taste. 

A capsule form of trazodone can cause a mild bad taste as it has a protective outer coating. However, the perception of taste differs among individuals. Trazodone contains a few exipients which are a chemical substance that causes bad taste in the mouth.

An altered sense of smell or taste is a possible side effect of some antidepressants. However, trazodone has not been reported to cause this side effect. Suppose you notice any unpleasant smell or taste, such as metallic, bitter, or sour. Consult your physician for proper management. 

 What does the research suggest? 

Trazodone is an antidepressant that acts on reuptake transporters of serotonin and serotonin type 2 receptors, which causes fluctuation in the levels of serotonin. Trazodone helps treat symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleep-related disorders, pain, etc. (1) Some antidepressants, such as Cymbalta, can cause dysgeusia (unpleasant taste sensation) and dysosmia (change in the sense of smell). (2) However, trazodone-induced dysgeusia and dysosmia have not been reported. 

The mechanism linked with drug-induced dysosmia/dysgeusia involves fluctuations in the neurotransmitters, which can lead to changes in the neural networks associated with sensory coding and modulation. Another mechanism involves a change in the chemical or ionic environment of sensing receptors, leading to an unpleasant sense of smell or taste. (3). 

What factors contribute to trazodone-induced bad taste?

Some factors can contribute to a bad taste while taking trazodone, such as: 

  • Some excipients present in the formulation of trazodone can interact with the taste buds present in the mouth, causing a bad taste. 
  • Antidepressants such as Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, and Celexa, including trazodone, can cause dry mouth and reduce the production of saliva, which can affect the taste buds, resulting in a bad or metallic taste. 
  • GI problems such as nausea, gastroesophageal reflux, dyspepsia, etc., can result in an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  • Individuals who are sensitive to taste and smell are more prone to experience taste-related side effects. 
  • Long duration of drug therapy can cause fluctuation in the neurotransmitter, which can contribute to bad taste. 
  • The size and shape of the medication can influence the taste perception, as smaller pills are easy to swallow, but bigger pills are hard to swallow and get stuck in the throat.

How to avoid the bad taste caused by trazodone? 

There are some tips you can use to minimise or avoid unpleasant tastes while consuming trazodone, such as: 

Avoid chewing the pill or placing the pill on your tongue before swallowing. Take the pill with sufficient water or fluid. You can take a little amount of fluid in your mouth, take the pill, and swallow along with the water, which will make it easy to swallow and avoid the unpleasant taste. 

Take the medication with the food as it helps mask the unpleasant taste of the medication. Spicy and high-fiber foods decrease the absorption of trazodone. Hence, avoid such food while taking trazodone and remember that it is important to communicate with your physician to receive proper medication instructions.

If you are facing a problem consuming the current formulation of trazodone. You can ask your physician about other options, such as orodispersible tablets, liquids or capsules, which may be more acceptable. 

Taking the medication with a flavoured drink can help mask the unpleasant taste of the medication. Avoid taking it with cranberry or grapefruit juice, as it can interact with tazodone. Eating something sweet can help mask the aftertaste of the drug. (4)

In my opinion, medications can taste bad when they are not consumed in a proper manner. To avoid the unpleasant taste of the drug, consume it with enough fluid. Some antidepressants can cause side effects such as dysosmia/dysgeusia (altered sense of smell or taste). However, this side effect of trazodone is not been reported. 

If you notice any altered sense of smell or taste while consuming trazodone, make sure you consult a physician for proper management. Do not discontinue the medication, as it can lead to withdrawal symptoms and worsen your condition. 


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


Yoshida K, Fukuchi T, Sugawara H. Dysosmia and dysgeusia associated with duloxetine. Case Reports. 2017 Nov 22;2017:bcr-2017. Available from: 


Tuccori M, Lapi F, Testi A, Ruggiero E, Moretti U, Vannacci A, Bonaiuti R, Antonioli L, Fornai M, Giustarini G, Scollo C. Drug-induced taste and smell alterations: a case/non-case evaluation of an Italian database of spontaneous adverse drug reaction reporting. Drug safety. 2011 Oct;34:849-59. Available from:   


Bailey DG, Dresser G, Arnold JM. Grapefruit-medication interactions: forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences? CMAJ. 2013 Mar 5;185(4):309-16. 

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