antidepressants for constipation/bloating

Hi just wondering if anyone has used antidepressants and had any success with them for constipation and bloating. I have tried various things for constipation (mebeverine, magnesium citrate, fybogel, psyllium) and some of them have worked on and off but never reliably and i know deep down that the cause of all this is anxiety/brain-gut connection and I was wondering whether antidepressants would help with this? just to clarify i don't often get gas or cramps, my main issue is infrequent BMs and lots of bloating particularly later in the day. thanks x

18 Replies

  • Hi, I am on antidepressant's and I find it causes constipation and bloating. I have to take regular fibogel so I can go to the loo otherwise it gets stuck and I can't go at all which is horrible.

  • Oh okay, do you know which type of antidepressants cos i think certain types affect it differently?

  • Fist of all I was taken citalopram for about 3 years but changed because it wasn't working do well. I am now on 50 mg nortriptyline. Both have made me constipated :(

  • I have 50mg per night if amitriptyline and it has helped my right side pain hugely. It doesn't deal with the actual constipation and bloating though, but so nice to get pain relief

  • I take 10 mg at night. I tried 25 and was a zombie all of the next day! 10 mg was helping with bloating and nausea for months and now not good at all.

  • Medication may help ease some pain. It doesn't solve the problem. See Monash University Fodmaps app and try that for at least six weeks before adding back in other foods.

    Prime suspects for bloating are dairy soya onion and several other veg plus apples pears and fruit with stones; plus lentils peas and beans

  • I tried the fodmap diet but it didn't seem to help with the bloating and made the constipation worse :/ thanks though x

  • Hi there, Personally I have always kept well away from antidepressants. I had IBS, particulalry with constipation for many years, and I have beaten it. You may find some of the tips on my blog useful. As a quick reply, you may find walking 20 minutes per day improves your bowel movement, but really it will be a combination of avoiding trigger foods, healing your gut and learning to deal with stress. On a quick reply, these are just words that I heard many times over but did not fully understand. Keep an eye out on my blog as I will be going into these in more detail in the next posts.

    Hope this helps,



  • thanks ill have a look at your blog x

  • I had upper belly pain real bad 3 years ago, and nortryptolin was the only thing that helped.

  • Hi Amitrityline ( Tricylic ) is ok for constant loos stools and to get some good sleep and help with anxiety.

    (SSRIs) have the opposite effect eg citalopram=loos stools

    See your GP and hope you are soon much better

  • thanks very much i have an appointment tomorrow so i'll mention it x

  • Every Blessing and a Happy N Y x

  • you too xx

  • hi Squiggle I had come on to the site to ask the very same question as you! How did u get on at the docs? Thanks x

  • Hi! She said antidepressants were normally quite effective but were also a bit of a last resort and that she wouldn't prescribe them until id tried a number of other things - so, im on mebeverine now (it doesn't work) and waiting till something works 😂 will let you know x

  • Hi Sqiggle, thanks for letting me know. My doc is convinced it is down to stress ( I think she gets it too for the same reason) and that I should persevere with relaxation. I did see a therapist which was v. expensive - it was either that or pack in my job so it was the cheaper option at the time! It worked for a while but need to go back to listening to the tapes she made for me. In the meantime, having had this for 40 years I have tried a lot of things all of which don't work but Alverine Citrate is effective sometimes. I hope you find something that works for you - good luck! Winston (aka Julia) x

  • That's the thing, we know it's stress but fixing the stress is near impossible! 😂😂 thanks, good luck to you too!x

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