Hyoscine-N-butylbromide (HBB) is the most used antiperistaltic agent during esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). However, almost half of the elderly have a contraindication to HBB. We aimed to evaluate l-menthol’s antiperistaltic effect and safety for EGD in the elderly with contraindication to HBB. This prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study screened 86 elderly patients (≥ 65 years old) scheduled to undergo EGD, and 52 of them with contraindication to HBB were enrolled. The participants were randomized to receive l-menthol (n = 26) or a placebo (n = 26), which was locally sprayed on the gastric antrum endoscopically. The proportion of patients with no or mild peristalsis after medication and at the end of EGD was significantly higher in the l-menthol group (76.9%) than in the placebo group (11.5%, p < 0.001). l-Menthol administration significantly reduced peristaltic grade, improved contraction parameters, and eased intragastric examination relative to the placebo (p < 0.001, respectively). Hemodynamic changes, adverse events, and discomfort levels of patients were similar between the two groups. l-Menthol is an effective and safe alternative antiperistaltic medication for EGD in elderly patients with contraindication to HBB. Further large, randomized trials are required to clarify whether l-menthol can lead to better detection yield in the elderly. Clinical trial registration: The study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04593836).