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Following the desired effects of the drugs is the crash that from the chemical imbalances in the body. Aside from mood and physical changes, energy is depleted, and drowsiness or insomnia often follows. Just as the effects are unique to each drug, so are the effects that follow usage. Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes.
Medications that cause fatigue
While many of those meds might very well be keeping us healthy, some of the most popular drugs on the market—including prescription and OTC options —can also cause debilitating tiredness. Could your pills be the reason you can't seem to make it through the day without multiple cups of coffee?
If you're getting ample sleep but still yawning all the time, one of the following medications might be to blame. Looking to take back control of your health? Prevention magazine has smart answers—get 2 FREE gifts when you subscribe today.
They're among the most commonly prescribed medications, especially for women. Women are twice as likely as men to take antidepressantsaccording to the National Center for Health Statistics.
But they can also make you tired, says Nancy Simpkins, MD, a board-certified internist who specializes in women's health and practices in Livingston, NJ. Most modern antidepressants SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors work by regulating serotonin, a mood chemical in the brain that plays an important role in sleep. Although SSRIs tend to be less sedating than older antidepressants including tricyclics such as Elavilsome people still end up feeling sluggish.
Zoloft users often report this side effect, says Simpkins.
What is medication-related fatigue?
Here are 11 things only someone on antidepressants understands. If you still can't shake that foggy feeling, ask your doctor about trying out a different drug in the same class, such as Paxil, Prozac, or Lexapro. Or Depressed? You may be taking them for your seasonal allergiesbut these drugs are also really good at helping you doze off—so good, in fact, that they're actually used in sleep aids like Unisom.
They work by blocking histamine, an itch- and sneeze-inducing chemical that also happens to be a neurotransmitter. All antihistamines —even the ones marketed as "non-drowsy"—have the potential to make you sleepy. That said, some are more sedating than others. Benadryl usually causes the most sleepiness, along with a more powerful prescription medication called Xyzal that's sometimes used for treating severe allergies.
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People with bad allergies have a few options: Try taking Benadryl or Xyzal before bed, or switch to a less drowsy option. Simpkins likes Zyrtec the best. According to the CDC, nearly 75 million Americans—a staggering 1 in every 3 adults—suffer from hypertension. It's often treated with beta blockers, but these drugs aren't exactly well-liked among patients.
When people take them, says Simpkins, "they really complain. Some say that they feel like they have the flu. Beta blockers inhibit the production of adrenaline, a hormone that causes your heart to beat rapidly.
These drugs could be the cause of that tired feeling
By slowing your heart rate, they lower the force of the blood pounding on your artery walls aka your blood pressure. But having less adrenaline can also zap your energy level. One beta blocker, Inderal, is particularly fatiguing, says Simpkins.
The fix? If that doesn't do the trick—or your blood pressure isn't being well-controlled with the lower dose—ask your doctor about switching to an ACE inhibitor, which works differently: ACE inhibitors dilate your vessels so that blood can flow through them more efficiently, and they shouldn't make you tired.
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Benzodiazepines are among "the most widely prescribed medication in the world," says Simpkins. These drugs bind to a receptor in the brain that releases a chemical called GABA. When GABA is released, it als the brain and body to relax, which can provide short-term relief to someone with intense anxiety. But it may also work a little too well, causing you to become drowsy or even fall asleep. Xanax is the least sedating of the benzodiazepines, says Simpkins, and thanks to a short half-life, only works for a few hours.
The most sedating drug in this class is Ativan, says Simpkins. It causes so much sleepiness that doctors typically prescribe it as a sleep aid for people whose anxious thoughts are keeping them awake.
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If you need anti-anxiety medications at a time when you can't afford to be sleepy—perhaps you're prepping for an important work presentation rather than settling in for a long flight—Simpkins recommends experimenting: "I tell patients to take the lowest dose of Klonopin or Valium and cut it into quarters. But for some people, that's enough. If you still feel anxious after 15 or 20 minutes, take another quarter. Weight Loss. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories.
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Blood pressure medication. Anti-anxiety medications.
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