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Effects of Medications on Sleep

Posted by Lara Rintoul on

Different medications can have different effects on how you sleep. Depending on the ingredients and type of medication, different side affects may occur. For example, many medications for high blood pressure and asthma will keep you up at nigh with insomnia. However, other medications, such as antihistamines, can cause daytime drowsiness. In fact, sleepiness is one of the most common side effects of medications. Here is a list of a few medications that can disrupt your sleep schedule:

  • For heart rhythm: Anti-arrhythmics e.g. Amiodarone, Procainamide, Sotalol
  • For high blood pressure
    • Beta blockers e.g. Atenolol, Metoprolol, Propranolol, Nadolol
    • Clonidine
    • Diuretics e.g. Lasix, Microzide
  • For inflammation or asthma: Theophylline and Corticosteroids e.g Prednisone, Bethamethasone
  • For depression or anxiety SSRIs e.g. Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft
  • For hypothyroidism: Thyroid hormone e.g. Synthroid, Levothroid
  • For colds and allergies: Sedating antihistamines  and medications that contain alcohol
  • Pain medications: Narcotics and medications that contain caffeine
  • Nicotine replacement products
  • For attention deficit disorder: Sympathomimetic stimulants e.g. Amphetamine

If you are taking any of the medications listed above and suspect that it may be disrupting your sleep or causing you to feel drowsy, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. He or she may be able to provide you with a different one that has a different side effect profile, reduce the dosage of your current prescription, or suggest a different treatment type so that your sleep isn’t affected.

What you shouldn’t do is attempt to solve the problem on your own. Always discuss the situation in depth with your doctor first, and don’t stop taking the medication until you have decided on an alternative treatment. If you are not on any of the above medications and you are experiencing sleep disturbance, contact Cansleep Services to do a sleep apnea diagnostic test.


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