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When your medications make you sleepy

Fatigue, sleepiness, drowsiness are all words to describe how most medications make one feel after taking them. It is one of those annoying side effects especially for someone who has to get many things done. 

What are the main culprit drugs? (not limited to those listed, remember to always read drug labels) 

  • Most cold and allergy medications (contain antihistamines)               
  • Drugs that induce anemia  e.g. HIV meds like AZT               
  • High blood pressure medicines               
  • Anti-convulsants               
  • Anti-depressants e.g. amitriptyline               
  • Painkillers (opoids)               
  • Cancer meds               
  • Sleeping pills (obviously)

What should be noted is that these side effects can get worse when medication is mixed with alcohol 

  • Talk with your doctor about your side effects, he could either change the medicine, reduce the dose, prescribe a medication to keep you awake or show you ways to overcome the side effect      
  • Some medicines could be taken only at night, e.g the cold medications that make you sleepy          
  • Drink a lot of water and eat balanced diets regularly (dehydration makes you sleepy)               
  • Take blood medicines if your sleepiness is due to anemia             
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule; too much sleep can make you feel more tired               
  • Work out a little e.g. jogging, biking, quick walks              
  • Talk to your doctor about taking vitamin supplements that are safe to boost your energy.

Big caution: Avoid activities that need you to be alert when on medications that make you sleepy e.g. when driving, operating a patient (ooops the image of that is not funny)

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Ekwoge Hilda

Dr. Ekwoge Hilda is a trained pharmacist from Cameroon and Co-founder of HILPharma. When she is not busy creating content, she slings pills to pay the bills.

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