What Medicines Can Make You Tired?

Do Medicines Make Us Tired?

Believe it or not, medicines along with making you feel better can also make you feel tired. Bet many of you didn’t know that. It is obvious to feel tired the next day when taking a sleeping pill, but did you know that there are other kinds of medications which can also make you tired? The feeling of fatigue or tiredness is one of the most common side effects of over-the-counter and prescription medicines. When medicines make one feel tired, it is usually because these drugs affect the chemicals in the brain known as neurotransmitters. The nerves use these chemicals to transmit messages to one another. Some neurotransmitters control how sleepy or awake one feels. Want to know What Medicines Can Make You Tired? Go through the following piece of read for a list of such medications.

What Medicines Can Make You Tired?

What Medicines Can Make You Tired?

Some drugs which are well known to cause fatigue and tiredness are:

Allergy Medications Can Make You Tired

Some of the common antihistamines such as brompheniramine (Bromfed, Dimetapp), diphenhydramine, meclizine (Antivert) and hydroxyzine (Vistaril, Atarax) can make you tired. Some of these are also added in sleeping pills.

Anxiety Medications

Benzodiazepines like clonazepam (Klonopin), alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium) can make one feel weak, tired or drowsy for a few hours to few days, depending on the medicine and the dosage taken.


Tricyclics are a type of antidepressants which makes the user feel tired and drowsy. Some of the common tricyclics, which are used are amitriptyline (Vanatrip, Elavil), trimipramine (Surmontil), imipramine (Tofranil, Tofranil PM) and doxepin (Sinequan, Silenor). Some of these antidepressants cause more tiredness than others.

Epilepsy or Seizure Medications

Also known as anticonvulsants, these medicines work on the brain cells or the chemicals which are used to transmit messages. Some of these drugs, like benzodiazepines, also treat anxiety. Other common medications for seizure are phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), carbamazepine (Tegretol/Tegretol XR/Carbatrol), topiramate (Topamax), phenobarbital, and valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote) which are responsible for the tired feeling.

Opioid Pain Medications

Opioids behave like the chemicals, called endorphins, which the body releases to control pain. Common opioid pain medications are morphine, oxycodone and aspirin (Percodan), oxycodone (OxyContin, OxyIR), oxymorphone (Opana, Opana ER),fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora), hydrocodone and oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, Roxicet). Taking opioids also causes fatigue and tiredness.

Cancer Treatment Causes Fatigue & Tiredness

Different types of cancer treatment change the hormone and protein levels in the body and thus make the patient feel extremely tired. Along the cancerous cells, even normal cells get destroyed and damaged in the cancer treatment process. Then the body has to spend extra energy in cleaning up and fixing the cells; thereby causing fatigue and tiredness in the patient.

Blood Pressure Medications

Beta-blockers, such as metoprolol succinate (Toprol XL), atenolol (Tenormin), propranolol hydrochloride (Inderal) and metoprolol tartrate (Lopressor) work by slowing down the heart rate and thus end up making one feel tired.

Medications for Gut Can Make You Tired

Drugs which are used to control nausea, treat diarrhea, or stop and prevent vomiting, can make one feel sleepy and tired too.

Muscle Relaxants

Instead of directly affecting the muscles, most muscle relaxants work on the brain and spinal nerves to ease and relax the muscles. The effect of these muscle relaxants on the nervous system can make one feel tired. Some well-known muscle relaxants are cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and carisoprodol (Soma).

If in case of medication which are not listed here, one should check the label for words like “may cause drowsiness.” This can help the individual know what to expect upon taking the medicine.

What Can You Do to Alleviate Tiredness Caused by Medicines?

Even if a medicine is making one feel worn out and tired, one should not stop taking the medicine. In such cases, it is important to consult your doctor and try alternative ways to counter the side effects of tiredness and boost energy. By taking a few deep breaths, getting some exercises like some stretches or a quick walk and consuming a bit of caffeine in the form of tea or coffee, one can get charged up in no time. The doctor can help an individual handle any fatigue or tiredness they are experiencing as a result of prescription medications. They can alter the dose, change the medication, change the time of taking the medication or prescribe a medication that can help the individual stay alert and awake. Any medication which helps to stay awake should not be taken without the doctor’s consent.

People who are taking an over-the-counter medication should ask their doctor for non-drowsy version of the drug and use that instead. It is important to consult the doctor to ensure that the new medicine does not affect any other medications which the individual is taking.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 19, 2019

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