Top Medications That Can Make You Tired

It’s not just the sleeping pill that induces sleepiness; the list of medications that cause drowsiness is long.

One of the most common side effects of medicines is tiredness. Some medicines are meant to relax you. Others may not mean to but might still have that effect anyway.

So, before you begin any new medication, don’t forget to ask your doctor about the possible side effects. Staying in the know will help you understand and accept the effects better.

Here is a list of top medicines that make you drowsy.

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Anti Allergies

Anti allergies usually contain sedating properties to help you relax and overcome the allergies. They are so good that you may find a component of these in some over-the-counter sleeping pills too. 

Antihistamines like Zyrtec, Benadryl, and more work against histamine to limit allergic reactions. As a result of blocking histamine, anti allergies affect other neurotransmitters too, which cause drowsiness. 

It’s usually recommended to take anti allergies before bed so you can get some deep sleep and avoid feeling tired due to the medicine. Alternatively, you can look for antihistamines that do not induce drowsiness. Though, they might still make you a little sleepy.


Sleepiness or sleeplessness are the two constant moods of depressed people. We’re blaming the antidepressants!

Fatigue is a common side effect of antidepressants and the hardest to avoid as well. The medicines work to relieve your mental stress and bring up your mood by normalizing serotonin in the brain. However, doing so can affect other neurotransmitters, resulting in constant tiredness and drowsiness.

Some of the common types of antidepressant are:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – Seroxat (Paroxetine) Lustral (Sertraline)
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) – Fetzima (Levomilnacipran), Cymbalta (Duloxetine)

Most of the time tiredness induced by antidepressants wears off after a few weeks, once the medicine begins setting in. But, if the side effects are wearing you off, it’s better to get a professional opinion.

Cancer Medicines

Cancer is tiring anyways as it affects not only your physical but also mental health. Additionally, cancer treatments could be among the top medications that cause drowsiness.

If you know someone who has cancer, you might have heard them complain about constant tiredness. Cancer tiredness is amongst the most common side effects of cancer medications. 

Some of the most tiring cancer treatments are:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Cancer drugs
  • Hormone therapies
  • Painkillers

Anyone going through cancer tiredness is bound to get extremely frustrated sooner or later. 

We suggest consulting your physician; he might recommend an alternative medicine to help you feel better.

Anti Anxiety 

Anxiety medications are used to help you relax, so they usually intentionally have sedatives. Benzodiazepines are a common type of anti-anxiety medicine prescribed around the world. They work to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.  

Benzodiazepines, like diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), etc., can make you feel tired and sleepy for days, depending on the dosage and medicine. 

Long term usage of benzodiazepines can not only cause addiction, but a recent study suggests that it can also lead to Alzheimer’s

So, maintain caution and don’t forget to consult your doctor.

Hypertension Medication 

The mechanism of antihypertensive medicines is a significant reason for them causing tiredness and fatigue. They primarily work by slowing down your heart’s pumping action and can also depress the entire nervous system, causing drowsiness in the body.

These are a few blood pressure medications commonly prescribed:

  • Ace inhibitors
  • Beta-blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Calcium channel blockers

Most of these medicines have ‘extreme tiredness’ mentioned as a common side effect.


Anti-epilepsy medicines, topiramate, are not only beneficial for epilepsy seizures, but they can cure your migraine too.

However, when we think of a migraine, the only cure that comes to mind is sleep. Well, that’s what topiramate offers. It’s a medicine that makes you drowsy.

The drowsiness generally wears off after some time, so it’s not usually a significant concern.


Be it due to motion sickness, migraine, pregnancy, or some other illness; nausea is a common occurrence in most of our lives. Hence, antiemetics could be common drugs that help treat nausea and vomiting.

Antiemetics vary according to the cause of nausea. Instead of any specific drug class, numerous drugs with different properties are used. The medicines block the neurotransmitters from sharing information about sickness with the brain.

They could be serotonin or dopamine receptor blockers, antihistamine medicines, or some corticosteroids. Metoclopramide is a commonly used antiemetics that can make you feel restless, tired, and sleepy.

Muscle Relaxants

Well, being sleepy and dizzy does make sense while taking any relaxing medication. How else are you going to relax otherwise? 

Most muscle relaxants don’t work directly on the muscles. Instead, they send signals to the nerves in the brain and spine. Thus, the signals and the relaxation of muscles cause low mode activity in the body. Their sedative properties may act beneficial for insomnia caused by extreme muscle spasm as well.

Instead of a specific drug class, drugs with numerous different chemical properties are used in this treatment, benzodiazepines being one of them. 

As a precautionary measure, avoid any attention-related activity, like driving, while you’re still healing from the side effects of muscle relaxants.

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How Can You Fight Off The Tiredness?

Just because medicine makes you feel tired, you shouldn’t stop taking it. Instead, you can learn ways to fight the tiredness off.

  • Exercise – it helps you feel energized.
  • Caffeine – to make your sleepiness go away.
  • Deep breath – it helps calm you down and feel better.

Give it Some Time 

Most of the time, the drowsiness wears off once the medicines are adjusted into your routine. So, instead of giving up the cure, trust your doctor and let your body adjust.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to avoid any activity requiring excessive attention and potentially endanger your or someone else’s life.

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