Medications that cause insomnia
good night's sleep

Medications that cause insomnia

Medications that can cause insomnia include but are not limited to Angiotensin-II receptor blocker, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, antihistamines, statins, ACE-inhibitors, beta- and alpha-blockers, cholinesterase inhibitors, antidepressants, and corticosteroids.

If you wish to learn more about the medications that can cause insomnia, just keep on reading.

Common medications that can cause insomnia

Angiotensin-II receptor blockers

The use of ARBs is common in the treatment of coronary artery disease or heart failure in individuals who cannot tolerate these meds, or who have type 2 diabetes or renal damage as a result of diabetes, among other conditions.

Instead of inhibiting the body’s generation of angiotensin II, ARBs hinder the hormone from exerting its blood vessel-constricting effects on the body’s vessels.

ARBs are known to cause potassium overload in the body, which can result in diarrhea as well as leg cramps and achy joints, bones, and muscles – all of which can interfere with regular sleep patterns.

Glucosamine and chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin are nutritional supplements that may be beneficial in alleviating joint discomfort and inflammation associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis, respectively.

They are known to produce insomnia as well as headaches, which can lead to severe sleep deprivation.

Alpha-blockers

These high blood pressure medications are used to relax specific muscles and aid in the maintenance of open tiny blood vessels.

Keeping the hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline) from tightening the muscles in the walls of smaller arteries and veins improves blood flow, which is beneficial in many situations.

This medication has been associated with decreased REM (rapid eye movement) sleep – the period of sleep during which people dream — as well as daytime drowsiness or sleepiness, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

In old age, the proportion of REM sleep decreases significantly, and persons who are deprived of REM sleep may develop memory issues.

Antihistamines

trouble sleeping

All H1 antagonists, to varying degrees, inhibit the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is found in the nervous system. As a result, they can cause anxiety and insomnia.

They can cause insomnia in a variety of ways. For example, people frequently wonder why an over-the-counter medicine that decreases inflammation, runny nose, and an allergic reaction would lead them to sleep problems and disrupting sleep.

Statins

Statins are commonly used to lower high cholesterol. Muscle discomfort is the most frequently reported adverse effect, and it can keep people who are taking them awake at night and unable to sleep.

Statins have been shown to interfere with muscle growth by suppressing the generation of satellite cells in the muscle, according to recent research.

When taking statins, muscle weakness and soreness can occur throughout the body. Rhabdomyolysis is a breakdown of muscle that causes muscle fibers to be released into the bloodstream, which can cause kidney damage or kidney failure in rare cases.

Scientists have discovered that fat-soluble statins are more likely to cause insomnia or nightmares than nonfat-soluble statins because they can more easily penetrate cell membranes and make their way across the blood-brain barrier, which protects the brain from chemicals present in the bloodstream.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)inhibitors

ACE inhibitors increase the amount of bradykinin in the body, a peptide that causes blood vessels to dilate. A protein called bradykinin is considered to be responsible for the hacking, dry cough that can affect up to a third of all individuals taking the medication. This medication is also given to those with congestive heart failure.

It’s possible that this chronic, round-the-clock cough will keep you up at night. As a side effect, ACE inhibitors can cause potassium to build up in the body (another sort of electrolyte imbalance), which can result in diarrhea, as well as leg cramps and achy joints, bones, and muscles – all of which can interfere with normal sleep patterns.

Beta-blockers

trouble falling asleep

Taking this medication has long been connected with sleep disruptions, including waking up in the middle of the night and experiencing nightmares and sleep problems. They are thought to accomplish this by interfering with the production of melatonin at night, a hormone that is important in the regulation of both sleep and the body’s internal clock.

Chronic sleeplessness has been associated with low levels of the hormone melatonin in some cases.

Cholinesterase inhibitors

Some researchers believe that these common medications operate by suppressing the enzyme in the body that breaks down acetylcholine, hence increasing the quantity of acetylcholine available to brain cells. This, in principle, slows the patient’s memory problems and allows him or her to carry out daily activities with fewer difficulties, according to the researchers.

Blocking the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is found throughout the body and not just in the brain, can interfere with a wide range of involuntary body functions and movements, including those associated with sleep, and can be extremely dangerous.

Additional side effects of these medications, in addition to insomnia, sleep disturbance, and abnormal dreams, have been reported. These include significant changes in heart rate and rhythm, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, as well as leg cramps and muscle spasms – all of which can disrupt regular sleep patterns.

Antidepressants (SSRIs)

Little is known about how SSRIs affect sleep. However, SSRIs have been linked to agitation, sleeplessness, moderate tremor, and impulsivity in 10-20% of users.

While around half of patients who take SSRIs say the drugs help them feel better, many nevertheless suffer from unpleasant symptoms, particularly insomnia.

The National Institute of Mental Health found that almost all of its participants still struggled with insomnia, with 81 percent unable to sleep at all.

Corticosteroids

People frequently inquire as to why a medication that decreases relieve joint pain, relieves inflammation in certain muscles such as in rheumatoid arthritis, would cause them to have problems staying asleep. Adrenal glands, which are responsible for controlling the body’s fight-or-flight response, hold the key to understanding this question.

In addition to overstimulation, corticosteroids can have a similar effect by depleting the glands, causing havoc on all of the systems that allow you to relax and sleep, resulting in insomnia as well as unsettling dreamscapes.

Conclusion

Insomnia can be a side effect of certain medications.

The more commonly prescribed drugs associated with insomnia include Angiotensin-II receptor blocker, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, antihistamines, statins, ACE-inhibitors, beta- and alpha-blockers, cholinesterase inhibitors, antidepressants, and corticosteroids.

It is important to identify whether or not medications are causing your insomnia and make you sleep-deprived.  If you believe that medication use has led to new-onset sleep problems, speak with a prescribing doctor as soon as possible so they can help you treat insomnia and to look into alternative treatments. This way you can finally fall asleep and get restful sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

What medications can cause insomnia?

Medications that cause poor sleep or sleep disorders include Angiotensin-II receptor blockers, Glucosamine and Chondroitin, alpha-blockers, antihistamines, statins, ACE-inhibitors, beta-blockers, meds that inhibit cholinesterase, antidepressants, and corticosteroids.

Can blood pressure meds cause sleeplessness?

Beta-blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and angina, are associated with an increased risk of sleeplessness, nighttime awakenings, and nightmares. Aside from that, some cholesterol-lowering medications have been related to restless nights.

What medication keeps you awake?

It is also possible to utilize wake-promoting drugs, such as modafinil in combination with sodium oxybate, to assist with remaining awake during the day. Treatments for insomnia are diverse. Both adolescents and adults who suffer from depression or anxiety are frequently treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

What are the 5 most common causes of insomnia?

Mental health issues such as anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, may interfere with your ability to sleep causing insomnia. Other common causes of insomnia include medications and stimulants like caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

What prescription drugs keep you awake?

Modafinil is a medication that is used to treat narcolepsy. It is not a stimulant medication in the traditional sense. Using this medication, the person can remain awake and attentive for up to twelve hours. It can only be obtained with a prescription.

Resources

  1. Insomnia – 10 Medications That Can Cause Sleeplessness (aarp.org)
  2. 3 tips for better sleep for seniors | Edgewood Healthcare
  3. Medicines That Can Cause Insomnia (nationaljewish.org)
  4. Is Your Medication Affecting Your Sleep? (webmd.com)
  5. Sleeping Pills: Types, Side Effects & Treatment (clevelandclinic.org)
Share with

Leave a Reply

Start typing and press Enter to search