Identifying RX Side Effects: My Treatment is Making Me Sleepy

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Identifying RX Side Effects: My Treatment is Making Me Sleepy

Identifying RX Side Effects: My Treatment is Making Me Sleepy

There are hundreds, if not thousands of prescription medication side effects. Some are life-threatening and others are to be as expected. Because Rx side effects can help us to determine whether something may be going wrong with medication treatment, it’s important to identify them. Furthermore, it’s important to know if they’re life-threatening or simply an expected part of treatment. One of the most common side effects which come as a result of using prescription medications is drowsiness. And, while it’s common, it’s good to know if your medication should be making you feel this way. So, we’ve come up with a list of medications known for and expected to offer patients side effects of sleepiness.


These types of drugs are available over the counter or in prescription form. They’re effective in helping with nasal congestion, symptoms of a cough, sneezing, wheezing, etc. They’re usually prescribed for allergies or purchased to deal with seasonal cold symptoms. But, they’re also known to offer sleepiness as a side effect. Over-the-counter antihistamines include Tylenol PM Benadryl and Claritin. Prescription antihistamines which may make individuals drowsy can include Atarax, Palgic, and Clarinex.

Muscle Relaxants

Muscle relaxants are only available with a prescription from a doctor because if abused, there is a possible risk for the development of addictive behaviors. So, most of the time, doctors will first try to find an over the counter solution which works best. But, if you suffer from chronic neck, back, or other pain and over the counter medications don’t help you, your doctor may have given you a prescription for muscle relaxants. Unfortunately, these medications can cause drowsiness. However, there are a few less-drowsy options for muscle relaxants (Robaxin and Skelaxin) which you can ask your doctor about.

Mental Health Medications

Some individuals diagnosed with mood disorders like depression or anxiety will be prescribed serotonin reuptake inhibitor prescription medications. One of the most commonly reported side effects of these medications, affecting about 12% of individuals who take them, is sleepiness. Some of the most commonly prescribed serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications include escitalopram, Cymbalta, and Paxil. If you have been prescribed a serotonin reuptake inhibitor prescription medication and have been experiencing drowsiness as a side effect, you can ask your doctor about alternative options like bupropion which may not have the same drowsy side effects.

Narcotic Prescription Medications

If you’ve recently had surgery or an injury, your doctor may have prescribed you with opioids like Percocet, Vicodin, Codeine, Oxycodone, or Fentanyl. All opioid medications have the potential to make you feel sleepy. But, fortunately, they’re shortly prescribed due to their highly potent and addictive nature. So, if you experience drowsiness, it’s to be as expected. Use it to rest up from your surgery or injury so that you can go back to daily life.

Besides opioids, benzodiazepines (benzos) are another kind of narcotic known for causing Rx side effects like sleepiness. They’re commonly prescribed to treat anxiety or insomnia. Brand name benzos include Xanax, Valium, and Ativan. Both opioids and benzos should never be used long term. They are both highly addictive and can lead to fatalities caused by overdose. Benzos can even cause withdrawal fatalities. So, make sure, if your doctor does prescribe these medications, you are aware of ALL possible side effects and adhere to EVERY instruction so that your medication works only as it should.

Wanting to Change Medications Due to RX Side Effects?

If your prescription medication is causing you to be sleepy when you need to be awake like at work or while driving, you should ask your doctor about changing prescriptions. If you’re going to change prescriptions or even continue with your current medication, rx side effects may be the least of your worries compared to the financial burden some medications can offer. Here at Advocate My Meds, we understand that it may be challenging to afford your needed prescriptions. And, we believe that just because someone cannot afford their treatment, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have access to it. So, we’ve compiled a number of prescription assistance programs to help with discounts and coverage of these medications. To see if you or your medications qualify, please visit our website today!