5 Worst Prescription Drugs To Take When Sleep Deprived

Sleep is a crucial part of staying healthy. Individuals who don’t get enough can incur a number of physical and mental illnesses. For those who take medications to manage their health, getting enough sleep can be hard if their medicine is working against them. This article covers five well-known prescription drugs that may cause insomnia or sleep deprivation.

1. Adderall

Adderall is one of the most prescribed medications used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) – and also one of the most abused.  Children are usually diagnosed after teachers report problems at school. The typical problems students with ADHD will have is trouble paying attention, disorganization, and being disruptive to other students.

While most children with ADHD will show improvement with some symptoms as they grow older and mature, most will still suffer into adulthood. Adults with ADHD will show problems with impulsivity, distraction, and disorganization, and often have poor time management skills. These symptoms can detract from their quality of life if gone untreated.

Those who forego taking ADHD medication will often be unable to hold down a steady job or maintain close social relationships. That is why adults have been prescribed Adderall as well.

Unfortunately, some who take it can develop addiction problems and another bad side effect is trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

This is due to Adderall being a stimulant. Because Adderall is designed to keep its users alert and focused this can be a problem at night. People need bedtime to be a time of peace, relaxation, and drowsiness, but Adderall may not permit patients to gain these feelings that would indicate an urge to rest.

The good news is that this possible side effect of insomnia is normally only seen in people who take very high dosages of the medication or take it late at night before bed. Individuals who have trouble winding down at night can talk to their doctor about possibly reducing their intake of the medicine or changing the time of day that they take it.

2. Lunesta

Lunesta is thought to work by having its active ingredients assist GABA in binding to neuroreceptors in the brain. This counteracts the effects of hormones in the brain that cause feelings of alertness and worry.

Lunesta has been proven to be a tremendous help to patients that suffer from chronic insomnia to fall asleep fast. Unfortunately, there have been reports of individuals taking the drug experiencing crazy dreams or terrible nightmares.

While Lunesta’s primary intended purpose is to help people sleep, doesn’t it matter if the person taking it is awoken in the middle of the night crying or sweating from fear and stress? It can take most people hours to fall back asleep after dreaming something horrific.


They may even have to change their bedding if their dream was scary enough to make them sweat. What’s worse is if bad dreams become a nightly occurrence, it may give its user anxiety about going to sleep.

Patients that suffer from multiple nightmares while taking this medication can ask their doctor for advice. He can either switch the medication or offer guidance in techniques that may help his patient fall asleep without using medication.

3. Lisinopril

Lisinopril is a medication that can be used to treat congestive heart failure and more commonly high blood pressure. Congestive heart failure is a disease in which the heart is unable to properly pump blood through the body. The results of congestive heart failure can be life-threatening if not properly managed with medication.

People with congestive heart failure often suffer from fluid retention around the heart and will be abnormally cold even in warm environments. High Blood Pressure also known as hypertension is a common condition where blood flows through the body at higher than normal pressure sometimes due to the narrowing of the arteries and veins.

Left untreated high blood pressure can cause numerous serious health problems including heart disease and kidney failure.

Lisinopril is considered to be an ACE inhibitor (Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor). Lisinopril is designed to block a hormone in the body known as Angiotensin II that causes the restriction of blood vessels while increasing the production of another hormone known as Bradykinin that makes blood vessels dilate.

Bradykinin over-production can come with some annoying side effects. It can cause a persistent dry cough, muscle cramps, and joint pain. Anyone who has had a cold knows constant coughing can cause loss of sleep for themselves and anyone they share a bed with.

Muscle and joint pain won’t make sleeping come easily either. Because of genetics, individuals of African or Asian descent are much more likely to experience these symptoms of the medication.

Those who incur these symptoms while taking Lisinopril should speak with their doctor about an alternative medication. Often a benzothiazepine calcium channel blocker can be prescribed in place of an ACE inhibitor and work just as well.

4. Lexapro

Depression isn’t just sadness.

It’s a chemical imbalance that can cause feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and fatigue. Since one of the symptoms of depression is tiredness, it can be awful if the medication taken to manage depression leads to loss of sleep.

Unfortunately, insomnia is one of the symptoms of popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)medications, like Lexapro. Lexapro works by reducing the amount of Serotonin that gets absorbed by the body, this, in turn, reduces negative feelings like grief and anxiety.

Oddly scientists don’t yet know what it is about Lexapro that causes sleeplessness, but when ten to twenty percent of patients who take it report having trouble sleeping while on the pill, the side effect is hard to dismiss.

There are a number of different types of medication proven to relieve anxiety and depression.

Patients who struggle with sleeping while on Lexapro can ask their doctor about being put on another class of medication or seek treatment to work on issues that may be ailing them. In some studies, daily exercise has been proven to be just as effective as medication at alleviating the symptoms of depression.

5. Prednisone

Prednisone is a very common corticosteroid that doctors prescribe for a variety of different ailments. It can be taken for a short period of time for problems like inflammation, pneumonia, or hives.

It can also be taken over long periods of time for autoimmune disorders like lupus or sarcoidosis. These are just a few health problems than can be treated with a corticosteroid.


The trouble with corticosteroids is they can ramp up the adrenal glands and give the person taking them a feeling of extreme alertness. The sensation will be similar to how they might feel after drinking a strong coffee.

Usually, Prednisone is only prescribed when absolutely necessary. The doctor may recommend a patient taking Prednisone also take a sleeping pill or supplement to counteract the stimulating effects of the drug.

Anyone who suspects their medication is keeping them from getting the sleep they need should speak with their doctor. There is almost always a solution to getting the necessary health concerns treated while still getting a good night’s sleep.

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