Harvard Health Letter

What to do when medication makes you sleepy

Daytime sleepiness is one of the most commonly reported side effects of some medications. Prescription drugs that may cause sleepiness include antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Over-the-counter medicines may also cause drowsiness, such remedies for insomnia, allergies, or diarrhea. When starting a new medication that may cause drowsiness, one should avoid activities that require alertness until it’s clear if there are side effects. Sometimes the sleepiness caused by medications will lessen over time, as the body adjusts. Resolving drowsiness may be a matter of adjusting the dose or changing medications.
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