Originally at: https://doctorstevenpark.com/12-medications-that-can-wreak-your-sleep-or-make-you-fat
Modern prescription medications are touted as a major advance in promoting health and keeping us alive longer. I beg to differ. What I observe instead is that in many cases, commonly prescribed prescription medications can wreak your sleep or make you fat, or both. As I have stated many times on this blog and in my book, Sleep, Interrupted, poor sleep promotes weight gain, and weight gain promotes sleep related breathing problems. Nasal congestion from medications may also ruin your sleep.
For example, Jane is a 51 year old woman who came to see me for her recurrent sinus infections and headaches. She took 5 courses of antibiotics this past year. Her doctor ordered a sinus CT which revealed that her sinuses were clear with no evidence of infection, except for a deviated nasal septum. Upon further questioning, she admitted that about 2 years ago, she gained about 15 pounds. Around the same time period, she was placed on a medication for high blood pressure, and was given another medication for chronic migraine headaches. She also started taking sleeping pills occasionally for insomnia. As expected, she admitted that her sleep quality had worsened and now wakes up to urinate about 2 times every night.
Looking back on Jane’s medical history, I noted four risk factors for weight gain and sleep loss. Besides the fact that she is in her pre-menopausal years (lower progesterone with lower tongue muscle tone), she was exposed to three medications which likely contributed to her weight gain in the past few years. What most patients (and many doctors) don’t realize is that a high number of prescription medications have the potential to cause weight gain, ruin your sleep, or both. If you’re taking a prescription medication, take a look at your package insert or look online for potential side effects. It’s more than likely that insomnia or weight gain will be on the list.
Here are 12 of the most commonly prescribed medications that can ruin your sleep or make you fat:
High Blood Pressure Medications and Weight Gain
Beta-blockers (such as atenolol, metoprolol, nadolol, propranolol) lower the effects of the hormone epinephrine, which constricts blood vessels. Alpha-blockers (prazocin, doxazocin or terazocin) help to relax muscles in the small vessels by blocking norepinephrine. Both of these classes of medications are known to promote weight gain. Other classes of antihypertensives including ACE inhibitors do not have this effect.
Another way that high blood pressure medications can ruin your sleep is by blocking the pathway for making your sleep hormone, melatonin. Light stimulates receptors in the eye that stimulate nerves in …