Chronic fatigue, the constant feeling of weakness or exhaustion (in varying degrees) didn’t used to be so prominent. However, today it accounts for more than 10 million visits to family doctors every year.
While there are many causes for it, many people don’t understand they might need to look outside of a diagnosis like anemia, multiple sclerosis, or Epstein barr; it could actually be the fault of a medication you are taking.
1. Blood pressure medications
Blood pressure medications are supposed to help lower the pressure inside blood vessels so the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood throughout the body.
Top-selling blood-pressure meds include:
- Lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), an ACE inhibitor
- Amlodipine (Norvasc), a calcium channel blocker
- Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ and various other brand names), a thiazide diuretic
- Furosemide (Lasix), a loop diuretic
- Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol), a beta blocker.
These meds may slow down the pumping action of the heart and depress the entire central nervous system, they may also deplete electrolytes that your body needs. Any of these things might lead to exhaustion.
2. Statins and fibrates
Statins and fibrates are used to treat high cholesterol and the top-selling statins are Atorvastatin (Lipitor), Rosuvastatin (Crestor), Simvastatin (Zocor) and the top-selling fibrate is Fenofibrate (Tricor).
Statins stop the production of satellite cells that give rise to muscle tissue which stops muscle growth. It has also been suggested that statins interfere with the production of energy in cells in the same way that they interfere with the production of cholesterol.
3. Proton pump inhibitors
Why they’re prescribed: Proton pump inhibitors are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other similar disorders. More than 20 million Americans take prescription PPIs, including esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec) and pantoprazole (Protonix), some of which are available over the counter.
How they can cause fatigue: Patients who take PPIs for as little as three months are at risk of low blood levels of magnesium, which can cause loss of appetite, fatigue, and weakness, among other symptoms.
Benzodiazepines, more commonly known as tranquilizers, are used to treat anxiety disorders, agitation, muscle spasms, and to prevent seizures. As they sometimes have a sedative/hypnotic effect, they are often prescribed for insomnia and the anxiety component of depression.
The most common are: Alprazolam (Xanax), Clonazepam (Klonopin), Diazepam (Valium), Lorazepam (Ativan) and Temazepam (Restoril).
From the article:
“Benzodiazepines can cause sedation and fatigue by dampening activity in key parts of the central nervous system (CNS). People who take a benzodiazepine for more than two or three weeks may develop a tolerance to the drug, and over time may need to take increasing doses to achieve the same effect, only worsening their fatigue. Long-term effects also may include muscle weakness.
Source: Tri County Sentry