Why are nausea and dizziness such common side effects from medication?

Why are nausea and dizziness such common side effects from medication?

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Why are nausea and dizziness such common side effects from medication? If you go through your medicine cabinet and look at side effects, those might just be on every single bottle. Is there some system in the human body that is very sensitive to any disturbance and causes nausea and dizziness?

Some medications because they are taken orally do cause nausea. Many medications, because they have an effect on blood pressure, or are central acting in some way, do cause dizziness. However, nausea and dizziness in particular are two highly subjective symptoms which are difficult to quantitate or verify, and which can occur with simple anxiety or stress. Several more such highly subjective and difficult-to-verify symptoms are numbness, tingling, headache, insomnia, fatigue and difficulty concentrating, all of which can be brought on by stress.

Switching for a moment to a drug with a measurable side effect of beta-blockers: erectile dysfunction (ED). In a study of men treated with beta blockers, the patients were separated into three groups with the following results:
a) the group who were not told the name of the medicine nor informed of the ED side effect had the lowest incidence of ED (3.1%)
b) the group who were told the name of the medicine but not informed about the ED side effect had a 15.6% incidence of ED
c) the group who were told the name of the medicine and informed of the ED side effect had the highest incidence of ED (31.2%)

Hypervigilance is an increase in attention to bodily cues or symptoms for any reason. It has been well documented in many studies that if you give one group of people a list of possible negative side effects, and another group a list of possible beneficial effects, then give both groups placebos (usually a small coated sugar or cornstarch tablet), the first group will experience negative effects while the second will feel better. The negative expectation producing a negative side effect is called the nocebo effect (the opposite of the placebo effect).

Interestingly, recent studies where anti-anxiety medications were administered before the nocebo dramatically decreased the nocebo effect.

For ethical reasons, in all clinical trials of drugs, patients in the treatment group and the placebo group must be given an extensive list (standardized) of possible negative side effects, introducing a negative expectation into both populations.

Two of the most common negative side effects in both groups are dizziness and nausea. Therefore, they must be reported as possibly occurring side effects with the medication.

This is not to say we're all imagining things. Nocebo effects have been correllated with reproducible effects on functional MRIs. They have a basis in reality, even if it's caused by negative expectations.

It's a problem being discussed a lot now by medical ethicists.

The influence of the nocebo effect in clinical trials
Avoiding Nocebo Effects to Optimize Treatment Outcome

anongoodnurse's answer is very thorough, but I would like to add one additional thing:

Nausea is in many ways the body's "default reaction" to anything being out of order with the body's chemistry; since most such things would once have been caused, the vast majority of the time of the time, by eating something toxic (or at least biologically active, and therefore probably toxic in large doses), which means that regurgitating stomach contents had a decent chance to expel the toxin and therefore save the person's life.

Because the effects of the medication are fairly light compared to toxic doses, the body rarely goes as far as actually throwing up (although people on prophylactic antiretrovirals, as one example, may disagree); the stimulus to do so is weak, so we feel only weak to moderate nausea rather than nausea strong enough to throw up.

Side Effects of CRESTOR

Liver problems. Your health care professional should do blood tests to check your liver before you start taking CRESTOR and if you have symptoms of liver problems while you take CRESTOR.

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms of liver problems:

  • Feel unusually tired or weak
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upper belly pain
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes

Seizures are divided into two categories: generalized and partial. Generalized seizures are produced by electrical impulses from throughout the brain, while partial seizures are produced by electrical impulses in a small part of the brain. Seizure symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions, and muscle rigidity.

Migraines are a type of headache and seizures are the main symptom of epilepsy. Migraine headaches and seizures are two different neurological problems that have similar signs, symptoms, and auras, for example, sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound, irritability, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms unique to migraine and migraine auras are water retention, problems sleeping, appetite changes, and talkativeness. Symptoms unique to seizure and seizures auras are depression, a feeling of heaviness, a feeling that a seizure is approaching, and depression. Many of the symptoms of migraine and seizures are the same, however, seizures do not cause migraines however, people who have seizures are twice as likely to have migraines and vice-versa. People who have migraines are twice as likely to have seizures, and people with seizures are twice as likely to have migraines however, one condition does not cause the other.

Common Side Effects of Psychiatric Medications

There are many common side effects of psychiatric medications, some of which are pretty similar across different classes of drugs. If you have any of the side effects below, please talk to your doctor the next time you see them. There may be things you and your doctor can do to minimize or reduce the side effects, such as changing the dosage or changing the time or how you take the medication. Please don&rsquot make any medication changes, however, before talking to your doctor.

Many psychiatric medications have general side effects that span virtually all classes of drugs. Gabe Howard talks about these common side effects not commonly talked about: taste changes, memory issues, and frequent urination.

Different patients have different treatment responses and side effects to various psychiatric drugs &mdash there is no single recipe or dosage that works for everyone. A patient may do better with one drug than another. Please keep this in mind as you take your psychiatric medication, and talk to your doctor if any concerns arise or you feel the drug isn&rsquot working (or isn&rsquot working as well as it used to).


Side effects of these drugs may include drowsiness, restlessness, muscle spasms, tremor, dry mouth, or blurring of vision. The long-term side effects include tardive dyskinesia (TD), a disorder characterized by involuntary movements most often affecting the mouth, lips and tongue, and sometimes the trunk or other parts of the body such as arms and legs. Taking these drugs over a long period of time &mdash usually many years &mdash increases the risk of long-term side effects.

Antipsychotic medications are commonly prescribed for psychosis or schizophrenia. You can learn more about the side effects of antipsychotic medications here and a patient&rsquos recommendations for dealing with the side effects of antipsychotic medications.

Atypical Antipsychotics

The most common side effects include dry mouth, blurred vision and constipation, dizziness or lightheadedness, and weight gain. Sometimes atypical antipsychotics can cause problems sleeping, extreme tiredness and weakness. For some atypical antipsychotics, long-term side effects include tardive dyskinesia (TD), a disorder characterized by involuntary movements most often affecting the mouth, lips and tongue, and sometimes the trunk or other parts of the body such as arms and legs. Taking these drugs over a long period of time &mdash usually many years &mdash increases the risk of long-term side effects.

Atypical antipsychotic medications are commonly prescribed for psychosis or schizophrenia. You can learn more about the side effects of atypical antipsychotics here.


Drowsiness, impaired coordination, memory impairment, dry mouth. Brand names include Xanax, Klonopin, Valium and Ativan. These medications are often prescribed for anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and phobias.


Dizziness, nausea, headache, nervousness, dysphoria. This medication is also known as BuSpar.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

Nausea, diarrhea, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, fatigue. Brand names include Celexa, Prozac, Luvox, Paxil and Zoloft. These are commonly prescribed for clinical depression. You can learn more about coping with antidepressant side effects here and how to better manage the painful side effects of antidepressants.


Common side effects of stimulants are loss of appetite, sleep problems, and mood swings. Stimulant drugs commonly include amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) atomoxetine (Strattera) dexmethylphenidate (Focalin) lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) and methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin).

These medications are commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD). You can read more about side effects of ADHD medications here.

Tricyclic antidepressants

Drop in blood pressure when standing, sedation, dry mouth, constipation, urinary retention, blurred vision, dizziness, weight gain. Brand names include Anafranil, Pamelor, and Tofranil. These are older antidepressant medications.


Nausea, constipation, somnolence, dry mouth, dizziness, sweating, nervousness, fast heart rate, hypertension, and sexual dysfunction. This medication is also known by its common brand name, Effexor.

Opioid complications and side effects

Medications which bind to opioid receptors are increasingly being prescribed for the treatment of multiple and diverse chronic painful conditions. Their use for acute pain or terminal pain is well accepted. Their role in the long-term treatment of chronic noncancer pain is, however, controversial for many reasons. One of the primary reasons is the well-known phenomenon of psychological addiction that can occur with the use of these medications. Abuse and diversion of these medications is a growing problem as the availability of these medications increases and this public health issue confounds their clinical utility. Also, the extent of their efficacy in the treatment of pain when utilized on a chronic basis has not been definitively proven. Lastly, the role of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain is also influenced by the fact that these potent analgesics are associated with a significant number of side effects and complications. It is these phenomena that are the focus of this review. Common side effects of opioid administration include sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence, tolerance, and respiratory depression. Physical dependence and addiction are clinical concerns that may prevent proper prescribing and in turn inadequate pain management. Less common side effects may include delayed gastric emptying, hyperalgesia, immunologic and hormonal dysfunction, muscle rigidity, and myoclonus. The most common side effects of opioid usage are constipation (which has a very high incidence) and nausea. These 2 side effects can be difficult to manage and frequently tolerance to them does not develop this is especially true for constipation. They may be severe enough to require opioid discontinuation, and contribute to under-dosing and inadequate analgesia. Several clinical trials are underway to identify adjunct therapies that may mitigate these side effects. Switching opioids and/or routes of administration may also provide benefits for patients. Proper patient screening, education, and preemptive treatment of potential side effects may aid in maximizing effectiveness while reducing the severity of side effects and adverse events. Opioids can be considered broad spectrum analgesic agents, affecting a wide number of organ systems and influencing a large number of body functions.

What are the side effects of amantadine?

Amantadine is a drug that helps treat Parkinson’s disease and other conditions. People can experience mild to severe side effects while taking this medication.

Amantadine comes in capsule, tablet, or liquid forms. The brand names for amantadine are Gocovri and Osmolex ER.

The most common side effects are nausea, dizziness, and sleeping problems. Some less common but more severe side effects include changes to the central nervous system and the heart, as well as suicidal thoughts or actions.

This article looks into the uses for amantadine and the side effects that a person might experience.

Share on Pinterest A doctor may prescribe amantadine to help treat Parkinson’s disease.

Amantadine can treat a few conditions, and doctors most often prescribe it to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Amantadine can also help with movement-related side effects of antipsychotic medications. The medical name for these effects is extrapyramidal symptoms .

Extrapyramidal symptoms are similar to the movements that characterize Parkinson’s disease. They may involve muscle spasms, jerkiness, tremors, and slowness.

Amantadine can also prevent and treat the influenza A virus by helping to stop the virus from replicating. It is not, however, a substitute for an annual flu vaccination.

The most common side effects of amantadine, affecting 5–10% of people who take the recommended dosage, include:

Less common side effects, affecting 1–5% of people, include:

    or anxiety
  • hallucinations
  • decreased appetite
  • swelling
  • sleepiness
  • abnormal dreams

Infrequent side effects, affecting 0.1 to 1% of people, include:

Amantadine can cause more severe, and sometimes dangerous, side effects, though this is uncommon. These effects can include:

Suicidal thoughts or actions

Suicidal thoughts or actions are a rare side effect of amantadine, occurring in fewer than 0.1% of people.

Many people affected in this way have taken amantadine for influenza prevention or treatment. This side effect can develop in people with no history of psychiatric illness.

People taking amantadine, and those close to them, should look carefully for any behavioral changes, including agitation, personality changes, paranoia, depression, and anxiety.

Central nervous system effects

Some people who have taken amantadine have reported falling asleep while performing routine activities, such as driving. The risk is higher in people who take at least one other sedating medication and in people who experience sleep disorders.

Anyone with a history of epilepsy or another condition that causes seizures should monitor any change in seizure activity while taking amantadine.

Symptoms such as dizziness, low blood pressure, and feeling faint have occurred in people taking amantadine. Alcohol consumption could increase this risk.

Impulse control

People who take amantadine may experience impulsive thoughts and behaviors. Common impulsive behaviors include gambling, risky sexual activity, spending money, or binge eating.

The person may not realize that their behavior is unusual, so it is important for caregivers to monitor for these behaviors.

Congestive heart failure

In rare cases, a person may develop congestive heart failure while taking amantadine.

For anyone with a history of congestive heart failure or edema, it is important to monitor closely for any symptoms, such as increased swelling or shortness of breath.

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a rare but potentially fatal condition that doctors associate with fever or hyperthermia. A person with NMS may also exhibit symptoms such as decreased consciousness, changes in muscle movement, rapid breathing, or a rapid heart rate.

NMS may develop when people have reduced their dosage or stopped taking amantadine. It is important to talk to a doctor before stopping the treatment.

People should be aware of the following when taking amantadine:


An overdose of amantadine can be fatal. It may result in toxicity of the heart, lungs, kidneys, or central nervous system.

Amantadine overdose has occurred in people with impaired kidney function who are not able to excrete the drug thoroughly.

Kidney or liver disease

The kidneys primarily excrete amantadine via the urine. In people with impaired kidney function, the drug can build up in the body. The doctor will lower the dose of amantadine, as a result.

Amantadine can also increase liver enzyme numbers. Anyone with a history of liver disease should take amantadine with caution.

Skin cancer

People with Parkinson’s disease have a higher risk of melanoma, compared with the general population. It is unclear whether this risk relates to medications, the disease itself, or other factors.

People taking amantadine should monitor their skin for changes and see a doctor for skin exams regularly.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Amantadine is a pregnancy category C drug, which means that researchers have not performed well-controlled studies in pregnant women.

As a result, doctors do not know the effects of amantadine on a developing fetus. They do not recommend taking the drug while breastfeeding.

Amantadine may interact with other drugs, including the following:

Anticholinergic drugs

These can worsen some side effects of amantadine, including dry mouth, dizziness, urinary retention, and blurred vision.

Central nervous system stimulants can cause increased anxiety, trouble sleeping, and irritability in people who also take amantadine. These stimulants include methylphenidate and amphetamines.

Flu vaccine

Because of possible interference, do not receive a nasal live attenuated influenza vaccine within 2 weeks of taking amantadine.

Heart drugs

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) report that increased plasma amantadine concentration developed in a man who took a blood pressure medication called triamterene (Dyazide).

They also report that quinidine (Quinaglute), a drug that can help treat heart arrhythmias, can reduce the kidneys’ ability to clear amantadine from the body.

The NLM recommend that people avoid excessive alcohol use while taking amantadine. This is because it can increase side effects, including:

  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • confusion
  • low blood pressure when standing up, called orthostatic hypotension

Anyone who drinks alcohol regularly should consult the doctor before taking amantadine.

Medications That Interact With Alcohol

There are hundreds of medications that interact with alcohol. Here is a short list of the most common prescription and OTC drugs that can pose a risk to your health if mixed with alcohol, as well as what can happen if the substances are combined.

It's important to note that this list is not exhaustive and may not include every medication you are taking. If you are not sure if you can safely drink alcohol while taking a certain medication, read the label carefully and consult with your pharmacist or doctor.

Allergy, Cold, and Flu Medications

You should avoid drinking alcohol if you are taking allergy medications or any multi-symptom cold and flu formulation.

Drowsiness and dizziness are common side effects of medications used to treat allergies, colds, and the flu. These symptoms are also common when you drink alcohol. When the substances are combined, the effect is intensified, and your judgment and focus will be further impaired.  

The risks associated with drowsiness caused by medication or alcohol are serious, which is why you should never drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of any substance.

Avoid alcohol if you are taking:

  • Alavert (loratadine)
  • Allegra (fexofenadine) or Allegra-D (fexofenadine/pseudoephedrine)
  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • Clarinex (desloratadine)
  • Claritin (loratadine) or Claritin-D (loratadine/pseudoephedrine)
  • Dimetapp Cold and Allergy (brompheniramine/phenylephrine)
  • Sudafed Sinus and Allergy (chlorpheniramine/phenylephrine)
  • Triaminic Cold and Allergy (brompheniramine/phenylephrine)
  • Tylenol Cold and Flu (acetaminophen/dextromethorphan/guaifenesin/phenylephrine)
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine)

Angina Medications

Angina (ischemic chest pain) is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. If you have angina, you might be prescribed a medication called nitroglycerin.  

If you drink alcohol while you are taking nitroglycerin, it can cause a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), sudden changes in blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting.

Avoid alcohol if you are taking any brand of nitroglycerin, including:

  • Nitrostat
  • Nitromist
  • Nitroquick
  • Nitrolingual
  • Nitro-Dur
  • Minitran
  • Nitro-Bid
  • Nitinol

Anti-Anxiety, Anti-Seizure, and Epilepsy Medications

Mixing anti-anxiety and epilepsy medications with alcoholic beverages can cause slowed breathing, impaired motor control, abnormal behavior, and memory loss.

If you are being treated for an anxiety disorder or epilepsy, avoid alcohol if you take any of the following medications:


Alcohol might affect how well some antibiotic medications work.   It's possible that if you use them together, antibiotics may be less effective at clearing up the infection that you are being treated for.

The research on mixing alcohol with antibiotics is somewhat limited and unclear, but the combination has been associated with symptoms such as tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), sudden changes in blood pressure, gastrointestinal upset, headache, flushing, and liver damage.

Drinking even a small amount of alcohol while taking an antibiotic called Flagyl (metronidazole) can cause a severe reaction, making you extremely sick with nausea and vomiting. You will want to avoid alcohol for three days before you start and after you stop Flagyl.  

Other antibiotics that should not be mixed with alcohol include:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Flagyl (metronidazole)
  • Nizoral (ketoconazole)
  • Nydrazid (isoniazid)
  • Tindamax (tinidazole)


In addition to worsening the side effects of antidepressant medications, mixing these drugs with alcohol can also make symptoms of depression worse.  

If you are being treated for depression or another mental health condition such as an anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or obsessive- disorder, you may need to limit or completely avoid alcohol if you take one or more of the following medications:

  • Anafranil (clomipramine) (citalopram) (venlafaxine) (amitriptyline) (escitalopram) (fluvoxamine)
  • Norpramin (desipramine) (paroxetine) (fluoxetine)
  • Serzone (nefazodone) (bupropion) (sertraline)

Anti-Nausea Medications

Medications that are prescribed to treat nausea can make you feel drowsy, dizzy, and may impair your motor control—symptoms that can also be caused by alcohol. Some drugs (often antihistamines) used to prevent and treat motion sickness can also be purchased over-the-counter.

If you mix any type of anti-nausea drug with alcohol, the side effects of the medication can become more intense.

Avoid combining alcoholic beverages with medications used to treat nausea, such as:

  • Antivert (meclizine)
  • Atarax (hydroxyzine)
  • Dramamine (dimenhydrinate)
  • Phenergan (promethazine)

Certain types of anti-nausea medication can be used to help someone who is trying to stop drinking alcohol. When used under medical supervision, the combination can be an effective way to treat alcohol withdrawal.  

Arthritis Medications

If you take medications for arthritis, it is important to know that mixing them with alcohol can increase your risk for stomach ulcers and bleeding in the stomach, as well as liver problems.  

You should avoid alcohol if you are taking medication to treat arthritis, including:

Blood Thinners

If you have a medical condition (such as atrial fibrillation) that puts you at risk for developing a blood clot, your doctor might prescribe anticoagulant medications to "thin" your blood. While these drugs make it less likely your body will form blood clots, they also make you bleed more easily.

If you take a blood thinner, even an occasional drink can increase your risk of internal bleeding.   Drinking often or heavily increases this risk and can also counteract the medication’s blood-thinning effects. If your body is forming blood clots, it increases your risk of having a stroke or a heart attack.

You might not need to completely avoid alcohol if you are taking a blood thinner. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting your intake to no more than one or two occasional drinks if you are on anticoagulant therapy.  

However, your doctor might have a different recommendation. Be sure to talk to them before having a drink if you are taking anticoagulant medication, such as:

Cholesterol Medications

Medications prescribed to lower cholesterol levels (known as statins) can cause flushing, itching, stomach bleeding, and liver damage. Combining these drugs with alcohol can make the risks and side effects worse, especially if you have liver disease.

Mild liver inflammation can occur in about 2% of people who take statins for a long time.   While it typically gets better after stopping taking the medications, there has been concern that alcohol (which is metabolized by the liver) could potentially make liver inflammation worse.

Some research has found that alcohol does not appear to worsen liver inflammation in certain people who take medication for their cholesterol. A 2006 Harvard study found that moderate alcohol use did not have a significant negative effect on the livers of men taking statins after heart surgery.  

That said, mixing alcohol and statins could still make the medication’s side effects more intense. You may want to limit your alcohol use if you are taking a cholesterol-lowering medication such as:

  • Advicor (niacin extended-release/lovastatin)
  • Altocor (lovastatin)
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin)
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin)
  • Mevacor (lovastatin)
  • Niaspan (niacin extended-release)
  • Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin)
  • Zocor (simvastatin)

Cough Suppressants

As with cold and flu remedies, combining alcohol with medications used to treat a cough can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and motor impairment. The effects of the mix can be especially serious—if not deadly—when the cough medicine also contains alcohol.

One ingredient in some cough suppressants called dextromethorphan (DXM) can be especially dangerous because it can cause extreme sedation and respiratory depression. This combination can cause an overdose which may be fatal.  

You should not drink alcohol if you are taking:

Diabetes Medications

If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels. Drinking alcohol with the medications you take to manage your diabetes can have the same effect, and the mix can also cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache, rapid heartbeat, and sudden changes in your blood pressure.  

You should not drink alcohol if you take medications to treat diabetes, including:

Heartburn Medications

Using alcohol with medications used to treat heartburn, both prescription and over-the-counter, can cause tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) and sudden changes in blood pressure.   These drugs can also make the effects of alcohol more intense, leading to impaired judgment and sedation.

Use caution and consider limiting your alcohol intake if you take medications for heartburn, including:

  • Axid (nizatidine)
  • Reglan (metoclopramide)
  • Tagamet (cimetidine)
  • Zantac (ranitidine)

Hypertension Medications

Combining alcohol with medications used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) can cause dizziness, fainting, drowsiness, and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).  

You should avoid drinking alcohol if you take medications to treat high blood pressure, such as:

  • Accupril (quinapril)
  • Capozide (captopril/hydrochlorothiazide)
  • Cardura (doxazosin)
  • Catapres (clonidine)
  • Cozaar (losartan)
  • Hytrin (terazosin)
  • Lopressor HCT (metoprolol/hydrochlorothiazide)
  • Lotensin (benazepril)
  • Minipress (prazosin)
  • Vaseretic (enalapril/hydrochlorothiazide)

Muscle Relaxants

If you have an injury or medical condition that causes pain or spasms in your muscles, you might be given medications to relax them. Muscle relaxants are commonly used to treat back and neck pain, as well as certain kinds of headaches.

Muscle relaxants and alcohol both suppress your central nervous system, which controls the functions of your heart, lungs, and brain.  

Combining these medications with alcohol can cause serious side effects, including drowsiness, dizziness, slowed or impaired breathing, abnormal behavior, memory loss, impaired motor control, and seizures.  

While this is not an exhaustive list, you should not drink alcohol if you take any of the following medications:

  • Atarax (hydroxyzine)
  • Antivert (meclizine)
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)
  • Soma (carisoprodol)

Opioid Pain Medications

One of the deadliest combinations is alcohol and narcotic pain medications. On their own, opioids can cause drowsiness, dizziness, slowed or impaired breathing, impaired motor control, abnormal behavior, and memory loss.

Mixing these medications with alcohol intensifies the side effects and increases the risk of a fatal overdose.  

Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride) is an opioid agonist—a medication that can help counteract the effects of opioid medications such as morphine, oxycodone, and heroin. Naloxone can rapidly reverse opioid overdose by quickly restoring normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped due to mixing opioid pain medications with alcohol.

You should never mix alcohol with narcotics, including:

  • Darvocet–N (propoxyphene napsylate/acetaminophen)
  • Demerol (meperidine)
  • Fiorinal (butalbital/aspirin/caffeine) (oxycodone/acetaminophen) (hydrocodone/acetaminophen)

Prostate Medications

Having an alcoholic drink while you are taking medications to treat prostate conditions can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting.  

Limit or avoid your alcohol consumption if you take any of the following prostate medications:

Over-the-Counter Pain Medications

The dangers of mixing alcohol with prescription drugs are well known. When you pick your prescription up at the pharmacy, chances are the label or package insert will come with a warning if it is not safe to consume alcohol while you are taking the medication.

However, even medications that don't require a prescription can be unsafe when mixed with alcohol. For example, OTC painkillers (including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause a range of symptoms from gastrointestinal upset to bleeding and ulcers in the stomach to tachycardia (racing heart).

Taking OTC painkillers like Tylenol (acetaminophen) in high doses, or taking these medications regularly over a long period, has been associated with liver damage.  

Both the short-term and long-term side effects and risks associated with taking OTC painkillers are intensified when you mix these drugs with alcohol. If you are taking an OTC painkiller, be sure to read the label carefully. Some OTC pain relievers do not generally pose a major risk when small amounts are combined with occasional alcohol use.

However, serious interactions can occur between alcohol and other pain relievers—particularly if people have underlying medical conditions that change how their body metabolizes drugs and alcohol.  

Be aware of your alcohol use and consult the drug’s label before taking any of the following:

  • Advil (ibuprofen)
  • Aleve (naproxen)
  • Excedrin (acetaminophen/aspirin/caffeine)
  • Motrin (ibuprofen)
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen)

Be especially careful with any drug or multi-symptom remedy containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

If you had an alcoholic beverage and are not sure if you should take an OTC pain reliever, you can ask your local pharmacist or primary care provider if it is safe to do so.

Sleep Aids

Medications used to treat insomnia or help you fall and stay asleep should never be mixed with alcohol. The sedating effect of these drugs can be increased by alcohol, leading to slowed or impaired breathing, impaired motor control, abnormal behavior, memory loss, and fainting.  

In some cases, a fatal overdose can occur if sleep aids are mixed with alcohol because both substances affect the body’s central nervous system (which controls your breathing, heart rate, and brain function).

Do not consume alcohol if you are taking any of these medications to help you sleep:

  • Lunesta (eszopiclone)
  • Prosom (estazolam) (temazepam)
  • Unisom (doxylamine)


Dizziness and vertigo are among the most common disorders in medicine, affecting approximately 20-30% of people in the general population.[1,2,3] Dizziness is a general term used to express subjective complaints of the patients related to changes in sensation, movement, perception, or consciousness.[3,4] Vertigo is a subtype of dizziness, defined as an illusion of movement caused by asymmetric involvement of the vestibular system.[1,2,4,5,6] The incidence of vertigo increases with age and is about two to three times higher in women than in men.[2,6] Dizziness or vertigo originates from a mismatch between three sensory systems: The vestibular, the visual, and the somatosensory systems. Therefore, vertigo/dizziness is a multisensory syndrome and not a single disease entity.[3,4,5,6,7]

Different classifications of vertigo exist [ Table 1 ] First of all, vertigo can be classified into true vertigo and pseudovertigo.[8,9,10] True vertigo denotes a sense of rotation in one direction, which may be “subjective,” when the subject feels that he is moving while the surrounding environment remains static or “objective” when he feels the surrounding objects are moving around him. The objective vertigo can itself be divided into rotary vertigo, in which the patient perceives that the space moves around him more or less vortically, into wavelike vertigo, in which the patient perceives that the space moves in a direction of oscillation on the transversal or longitudinal axis, and sussultatory vertigo, in which the patient perceives a feeling of dragging upward or downward (as in the elevator, or as floor which sinks). Pseudovertigo, more common than true vertigo, includes all sensations of imbalance, different from true vertigo. While true vertigo occurs as a result of primary neurological causes, non-neurological causes can often induce pseudovertigo. Furthermore, while true vertigo occurs as a single episode or as recurrent stereotyped attacks of defined durations, pseudovertigo, instead, occurs either as a very prolonged sensation lasting for hours or even days, or as momentary attacks.[11] Furthermore, vertigo may occur as a normal response to certain stimuli this form of vertigo is called physiological vertigo. Healthy people may experience vertigo when they are travelling by car, boat, or spaceship (motion sickness) or on looking down from a mountain or from a tall building (height vertigo).[8,9,10,11] Vertigo may also be caused by diseases affecting the labyrinth (peripheral vestibular vertigo), the central vestibular system (central vestibular vertigo) or other functional systems (non-vestibular vertigo) this form of vertigo is generally called “pathological vertigo.”[8,9,10,11]

Table 1

Characteristics of peripheral and central vertigo

From a pathophysiological point of view, the vertigo can be classified into central, peripheral, and psychogenic central vertigo is frequently accompanied by neurologic signs and symptoms, which are the result of a disease originating from the central nervous system (CNS).[10,11,12] The most important causes of central vertigo are cerebellar hemorrhage, brainstem ischemia, and vertebrobasilar insufficiency other causes include infections, trauma, CNS tumors, and multiple sclerosis.[1,12,13,14,15,16,17] The most common form of vertigo in patients is the peripheral vertigo, often accompanied by nausea or vomiting, with no other neurologic signs.[12] The most common cause of peripheral vertigo is Benign Paroxysmal Positional vertigo (BPPV),[18] a clinical syndrome with unknown exact etiology, characterized by recurrent, brief episodes of severe vertigo and rotary nystagmus, precipitated by specific positions of the head relative to gravity. The physical symptoms of BPPV may interfere with normal daily functional activities, but it can be easily and effectively treated if identified.[18] It is known that BPPV incidence increases with age,[19,20,21] whereas the prevalence of BPPV in the young adult population is very low[22] in older people, BPPV is often associated with depression, reduced activities of daily living, and falls.[23] Other causes of peripheral vertigo are acute labyrinthitis,[12] vestibular neuronitis,[12,24,25] Meniere's disease,[12,24,26] labyrinthic concussion,[12,24] cholesteatoma,[12,24] labyrinthine infarction /ischemia,[12,24,27] labyrinthine fistula,[12,24] malignant otitis externa,[12,24] cerumen impaction,[12,24] and tympanic membrane rupture.[12,24] The most important characteristics of peripheral and central vertigo are reported in Table 1 .

Psychogenic vertigo is a form of vertigo, which may occur concurrently with hyperventilation, anxiety, panic attacks, claustrophobia, agoraphobia, and other psychiatric disturbances including schizophrenia.[28]

Several drugs and environmental chemicals, such as lead and mercury, can cause ototoxicity. The latter often causes damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve and leads to the occurrence of vertigo. The damage can be temporary or permanent.[29,30]

Since patients with vertigo often have difficulty to describe their symptoms, determination of causes can be very difficult. The diagnosis of vertigo is most often based upon history and clinical presentation of the patient. Very interesting clues for the diagnosis of vertigo, indeed, come from the patient's medical history, including drugs, trauma, or exposure to toxic substances. Age is associated with some underlying conditions that can cause vertigo. As an example, elderly patients, especially those with diabetes or hypertension, are at higher risk of cerebrovascular causes of vertigo. For the diagnosis of vertigo, the physician must first ask a series of questions regarding family history, including hereditary conditions such as migraine and risk factors for cerebrovascular diseases. After confirming that the patient has vertigo, the physician must determine whether the subject presents a peripheral or central origin.[5,15,17,31] Associated symptoms such as pain, nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, or neurologic symptoms can help differentiate the cause of vertigo: Indeed, in severe episodes of Ménière's disease, in acute vestibular neuronitis and in BPPV, vertigo often is associated with nausea or vomiting, whereas if the cause of vertigo is central, nausea and vomiting tend to be less severe.[17,23,24,25,31] Furthermore, most causes of vertigo with hearing loss are peripheral, whereas neurologic symptoms such as ataxia, weakness, changes in vision or hearing, paraesthesia, dysarthria, altered level of consciousness, or other changes in sensory and motor function favor the presence of a central cause of vertigo. In order to establish the cause of vertigo, it is also useful to know the severity of vertigo over time indeed in Ménière's disease, vertigo attacks initially increase in severity, whereas their severity decreases later on in acute vestibular neuronitis, instead, initial symptoms typically are severe but decrease during the subsequent days.[17,31]

Physicians should also pay particular attention to physical findings of the neurologic, head and neck, and cardiovascular systems. Laboratory tests such as electrolytes, glucose, blood counts, and thyroid function tests allow identifying the etiology of vertigo in less than 1 percent of patients. These tests result are appropriate when patients with vertigo exhibit signs or symptoms that suggest the presence of other causes.[31]

Finally, physicians should consider neuroimaging studies in patients with vertigo, which present neurologic signs and symptoms, progressive unilateral hearing loss, or risk factors for cerebrovascular disease. Magnetic resonance of the posterior fossa vasculature may be useful in diagnosing vascular causes of vertigo such as vertebrobasilar insufficiency, thrombosis of the labyrinthine artery, anterior or posterior inferior cerebellar artery insufficiency, and subclavian steal syndrome. Magnetic resonance can be used to exclude large bacterial infections, neoplasms, or developmental abnormalities, if other symptoms suggest one of these diagnoses. However, neuroimaging studies are not indicated in patients with BPPV and usually are not needed to diagnose acute vestibular neuronitis or Meniere's disease.[17,18,24,25,26,31]

The aim of this study was to analyze the data, received in our Regional Center of Documentation and Information on the Drug (Mater Domini Hospital, Catanzaro) in 2012, concerning the occurrence of vertigo and dizziness, as adverse effect of certain classes of drugs and report a brief review of the drugs that may induce such ADRs.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically reviewed by Avrom Simon, MD Board Certified Preventative Medicine with Subspecialty in Occupational Medicine

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

IMAGES: 1. MedicineNet/Post RE, Dickerson LM (August 2010). "Dizziness: a diagnostic approach". Am Fam Physician 82 (4): 361–8, 369. PMID 20704166

2. Ambro –

8. Getty Images/Blend Images

11. The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.

High blood pressure medication side effects

High blood pressure medications are often the first thing that a doctor will prescribe when high blood pressure is detected. This leads to millions of people taking them everyday.

This has resulted in soaring profits for the pharmaceutical industry. But what about the people taking these drugs?

Unfortunately high blood pressure medications do not cure high blood pressure but merely regulate it. Which means you have to take them everyday for the rest of your life – or your blood pressure will climb back up to dangerous levels.

Another negative aspect of blood pressure medications is bad side effects.

Overview of high blood pressure medication side effects

Below is a list of common high blood pressure medication side effects:

ACE inhibitors

The most common high blood pressure medication side effect here is a dry cough.

Rarer side effects include:

  • Lightheadedness,
  • dizziness,
  • rash,
  • reduced appetite,
  • increased blood potassium,
  • changes in the flavor of foods and swelling.

Alpha Blockers

The main high blood pressure medication side effects of this drug are dizziness and feeling faint when sitting up or standing up.

Additional side effects include:

Angiotensin II receptor blockers

Side effects (relatively rare) include:

  • Diarrhea,
  • dizziness,
  • headache,
  • lightheadedness,
  • back and leg pain,
  • sinus congestion,
  • kidney failure,
  • liver failure,
  • allergic reaction,
  • lowered white blood cells,
  • swelling.

Beta Blockers

Common high blood pressure medication side effects include:

Less common side effects include:

  • Depression,
  • reduced libido (sex drive),
  • insomnia (trouble sleeping),
  • shortness of breath.

Beta-blockers may cause severe asthma attacks. They can also block indications of low blood sugar (like a racing pulse) in diabetics. Beta-blockers can temporarily affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Abrupt discontinuation of beta-blockers can increase risk of heart attack and other heart issues. Not so nice!

Calcium channel blockers

Common side effects of this high blood pressure medication include:

  • Constipation, drowsiness,
  • flushing,
  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • rapid pulse,
  • swelling in the lower legs and feet.

Some calcium channel blockers react with grapefruit and foods that contain grapefruit by blocking the liver from properly removing them from the blood – resulting in dangerous concentrations.

Central-acting agents

Side effects of these high blood pressure medicines include:

  • Constipation,
  • depression,
  • dizziness,
  • dry mouth,
  • drowsiness,
  • fatigue,
  • headache,
  • impotence,
  • impaired thinking,
  • weight gain.

Abrupt discontinuation can cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure – especially when taken with a beta-blocker.


Their side effects include:

  • Increased urination,
  • too much potassium in the blood (with potassium-sparing diuretics),
  • too little potassium in the blood (with thiazide diuretics),
  • breast enlargement in men,
  • increased blood sugar,
  • increased cholesterol,
  • erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence),
  • low blood sodium,
  • rash,
  • gout (joint inflammation),>
  • menstrual irregularities.


Side effects of this category of high blood pressure drugs include:

  • Chest pain,
  • dizziness,
  • flushing
  • headache,
  • fluid retention,
  • heart palpitations,
  • nausea,
  • sinus congestion,
  • racing pulse,
  • vomiting
  • excessive hair growth.

(High blood pressure medication side effects list source:

Side effects from blood pressure medications is not something I’ve simply read about. It’s something I’ve experienced.

When I was first diagnosed with dangerously high blood pressure I was prescribed Rampril, an ACE inhibitor commonly used here in the UK. Just like it says on the list above, I developed a persistent dry cough. All day and night.

(For the two months I was on Rampril I kept a glass of water besides my bed. Taking a sip of water was the only way I could relieve the irritation long enough to get back to sleep after waking up every few hours needing to have a bout of coughing.)

After two months of this slow torture my blood pressure remained high with no sign of coming down. I could have gone on to other medications but instead made a commitment to try to get my body back in balance using alternative methods without the use of drugs.

Four months on and my blood pressure had dropped to 135/100 range – a drop of some 55 points. Now, 8 months after following natural methods my blood pressure is in the 120/80 range.

So the good news is – there are ways to lower your blood pressure naturally that really work – without having to take medications and putting up with side effects.

To get started on lowering your blood pressure naturally, you can click here to get our free report: Five Causes of High Blood Pressure (and what to do about them)

And if you’re really serious about lowering your blood pressure without having to suffer unpleasant medications, then have a look at our book:

Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally – The Complete 9 Step Guide

The guide contains simple and proven strategies to lowering your blood pressure and keeping it low through easy, effective and enjoyable changes in lifestyle.

There are several lifestyle factors that can be affecting your blood pressure. What you eat and drink can have a big impact. How active you are makes a big difference, and your stress levels are also a factor.

So the best way to lower your blood pressure without drugs is to apply a broad approach – covering all causes and cures with natural home-based remedies.

The guide covers the huge variety of foods and drinks that are good for blood pressure (some of them will surprise you). It suggests many activities you can do to keep your heart and circulation healthy. And it describes various tips and techniques on how to relax more and take the edge off your stress levels.

This might sound like a lot to take in, and it is, but the guide takes you through it in nine easy-to-follow steps.

These progressive steps are based on the principle that positive incremental change is always best in health matters.

Each chapter will take you further along the road of greater vigour and peace of mind (and a healthy blood pressure).

Click on the link below for more information:

P.S. This guide shows you how to lower your blood pressure permanently and naturally without side-effects or complications.

Follow each step to get your blood pressure back in balance.

Choose between a wide range of delicious foods that reduce your blood pressure. Include a number of mental and physical exercises in your schedule for both relaxation and invigoration.

Following this guide will reduce, and in time, eliminate your need for blood pressure lowering medications.

This is a guide for good healthy living and will be beneficial for all – even if you don’t currently suffer from high blood pressure.

To download a sample of the guide to your computer right now click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for the download link.


My father was on medication for high blood pressure and experienced very similar problems, but to a much greater extent. The coughing severely disrupted his life. He went off the medication but is still experiencing the coughing. I am wondering if this happened to you as well, or did the coughing stop after you stopped the medication?

The FDAor whom ever is in charged of policing drugs should take killer drugs of the market.

The FDA or wo ever is in charge of policing drugs should take killer drugs
of the market. All beta blockers, all angiotensin 2 recepteror blockers,
they cause liver failure among other serioous side effects. Also kidney failure.And death. Why can’t drug manufacters make drugs for high blood
pressure to help pople get well instead of killing them.

The FDA will legalize anything that’s profitable, they are working hand in hand with the big pharma guys! the goal is not to get people healthy, the goal here is to make money! Americans need to wake up and stop taking these crazy ass drugs that kill people every day!

Straightforward, to-the-point writing about high blood pressure… September 6, 2008, at my age 60, I had a massive hemorrhagic stroke which left my right side totally paralyzed (right hemiplegia) and with several different types of aphasia (language problems, including in my case being unable to speak). When I was taken into the emergency room my blood pressure was off the chart — 200+/200+.

Since then, I have fortunately had a terrific recovery, with more to go. My blood pressure — with a combination of diet, supplements, and BP meds — has steadily come down. I am now at the place where I am evaluating how to safely get off the BP meds. I am taking Lisinoprin, 20mg, 2x a day, and Amlodipine Besylate, 5mg once a day. Those dosages are considerably lower than I was taking.

I’m doing what I can see to keep the dialog and research going, and I see that you clearly are. Thank you!

I’ve been on high blood pressure drugs (Amedin, Lipril, Bendro and sometimes Soluble aspirine) for the past 13 years. Indeed am getting fed up with this swollen ankles ‘business’ a few hours after waking up from bed everydaybut the doctors maintain that I should continue with the medications.What do you suggestare there no alternative ways to handle high blood pressure without DRUGS? Please help. Thanks.

I know that ALL HTN meds are toxic but, if you HAVE to take them, what drugs have the least taxation on kidneys and liver?

I have hypertension brought on my stress and anxiety. Instead of my doctor suggesting a lifestyle change she gives me a prescription for medication. HCTZ depleted my potassium to a very low level, Lisinopril gave me a chronic cough and headaches. I have started to incorporate more exercise in my life and remove myself from stressful situations. Unsure of the results, but it is worth a try

My blood pressure was 158/98 when I saw the doctor put me on olmetec plus 20/12.5 mg my blood pressure is now 95/65 I have lost 30 pounds quit drinking changed diet exercise 6 days a week can I ever get of these meds

Here in India a person named Kumara Rao prescribed to me this protocol for high blood pressure.
You have to avoid for 45 days
1.milk,curd,buttermilk,coffee,tea,ice cream,ghee and
and all other milk products,
2..sweets made of sugar,jaggery and honey
3..sweet fruits(mango,papaya,sapota,pineapple,watermelon,
5dry fruits(cashew nuts,almonds,walnuts,pistachio)
,all nuts(groundnuts,peanuts etc),soft drinks,
protein powders and liquids,bengalgram items.

You can eat food items of rice ,wheat,jowar..

You have to drink daily unfiltered juice of on empty stomach in the morning
coriander leaves30,pudina leaves15,palak leaves 6,
curry leaves 10,betel leaves 2,ginger 10gms ,bitter gourd 15 gms..

You have to reduce all medicines by 50% from third day..
You have to stop all medicines completely from 5th day..

Now I am ready to do my breakfast, when having my breakfast coming yet again to read more

Your average resting blood pressure can be as high as 120 + 2/3 of your age before you should begin to worry about it. For someone 40 years old, it’s 147. 60 years old, it’s 160. For someone 90 years old it’s 180. Blood pressure increases naturally as you grow older. Don’t get sucked in by doctors brainwashed by the drug companies.

Risk of dying from a cardiovascular event for a male aged 45-74 with a blood pressure of 170 is 5 events out of 1000 people increasing to 10 events for 1000 people. Doctors will tell you the risk doubles. Yes, 5 to 10 is double, but that’s just the relative risk. The real risk is from 0.5% to 1%, which is a 0.5% increase. And for that slight risk, are you willing to suffer the side effects of drug therapy?

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