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7 Things to Avoid Taking in the Morning, Warn Pharmacists

Taking certain medications in the morning can ruin your day. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Taking your medication at the wrong time can be the difference between a productive day and one where you just want to sleep. Many prescriptions can make you drowsy and taking them first thing isn't the best idea if you want to enjoy your day, drive or get anything done. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with pharmacists who explained which meds to avoid in the morning and why. As always please consult with your physician for medical advice. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Blood Pressure Medications

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Mythili Chunduru, Specialty Practice Pharmacist, Abdominal Transplant at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explains, "High blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Blood pressure naturally dips in the evening. Among patients who have high blood pressure, night time dips may not be present. Therefore taking blood pressure medications that are once a day in the evening allows for a dip to occur leading to lower risk of heart failure and stroke.  Adjustments like these should always be discussed with your care provider."

2

Diphenhydramine

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Katie Rocawich, PharmD, BCCCP; Clinical Pharmacist for VCU Health System says, "Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) is an antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms.  For most individuals, diphenhydramine causes central nervous system depression, causing drowsiness, sedation, fatigue, lack of concentration and memory impairment.  Of course, if the indication for diphenhydramine requires daytime administration (i.e. treatment of severe allergic reactions), one should exercise caution and monitor for sedative effects."

Dr. Chunduru adds, "Antihistamines like diphenhydramine or loratadine are used to treat allergies. If you take these medications every day, it is best to take them before bedtime as they can make you very sleepy. Avoid taking them in the morning, as  they may impair your ability to drive or work during the day."

3

Doxylamine

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Dr. Rocawich states, "Doxylamine is an antihistamine used for insomnia and in combination with vitamin B6 for treatment or prevention of nausea/vomiting of pregnancy.  Doxylamine has potent anticholinergic properties and has been associated with disorientation, dizziness and drowsiness and thus should only be taken at bedtime."

4

Melatonin

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"Melatonin is a hormone produced by the brain in response to darkness to promote sleep," says Dr. Rocawich. "It is used as a supplement for the treatment of sleep disorders, and also experimentally in combination with chemotherapy or radiation in patients with solid tumors.  It should not be taken in the morning as it causes drowsiness, disorientation and confusion."

According to Dr. Chunduru, "Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body to signal sleep. Its production can be blocked if you are exposed to light at night. Melatonin levels drop off in the morning, allowing you to wake up. Melatonin as a supplement is used to help with insomnia. Avoid taking melatonin in the morning as it may make you groggy."

5

L-Tryptophan

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Dr. Rocawich explains, "L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid found in red meat, poultry, eggs and dairy.  It has been used as a natural remedy for anxiety, insomnia, migraine headaches, among other indications.  L-tryptophan has been associated with central nervous system depression including dizziness, lightheadedness and somnolence."

6

Statins

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Dr. Chunduru says, "HIgh cholesterol leads to heart disease and cholesterol lowering medications like statins reduce that risk. Since cholesterol production is highest in the body at night, statins like simvastatin and pravastatin are most effective if taken at bedtime."

7

Valerian

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Dr. Rocawich shares, "Valerian is a perennial plant, whose root extract is used as a nutritional supplement to treat insomnia, anxiety, depression, restless leg syndrome and premenstrual syndrome.  It should be taken at bedtime, as it is associated with dizziness, drowsiness and mental slowness."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more
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