Six Medications That Can Make You Dizzy

Vertigo, dizziness and imbalance are particularly common in the elderly, affecting around one third of persons aged between 65 and 75. It can make daily activities such as getting out of bed, bathing, dressing and moving around the home more difficult. A common side effect of many groups of medications is vertigo which increases the risk of falling, the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in those over the age of 65 according to MMWR Morb Weekly. Healthy living tips suggest that those who are struggling with vertigo should check with the doctor to see whether any prescribed medications could be causing balance impairment.




Here are some common culprits to consider:

1.     Antidepressants

Antidepressants may occasionally cause vertigo or dizziness in some patients. If you experience a sense of the world spinning around, you may need to ask your doctor to change your antidepressant medication. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Celexa and Prozac may impair balance but stopping them abruptly can also cause dizziness. Healthy living tip: Don’t make any  changes without a full discussion with your doctor.

2.     Blood pressure drugs

Drugs for hypertensions, such as beta blockers, thiazide diuretics and ace-inhibitors sold under the brand names Tenormin, Zestril and Lotensin. One of the most common side effects of Angiotensin II receptor blockers and Central Agonists is dizziness, so report any symptoms of lightheadedness to your doctor and try a more suitable option.

3.     Antihistamines

Antihistamines usually improve balance but may cause a balance problem as a reaction to other drugs.


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4.     NSAIDS

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help reduce fever, treat headaches and inflammation. Better known as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium (Aleve) they are intended for short-term use. If you have any side effects, such as dizziness or difficulty concentrating, try switching.

5.     Sedatives

Sleeping pills and sedatives are intended to cause drowsiness and can be addictive. They commonly cause dizziness, memory problems and drowsiness which can be dangerous. Healthy habits to embrace include avoiding driving or operating dangerous machinery and report all side effects to your doctor.

6.     Vasodilators

Vasodilators are prescribed to improve blood flow in those with angina, high blood pressure and heart failure. They are known to cause dizziness and patients should take necessary precautions as above. Avoid alcohol and make sure your doctor knows of any other drugs you are taking before being prescribed vasodilators and report any side effects.

Healthy Habits to Counter Medication-Induced Dizziness

If you feel that your medications are disrupting your balance or causing falls, talk to your doctor about reducing the dose, switching drugs or stopping non-essential medications.

Another healthy living tip includes taking medications later in the day when blood pressure is naturally higher. It may take time to establish healthy habits through trial and error, but you should never settle for taking medications that decrease, rather than improve, your quality of life.