Updated January 11, 2021Antibiotics are designed to kill harmful bacteria that cause conditions like sinus infections, strep throat and pneumonia. However, like all medicines, they can come with some pretty awful side effects, such as headaches and nausea. Some of the most common side effects of antibiotics, though, are drowsiness and fatigue, making it even more difficult to get through the day when you’re feeling sick.But don’t worry, there are some great ways you can combat symptoms of fatigue and recharge your body. In this article, we explain why antibiotics cause you to feel sleepy in the first place and provide simple tips to keep yourself energized throughout the day.Side Effects of AntibioticsThough antibiotics are powerful medications proven to fight off infections, they also have the potential to wipe out good bacteria in your body. Your body needs bacteria such as probiotics and yeast to promote a healthy immune and digestive system. When helpful bacteria is depleted, you may experience side effects like fatigue and an upset stomach.Below, we list other potential side effects you may experience after taking an antibiotic:Headaches and feversAnxiety or depressionNausea, vomiting and diarrheaSensitivity to lights and loud noisesDrowsiness or microsleepsSome individuals may even have an allergic reaction to antibiotics. About 1 in 15 people have an allergic reaction to antibiotics, especially to Penicillin and Cephalosporins. In most cases, allergic reactions to antibiotics are mild, however, in more severe cases you may experience shortness of breath, nausea, and rapid heartbeat. Common mild symptoms of an allergic reaction include:HivesExcessive drowsinessBloating and indigestionAbdominal painLoss of appetiteWhy Do You Feel Sleepy After Taking Antibiotics?It’s common for individuals who take antibiotics to experience drowsiness as a side effect. Antibiotics can affect nutrient absorption or lead to dehydration, contributing to fatigue.Luckily, fatigue is not a side effect of all antibiotics, and you may be able to avoid feeling sleepy while taking your medication. On the other hand, some antibiotics are more likely to cause drowsiness than others, including:Azithromycin (Zithromax, Z-Pak, and Zmax)Ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Proquin)Amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag)What Can You Do to Deal with Drowsiness?It’s no secret feeling drowsy can make it extremely difficult to get through the day or even focus at work. Drinking a cup of coffee or grabbing an energy drink are common ways most individuals boost their energy. However, when caffeine is consumed too late in the day, this burst of energy can cause sleep disruptions at night.An alternative to relying on caffeine is incorporating natural ways to keep yourself awake throughout the day. Luckily, we’ve outlined a few ways you can stay energized in this next section.Try a Power NapA power nap may be the extra boost you need to conquer the day. However, there are a couple rules you should remember before you lie down. Below, we list some of the best ways to take your power nap.Keep naps short. Power naps should last no longer than 25 minutes as this allows you to sleep through the lighter stages of sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. When naps exceed this limit, you may transition into a deeper sleep. Falling into a deep sleep can make it harder for you to wake up from your nap and cause you to feel groggy once you’re awake.Plan naptime for the afternoon. If you can, try to take your nap at least 7 hours before bedtime. This is the best time to nap because our body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock, naturally dips during the middle of the day.Find the perfect nap environment. It’s best to sleep in your bed or on the couch if you are planning to nap at home. However, napping at work may be a challenge and it can be difficult to find a comfy place to sleep. Some employers provide spaces for their employees to nap during breaks. If your office does not have this amenity, try napping in your car. You can make napping in your vehicle a little more comfortable by keeping an extra pillow or blanket in your backseat.Limit Distractions. Once you provide yourself with the perfect place to sleep, limit your distractions so your mind doesn’t wander and you can focus on sleep. Avoid using your cell phone and silence notifications that may disturb you. Remember, naps should be short, so you want to try to fall asleep quickly.Practice Breathing ExercisesDoing breathing exercises throughout the day is a great way to increase your alertness to combat drowsiness. Not only do these exercises raise blood oxygen levels in the body, but they also improve circulation. By practicing deep breathing, you give your brain a small task to focus on, ultimately enhancing mental performance and boosting your energy.Below, we’ve listed simple techniques you can try the next time you feel sleepy.With one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other on your chest, inhale deeply through your nose and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.Breathe out through lips pursed as if you were whistling. You can use the hand on your belly to help push air out. Repeat 3 to 10 times.Make sure you sit up straight while breathing so your diaphragm can expand and properly fill your lungs with air.Eat Healthy FoodsOne of the best ways to recharge your body is by consuming food packed with protein and nutrients. Eating foods high in protein, along with fruits and low-carb vegetables, keeps your body feeling full without slowing you down.Additionally, adding complex carbohydrates into your diet is helpful since your body digests these foods slowly and provides you with a steady supply of energy.Some foods you can look to boost your energy include:Sweet potatoesBananasFatty fishLean chickenTurkeyKaleNutsBerriesOur extensive recipe catalog can also help you discover healthy and delicious ways to prepare each of these items.Exercise to Boost Your EnergyGetting at least 30 minutes of light cardio exercise a day is another effective way to combat drowsiness. Aerobic exercise causes the body to release endorphins, and these chemicals can create a level of activity in the brain and help you stay alert. Not to mention, exercise can boost your overall mood and you may even feel more relaxed after a workout. However, it’s best to avoid vigorous exercise before bedtime. Intense exercise raises your heart rate and body temperature, so some sleepers may find it difficult to fall asleep.What Other Medications Cause Drowsiness?Antibiotics are not the only medications known to cause fatigue. In fact, drowsiness is one of the most common side effects of most over-the-counter medicines and other prescribed medications. Here are a few medications that are known to cause bouts of sleepiness:Anti-anxiety medicationsAntidepressantsAntihistaminesBlood pressure medicationsCough medicineFAQSHow do I overcome the side effects of antibiotics?Taking antibiotics can cause uncomfortable side effects such as drowsiness and upset stomach, but there are a few ways to reduce the discomfort. Many individuals try drinking herbal teas with ginger to keep their stomachs settled. To combat drowsiness, it may be a good idea to ask your doctor if you can take your antibiotic at night. Additionally, you can try eating energy-boosting foods like bananas, throughout the day to keep you refreshed.What foods should I avoid while on antibiotics?Grapefruits are a common food to avoid while taking antibiotics. While grapefruits are a tasty fruit, they also contain organic chemicals known as furanocoumarin. These chemicals prevent your body from metabolizing and absorbing the antibiotics, lessening the overall effects.Do antibiotics cause depression?Not all antibiotics have not been linked to depression, but they have been associated with increased risk of anxiety—a common precursor to depression. Some researchers believe antibiotics disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut and can harm how the brain cells communicate.A recent study suggested this loss of gut bacteria is also linked to a reduction in white blood cells. The loss of these cells can inhibit harmful inflammation and can be a sign of advancing Alzheimer’s or major depression.How can I boost my immune system while taking antibiotics?While antibiotics may help treat some illnesses, they can cause damage to your body’s cells and harm the healthy flora in your colon. One of the best ways to boost your immunity is by eating two cups of fruits and two and a half cups of vegetables daily. These are foods rich in vitamins C, E, carotenoids, and bioflavonoids—all of which have antioxidant properties.Do antibiotics kill viruses?Antibiotics are only needed for treating certain infections caused by bacteria and do not kill viruses. Common illnesses caused by bacteria include urinary tract infections, strep throat, and some cases of pneumonia, while viruses typically cause bronchitis, common colds or sore throats. In most cases viral infections require either vaccinations to prevent them or antiviral medications to treat them.ConclusionAntibiotics are effective for fighting off bacterial infections, but despite their benefits, they can also come with side effects such as nausea, headaches, and drowsiness. If you experience fatigue while taking antibiotics, eating superfoods like bananas and nuts may help keep you alert. Not to mention, foods packed with protein keep your body energized so you can conquer the day with ease.You can also try taking a 25-minute power nap when you feel your sleepiness is taking over. It’s best to honor what your body is feeling by recharging with a few minutes of rest so you can stay focused throughout the day.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. 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