Are There Any Medications That Can Cause Stress?

Dr. Williams answers the question: 'Are There Medications That Cause Stress?'

ByABC News
April 16, 2008, 6:01 PM

— -- Question: Are there any medications that can cause stress?

Answer: Some medications can lead to stress. I mean, the most classical example would be medication that has certain side effects -- makes your stomach upset, or makes your heart beat too fast. The physiological experience of these side effects can be stressful in and of itself. There are other medications which indeed often are designed to help manage stress -- or help to reduce stress levels -- that some people have a paradoxical response and actually become more stressed when they take those medications.

That's a very particular adverse effect of some medications. Some people who are on, for example, medications to keep their blood sugar under control -- people with diabetes -- if they use too much of the drug or don't eat, or take something with it, with the drug -- like too much alcohol that can cause the blood sugar levels to plunge to a very low level -- this can cause a hypoglycemic attack, which is very, very stressful to people. It can be even life threatening, but just the symptoms of the heart racing, feeling light-headed, dizzy and so forth can be very stressful to some people.

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