April 21, 2006

  • Well, blister it.

    I've been ill this past week....nothing serious, just the Crud going around, involving congestion, coughing, headache, etc.  Finally called the doctor's office on Wednesday and the PA called out a couple of prescriptions, one for an antibiotic (a course of antibiotics taken over just five days?  Sweet!) and a decongestant.

    Feeling better, which is good, except this is the second night without sleep.  Not so good.

    I'm a lousy sleeper under the best of circumstances, but this is unusual even for me.  A friend has mentioned her problems sleeping, and that it's due to a medication she's been given, so that got me to thinking.  Hmmm.  I wonder....?

    Not like there's a lot else to do at 5 something in the morning, after all.

    Googled Pseudovent, the decongestant, and there it is, listed under the "more common" side effects:  sleeplessness (insomnia).

    Mystery solved!  Except I'm supposed to continue taking this stuff for several days yet, and while it's true I'm accustomed to functioning on comparatively little sleep, even I require some shut-eye.  Perhaps when I go to the store today (as I do most days; it's ridiculous) I'll ask the pharmacist if there's another decongestant that doesn't have that particular side effect, and if so, I'll call the doctor's office to request it instead.

    It'd never occurred to me 'ere this that insomnia can be a side effect of a decongestant.  Sort of thought, if anything, decongestants tend to knock one out.  I'm going to try to remember in future to ask the doctor's office check for that as a possible side effect, and try to prescribe a medication without it.

Comments (2)

  • Now by no means do I know everything, but I'm fairly sure that decongestants by definition can cause sleeplessness. (Maybe someday they'll invent something different, but the way they work know, they're mild stimulants.) Some people can't even give their kids kid-strength OTC decons because they get so wired. We had an interesting incident with Josh when he was about a year old. Anna had never had this problem, so one night when he was seeming really uncomfy from a cold we gave him a decongestant.

    He got a lot happier. BOY did he get happy. He was literally giggling and bouncing around in our bed with glee. None of the three of us got much sleep that night. At least Josh was happy about it!

    I've heard of worse, though -- some kids get really cranky or go on crying jags with the stuff.

    I'm not terribly inclined toward insomnia, but I generally avoid decongestants at bedtime myself. I either try to manage without, or if I'm really uncomfy, I switch to Benadryl or Nyquil. (Did you know the active "sleep aid" ingredient in Tylenol PM is the active ingredient in Benadryl?)

    At any rate, I know all the OTC decongestants have this effect. There might be something in prescription strength that could work.

    That crud's no fun, is it? It swept through the family -- took us about a month to get from the first one coming down with it to the last one getting over it. I only got a mild cold, but I got a nasty cough that hung for two weeks. Some of my kids had lingering up and down, up and down fevers that made them really miserable.

  • This IS a prescription decongestant. 

    I might just take it this morning then omit the dose in the evening.  Maybe that'll help.

    Had no idea decongestants act as a stimulant, though.  Apparently they didn't affect my children like that.  Fortunately. 

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