4 Types of Medications that Cause Sleeplessness in Patients

A lot of medications trigger sleeplessness in patients.  Here are five medication types that cause insomnia:


Used to treat high cholesterol levels, statins such as rosuvastatin, atorvastatin, and simvastatin cause muscle aches that keep patients up at night. Worse, the pain caused by statins can even make it difficult for a person to move.

Statins disrupt muscle development by stopping its satellite cells production. Rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of skeletal muscle, is a result of muscle weakness and pain. The risk of insomnia is higher with fat-soluble statins since they can more easily enter cell membranes and go to the blood-brain barrier, which protects your brain against chemicals in the blood.


This medication type treats a wide variety of medical conditions, including respiratory problems, pain, inflammatory disorders, and allergies. Corticosteroids put too much strain in the adrenal glands, stimulating the mind and keeping the body awake. Aside from making it hard for a patient to relax and sleep, this medication may also lead to terrible dreams.


Pseudoephedrine and other systemic decongestants work to relieve nasal congestion for patients with colds and flu. However, they can cause sleeplessness, too. Be careful when administering pseudoephedrine to patients during the cold or allergy season.

ACE inhibitors

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors work by stopping the production of a hormone called angiotensin II that causes an increase in blood pressure. This is why ACE inhibitors are used for heart failure and high blood pressure treatments.

The downside of taking medications such as perindopril, lisinopril, benazepril, and moexipril? Electrolyte imbalance that leads to hacking, dry cough, painful joints and muscles, diarrhea, and leg cramps—and these are enough to keep a patient awake all night.

What other drugs can cause insomnia? Pharmacists should advise patients about the side effects of these types of medications, including insomnia.