You thought you’d feel better after your doctor prescribed you an antibiotic for your sinus infection. Instead, you feel slightly nauseous, have an upset stomach, and can’t seem to wake up. Is the lack of energy you are experiencing a carry-over from your illness or a side effect of your antibiotic?
Even though we’ve been using antibiotics since the early 1900s, there are still times when their side effects might catch us by surprise. We’ll help you understand what they can do and what you can do to help support your health while you use your medication.
What Do Antibiotics Do in the Body?
Sickness usually happens because of viruses or bacteria. Viruses can’t be treated with antibiotics, which must usually run their course. In extreme cases, antibody treatments might be given to someone with a bad virus.
For infections like bronchitis, sinus infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and skin infections, an antibiotic can help speed up your recovery.
How Antibiotics Work
Like your own immune cells, antibiotics work by attacking the harmful bacteria in your body. They give your immune system a helping hand by stopping processes in the bacteria that allow them to regenerate.
There are several different types of antibiotics:
- Broad spectrum antibiotics. These types of antibiotics can kill many different types of harmful bacteria. Examples of these types of antibiotics are amoxicillin and doxycycline.
- Narrow spectrum antibiotics. These antibiotics are only effective on specific types of bacterial infections. Examples of these include penicillin and azithromycin.
Depending on your type of infection, your doctor or healthcare provider will prescribe you an antibiotic that will help fight your infection. Hopefully, this happens with the least amount of potential side effects possible.
Can Antibiotics Make You Feel Tired?
Short answer: maybe. Drowsiness from antibiotics is a known but very rare side effect. Every drug, including antibiotics, have lists of side effects that range from common to rare. For instance, a common side effect of antibiotics can be a yeast infection. More serious side effects can be shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and even life-threatening side effects that require immediate medical attention.
While your antibiotic may make you tired, it’s not likely. If you’re tired while you’re on your prescription, it could be due to your body fighting off the infection; just another side effect of being sick. It could also result from other medications you are taking along with your antibiotics.
For instance, over-the-counter antihistamines, antidepressants, and some blood pressure medications are known for making users sleepy. If you’re taking these with an antibiotic, ask your doctor if that could be the culprit for your energy crisis.
Do All Antibiotics Cause Tiredness?
Most don’t, but if you find you are especially sensitive to a course of antibiotics, you might want to keep that in mind the next time you get sick and try to create extra time to allow yourself to rest.
While antibiotics might not make you tired, they do have other side effects that could lead you to feeling fatigued. For instance, if you have digestive issues when you take antibiotics, you might feel dehydrated by the end of the day, leaving you sleepy.
What Other Side Effects Can Antibiotics Have?
If you’ve ever read the label on your antibiotic package, we’d like to give you a round of applause for your patience. We’d also like to caution you to know that, for most people, those side effects are rare.
Antibiotics are powerful drugs, and the side effects are real. Here are some common side effects that almost everyone will experience from taking an antibiotic:
- Digestive issues. Antibiotics are good at their job of killing bad bacteria. The problem is, they’re so good at what they do that they kill good bacteria too. In your gut, that means the balance of your gut flora becomes compromised.
This imbalance can lead to digestive issues like bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhea. It can also lead to more severe issues like weakened immunity.
- Antibiotic resistance. The more we use antibiotics, the more opportunities we give bad bacteria to develop an immunity to them. In the U.S., it’s estimated that about one in three prescriptions for antibiotics yearly are unnecessary.
- Rashes. Allergic reactions to antibiotics are more common than you might think. Breaking out in hives within minutes of taking your medication is a common side effect and is usually not considered a severe side effect. If you get a rash from your medication, call your doctor and ask if you can try something different.
Interestingly, new research is exploring the effects of antibiotic use on the mitochondria in our cells. The mitochondria in our cells are responsible for energy production in the cells and in our bodies. Research has revealed that antibiotic use may inhibit energy production in the mitochondria, which could, in turn, leave us feeling depleted and tired.
How Can You Combat Tiredness From Antibiotics?
It’s best to always listen to your doctor or healthcare provider’s medical advice, and if that advice includes using an antibiotic, it’s important to listen. However, if you end up feeling drained, there are steps you can take to combat the fatigue.
Get Enough Rest
When you’re sick, rest is best. Even though the report is due or the vacation is planned, carving out time to allow your body to heal will help you get better faster. This is especially true if you feel tired and are running a fever.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
It can be hard to eat a healthy diet, especially if you’re sick. The problem is that your body needs those vitamins and nutrients more than ever while it fights off your infection. If you have trouble getting in three squares, try adding a few energy-boosting foods.
These foods help support your body, give you energy, and are also loaded with vital proteins, nutrients, and antioxidants to help your immune system fight off your infection.
Consider Supplements for Extra Wellness Support
Taking additional vitamin C and zinc is a no-brainer when we have a cold or feel one coming on. You can take your preventive and protective measures a step further by tossing in a greens powder to your daily healthcare routine.
L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens contains the ingredients your body needs to thrive and can help you feel your best even when you’re sick.
Here’s what’s inside every scoop:
- 30 superfoods and nine greens. It can be hard to get in your greens, especially when medication weakens your appetite. One scoop of greens powder gives you your daily allotment of leafy greens, so your body doesn’t miss out on nutrients.
- M-Charge Complex. A proprietary ingredient you’ll only find in L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens powders, this blend boosts your mitochondrial function, helping them power your cells so you can feel more energized.
- Digestive blend. Each scoop of our greens powder contains both probiotics and prebiotics to help support and sustain the health of your gut. When you’re taking an antibiotic, your gut health suffers. Restoring it with probiotics, prebiotics, and insoluble fiber helps get it back on track.
- Antioxidant and anti-aging blend. We fill each scoop of our greens powder with powerful and potent antioxidants to help protect your cells against oxidative stress that can affect cellular function and result in lower energy levels.
- Mushroom blend. The blend of mushrooms in our greens powders helps support healthy cholesterol and sodium levels and supports your cognitive function.
When you’re fighting infection, you want to give your body every possible benefit to help it get better fast. Adding a greens powder can help you feel better and fight fatigue while your body fights infection.
Once you’re on the mend, get moving. Expending energy helps you enjoy more energy. Start slow, with a ten-minute walk or a few minutes of stretching. If you’re battling a foggy head and tiredness, movement can help you shake it off.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
It’s most important to listen to the people who know best. Doctors are trained to help you feel better fast and have a working knowledge of medications and their side effects. Take the medications as your doctor prescribes, and if you experience unpleasant side effects, let them know.
The Bottom Line
Being sick is a part of life, and taking an antibiotic when you have an infection can help you feel better fast. If you feel tired while taking your antibiotic, take steps to feel better. Adding in a greens powder can support your health when you’re well and when you’re sick. Support your body and your energy levels.
L’Evate You is the easy way to fill in dietary gaps and restore your energy levels naturally.
Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care | Patient Safety | CDC
Some Antibiotics are Riskier than Others: What You Should Know about Quinolones
CDC: 1 in 3 antibiotic prescriptions unnecessary|CDC.gov
Do antibiotics cause mitochondrial and immune cell dysfunction? A literature review | Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy | Oxford Academic