Fatigue and Multiple SclerosisMost of us with multiple sclerosis (MS) suffer from fatigue. In fact, an estimated 70% of people with MS say that fatigue is their most disabling symptom. While much of our fatigue comes from the disease process itself or MS-related heat intolerance, there are many secondary causes of fatigue in MS. One thing that may be contributing to your fatigue could actually be some of the medications that you are taking to slow your MS or deal with specific symptoms. If you suffer from MS-related fatigue, it is important to investigate all possible causes, including side effects from some of your medications.
Use of Medications for High Blood Pressure and Glaucoma by People With MSPeople with MS develop the same age-related and lifestyle-related health problems as people without MS. One of these problems is high blood pressure, or hypertension. Another one of these problems is glaucoma, which is elevated pressure inside the eye. These conditions may need to be treated with medications, most of which fall into one of the following classes:
- Alpha-adrenergic blockers
- ACE inhibitors
- Calcium-channel blockers
But “Fatigue” Isn’t Listed as a Side Effect of My Drug:Most of the medications listed below have “tiredness” or “drowsiness” as a potential side effect. Some list “dizziness” or “weakness.” Others also have side effects like “sweating,” “trembling,” “difficulty breathing,” “lightheadedness,” “flushing,” “confusion,” “nausea/vomiting” or “fainting spells.” For someone that does not have MS, many of these effects could just be a passing annoyance. However, for those of us who battle MS-related fatigue on a daily basis, any of the discomforts listed above may be enough to tip the balance between a good day and a bad day, fatigue-wise.
Note To My Non-U.S. Friends: The list below includes brand names of drugs prescribed in the United States. For people in other countries, please refer to the generic name of the medication (which may be spelled slightly differently, depending on the country). Thanks for your understanding.
Drugs to Treat High Blood Pressure and Glaucoma That May Contribute to Fatigue in People with Multiple Sclerosis
Acebutolol (Sectral): A beta-blocker, available as capsules.
Amiloride (Midamor): A diuretic, available as a a tablet.
Atenolol (Tenormin): A beta-blocker, available as tablets, or Atenolol; Chlorthalidone (Tenoretic) is a combination of a beta-blocker and a diuretic, available as tablets.
Benazapril (Lotensin): An ACE inhibitor, available as a tablet.
Betaxolol (Kerlone, Betoptic): A beta-blocker often used for reducing interocular pressure from glaucoma or ocular hypertension, available as eye solution or suspension or tablets.
Carteolol (Cartrol, Ocupress): A beta-blocker used to treat glaucoma, available as eye solution or tablets.
Diltiazem (Cardizem CD, Cardizem LA, Cartia XT, Dilacor XR, Diltia XT, Tiazac, Taztia XT): A calcium-channel blocker, available as extended-release capsules or tablets.
Doxazocin (Cardura): An alpha-adrenergic receptor, available as extended-release tablets or tablets.
Guanfacine (Tenex): An antihypertensive, available as tablets.
Labatelol (Normodyne, Trandate): A beta-blocker, available as tablets.
Metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol): A beta-blocker, available as tablets or extended-release tablets.
Nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia): A calcium-channel blocker, available as capsules or extended-release tablets.
Perindopril (Aceon): Available as tablets.
Prazosin (Minipress, Minizide): An antihypertensive, which is often used for prostate problems. It is available as capsules.