medications that should never be mixed with workouts

Working out can be a challenge in itself. Apart from sore muscles, tired and exhausted body, there can be additional side effects on taking some medications with workouts. Yes, you read it right. There are some medications that can bring side-effects if taken along with workouts).

Here are 10 medications that should never be mixed with workouts.

  1. Antidepressants


Antidepressants such as sertraline (Zoloft) and fluoxetine (Prozac) can result in extreme fatigue, making workouts more difficult. Moreover, there can also be a risk of injuries during fatigue as the individual is not completely alert. 

If you still want to take your pills, plan your workout schedule about 3 to 4 hours after you have taken your antidepressants.

  1. Long-acting sleeping pills

Long-acting sleeping pills
Sleeping pills can help an individual have a night of sound sleep through the night. Many people choose long-acting sleeping pills such as eszopiclone (Lunesta) and extended-release zolpidem (Ambien CR). The problem with these pills is that they can give the individual a daytime hangover as well. The individual may feel sleepy and drowsy even the day after taking them.

People taking these types of medications should not consider working out early in the morning. Choosing a late-morning or afternoon workout can be more suitable. Try not to go for workouts late in the evening as you may then have trouble sleeping at night. 

  1. Antihistamines


Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) are used for treating insomnia. Medications like diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine can also help treat common cold, allergy, and symptoms of flu. But, the problem with this medicine, in this case, is that just like sleeping pills, they can cause daytime drowsiness. So consider going on a later morning or afternoon workout when on these pills. 

  1. Diabetes medications

Diabetes medications

Patients with diabetes have to keep a regular check on their low blood sugar. Diabetes medications for insulin and sulfonylurea medications including glipizide have a high risk of hypoglycemia (trembling, nervousness, shaking). Working out lowers the blood sugar. Combining these medications with high-intensity workouts can be risky. 

Consult your doctor about a workout routine when taking diabetes medications. The doctor may be able to change the medication or dose or recommend other options for a safer side.

  1. Blood pressure medications – Beta Blockers 

Blood pressure medications - Beta Blockers 

Beta-blockers are taken to treat high blood pressure or some heart conditions. Beta-blockers can cover up the common symptoms of hypoglycemia like trembling, nervousness and shaking. Sweating is the only symptom of hypoglycemia which the beta-blockers do not mask. Beta-blockers can make workouts risky, especially for diabetes patients. 

  1. Statins


Statin medications include simvastatin and rosuvastatin which are the most commonly used prescribed drugs used to help lower cholesterol levels. But, statins can also result in muscle pain or cramps as a side effect. 

The muscle cramps are likely to go away after some days of taking these medications consistently. Until then, it is best for you to stick to workouts which do not strain the muscles too much. Go for moderate-intensity workouts like cardio, instead of muscle or weight training. 

  1. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are super-strong medications used to knock out the nasty infections caused by bacteria. Levofloxacin (Levaquin) and ciprofloxacin (Cipro) are two commonly used Fluoroquinolones. A major drawback of Fluoroquinolones is that they can lead to painful inflammation and in some cases, also, tearing of tendons (tissues which connect the muscles to the bones). High-intensity workouts can increase the risk of tendon rupture if you are taking Fluoroquinolones.

To be on the safer side, consider taking a break from your workout routine while you are taking these medicines. 

  1. Oral decongestants 

Oral decongestants 

Oral decongestants such as phenylephrine (Sudafed PE) and pseudoephedrine(Sudafed) are often found in medications for cold, flu, and allergy.  Oral decongestants can raise heart rate and blood pressure. If the individual’s heart rate or blood pressure is very high, he may get tired too fast. These medications can also increase the risk of having a heart attack or arrhythmia ( a condition characterized by irregular heartbeats). 

  1. Opioid pain relievers and muscle relaxants 

Opioid pain relievers and muscle relaxants 

Opioids (such as oxycodone) and muscle relaxants ( such as carisoprodol or Soma) affect the nervous system and can cause extreme dizziness and blurred vision. It is strictly advised to not work out with heavy machinery while on these pills. Due to their effect on the nervous system, they can also stop the nerves from telling the brain when the body is in pain, which is especially very dangerous during workouts as the individual might not even realize about sore muscles or even if he gets hurt.

  1. Laxatives


Laxatives are medicines used to loosen the stool or stimulate bowel movements. These might not be completely apt for the same medicine category as other medications in this list. But these medicines can bring serious side-effects if consumed with workouts. Laxatives can make the workout hurt more than usual.

Some laxatives work by stimulating the contraction of muscles in the gut, which can cause pain and cramping.

During exercises, less blood flows into the gut as the heart is occupied pumping blood to the brain and skeletal muscles, which can make the cramping worse. It is suggested to never hit the gym while you are taking these meds. 


Consult your doctor about the best way to include workout and exercises in your life when on any of the medications on this list. The doctor may help by changing the medicine or suggest alternative options and tips to prevent side-effects. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *