Night sweats

Find a symptom by its first letter

Definition

Night sweats are episodes of nighttime sweating that soak your nightclothes or bedding and are related to some underlying cause. You may occasionally awaken after perspiring excessively, particularly if you are sleeping under too many blankets or if your bedroom is too warm. These episodes are usually not labeled as night sweats and, although uncomfortable, typically aren’t a sign of a medical problem.

Causes

Medications that can cause night sweats

Night sweats are a common side effect of many medications, such as:

  • Depression medications (antidepressants)
  • Drugs used to regulate your hormones (hormone therapy)
  • Drugs that lower the level of sugar in your blood (hypoglycemic agents)

Medical conditions that can cause night sweats

Diseases and conditions that can cause night sweats include:

  • Anxiety
  • Autonomic neuropathy (damage to your autonomic nerves)
  • Brucellosis (a bacterial infection)
  • Carcinoid syndrome (a syndrome resulting from a certain type of cancerous tumor)
  • Endocarditis (an infection of your heart lining)
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Hodgkin’s disease)
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • Leukemia
  • Menopause
  • Myelofibrosis (a bone marrow disorder)
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Osteomyelitis (a bone infection)
  • Pheochromocytoma (a rare adrenal gland tumor)
  • Pyogenic abscess (a pus-filled cavity caused by an infection)
  • Sleep disorders (such as obstructive sleep apnea)
  • Stroke
  • Syringomyelia (a fluid-filled cyst in the spinal cord)
  • Tuberculosis

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