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Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for withdrawal insomnia

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Altostrata

For withdrawal insomnia, people often use Benadryl, a sedating antihistamine, to help sleep.

 

It's often an ingredient in nonprescription sleep aids, such as Nytol, Unisom, Tylenol PM, Excedrin PM, Midol PM and Advil PM.

 

Info about Diphenhydramine

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000704/

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diphenhydramine

 

The problem with is diphenhydramine is its beneficial sleep effect can wear off and it can go paradoxical -- it will keep you awake instead. So use it sparingly if you can.

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Nikki

Alto this is Hang Over time for me when I take antihistamines. Yes they do work, but they do not agree with me at all.

 

Not an option. I tried Calms Forte, but it didn't work. Propanol helps, but it can bring on depression.

 

Hugs

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Altostrata

Good point, Nikki. Diphenhydramine can have a hangover.

 

Have you tried cutting a Tylenol PM tablet in half or quarters?

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Phil

Is it true that Diphenhydramine is a mild ssri?

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Altostrata

The SSRIs evolved from antihistamines.

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Nadia

I've been resorting to diphenhydramine and also doxylamine succinate on occasion. I lik the doxylamine more. But I try to take it very sparingly. It also makes me groggy the next morning.

 

With diphenhydramine, my AM anxiety has sometimes gotten worse, and also my alerting system has sometimes reacted against it (as if I was trying to drug it and it was trying to fight back, which I guess is the case!), making me feel dread as I was falling asleep. I find it works OK if I'm not overly anxious to begin with. I've never taken it more than one day in a row, so I don't know about it wearing off.

 

That is very interesting that SSRIs were derived from antihistamines.

 

I have a feeling it would be best not to resort to these at all, but I sometimes give in after several nights of really bad sleep.

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Nadia

OK, so I paid dearly for taking the diphenhydramine... two nights of totally fractured, restless sleep. Gonna stay away from it.

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Altostrata

Yep, diphenhydramine for sleep often goes paradoxical.

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BRapsidy

I wish I could take Diphenhydramine. I take it and within 35 minutes I just want to crawl out of my skin. I took just 3/4's a tsp of kids Benydrel and it kept me up for about a hour or so. I was taking it for an itchy rash I got on my arm. I had to just sleep with ice packs on my arms and put anti itching lotion on my arms. When I was first WD I could handle taking a Benydrel here or there, but not any more. Hopefully this will correct itself since I get seasonal allergies and I use it to sleep when I have really bad attacks.

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Brandy

BRapsidy, I get itchy rashes too. (Very allergy-prone all my life, and the rashes/hives/itching got much worse for me in w/d.)

 

Although I'd taken antihistamines (including antivert for vertigo, which is an antihistamine for vertigo, a lifelong problem for me also) most of my life, I found I could no longer tolerate them orally at least, in w/d. Also had to stop using the cortisone spray (Rhinocort Aqua) I'd been using for severe seasonal respiratory allergies.

 

I found a couple of other options very helpful.

 

For itchy skin/rashes/hives, I now use an herbal cream called Florasone cream. (The name is misleading - it contains NO cortisone or anything cortisone-related. The name is a play on words since it's an herbal alternative to cortisone creams.) It's available in health food stores, but I use so much of it (for myself and for allergic family) that I find it's more economical to stock up online, usually from Swanson's when ordering other things anyway (they have flat-rate shipping). But you might want to try one tube purchased locally first to see if you like it.

 

The packaging calls it homeopathic, but it's really a 10% herbal (cardiospermum) tincture in a bland vegetable base, not what we normally think of as a homeopathic dilution by any means. My family and I find it amazingly effective, and you only need to put on a very thin layer to get results.

 

I now only seem to get bad respiratory allergies at the beginning of the year but that can go on for months (something that grows near me seasonally, obviously). I find NeilMed nasal rinse helps a LOT. Frankly, I'll never really like feeling all that water going through my sinuses, but the relief after using it makes it worth it!

 

NeilMed has a lot of products, but I use the original nasal rinse where you mix the packet (natural non-irritating saline ingredient) with distilled (or reverse osmosis) (NOT tap) water in plastic bottle and rinse sinuses as directed. Some of their other products contain ingredients that probably are useful for some people but which I know I don't tolerate. The original sinus rinse doesn't have those. It's available in most drug stores (never seen it in health food stores for some reason).

 

Hope that helps.

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laineyk

Hi was wondering about using Benadryl for w/d symptoms. anyone have experience with that?

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Hi laineyk,

 

Using benadryl is not generally recommended, especially if you are trying to use it for sleep. I found this quote from Alto:

 

 

The problem with is diphenhydramine is its beneficial sleep effect can wear off and it can go paradoxical -- it will keep you awake instead.

 

I found this to be true. When I was still on meds, the doc told me I could try it and I was up to 3 tabs a night for only a short time when I had to stop. Had the worst headache from using it. Generally, only high quality fish oil and magnesium are recommended to cope with symptoms and other non-medical aids such as relaxing music, room darkening at night, etc. No one here (I think) has found a magic bullet or it would be shouted from the rooftops! 

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Altostrata

Please use search before starting new topics.

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mattinsmom

I have found that if I am having a significant allergic reaction to something Benadryl will stop the reaction and I won't experience any side effects. If I take it for any other reason I may get that zoned out feeling. If I sleep it is a restless sleep and I am outright mean the next day. 

 

Alto's information: "The SSRIs evolved from antihistamines". was something that I did not know. I was kept on Benadryl for springs and summers until I was probably 11. I'm serious, I took it every day. Falls and winters brought cough medicine with codeine. Ohhh, just had a s****y aha moment. Time to journal. 

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Ellen042

I've found that not only does Benadryl wear of as a sleep aid with long term use, but its anxiolytic effect also wears off with prolonged use. Just my own personal experience, but doesn't surprise me.

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btdt

If you look you will find people who have been or are addicted to antihistamines.  

I found it set back my withdrawal I used it only when I felt not sleeping was causing symptoms I was scared of really scared of I was losing it... then i would take 1/4 and even with this low dose I would feel my withdrawal became worse after I have used it.  Some feed back mechanism is what caused it or so I learned when  I read about it long ago... I had already had a paradoxical reaction to benzo for sleep before this and was not into taking any sleep meds.  I found I could go about 3-4 days without sleep after that I got dangerous and would take something. 

Tho I battles insomnia and broken sleep for years I took !/4 dose only 3-4 times during all that... as the fallout was just not worth it. 

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ravijaua

I took doxylamine succinate half a pill or 12.5 mg for 4 months when my first tolerance poopout started after 9 years on paxil. I helped me sleep for those 4 months, but I also suffered from dry mouth, etc. I think it does negatively effect withdrawal and tolerance and causes rebound anxiety in the long run and loses it effect on sleep and anxiety.

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genlady

I've tried Nytol, and all of its counter parts and it did nothing to help me sleep.  I'm taking L-Glutamine 5 grams four times a day and my sleep is getting better.  

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dluv

Diphenhydramine works very well for me (calmed me down and made me sleep on several occasions) 

However now I'm tempted to use it for a few consecutive nights and I'm worried about doing it too much, what would be too much?

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chicken

I have always been able to use Benedryl until I had my withdrawal problems....Just as the warning in the OP indicates...it went paradoxical on me. Now I will not touch it.

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