Taking an AntiHistamine as a Sleep Aid???

  1. If anyone is a doctor or nurse or has any experience, I would like your advice.

    Sometimes I have trouble sleeping so I've started taking a benadryl before bed each night because it makes me sleepy. My mom and dad have both been doing this for a while and they say it helps them and they feel no adverse effects. I'm just wondering if there are any possible negative side effects of taking an antihistamine everyday... will it stop working? Will my sleep become dependent on this? Whatever you can tell me. I know NOTHING about drugs. This seemed safe to me because it was OTC and I'm thinking that there are people who take it alot for allergies.... advice?

  2. I think the problem with taking an antihistamine regularly for sleep is that you can become addicted to it in the sense that you won't be able to fall asleep without it.

    That said I was once in an emergency room because of pain and a botched surgery in which the sutures came open and the attending physician told me to take antihistamines in order to sleep through the pain. I wasn't taking any pain-killers at the time except for Tylenol.

    So I *might* take an antihistamine once in a blue moon (like once every six months) in order to sleep but I wouldn't take it more frequently than that. I wouldn't want to disrupt my sleep pattern or my tendency to fall asleep without an aid.
  3. Don't. It stops working after a while. And you have more trouble trying to sleep without it.

    I did it once when I had sinus problems, so taking a Benadryl at night seemed to be the best thing - I could fall asleep and not have pain and pressure in my head. But after doing that for about a week, I found myself staying up until 3am because I couldn't fall asleep without it anymore. It took me about a month to get rid of all the bad sleep patterns.
  4. I agree with the other ladies...taking it a few times would be okay, but I wouldn't start taking it regularly.
  5. it's actually recommended by drs before going on to try an rx for sleep. most drs would rather patients do that cause most sleep aids are controlled substances that can easily cause death if not used right. i'm not saying that you cant OD from benedryl, you can but it would take a little more effort in doing so.

    of course this depends on the dr... most drs prescribe the most expensive medicines cause they get a cut of it... but that's another story
  6. Tangerine - I have stretches where I can't sleep well. I will take half an excedrin pm, and it helps me to fall asleep, and then go back to sleep if I have to get up during the night. I do this for three or four months at a time. When I decide to come off, I experience a day or two where I can't fall asleep easily, but after that things are fine.
  7. Um, no. :cursing:

    If I got a cut out of everything I've prescribed I'd be a lot richer now...
  8. Most of the Drs here co-own their own pharmacy next to their clinic. Hopefully that makes sense. But majority of the Drs prescribe newer medicine because the drug reps promote it. Of course it's not with every dr but at least the Dr that I go to, he will NEVER prescribe me a med with a generic and that honestly bothers me cause for a while I didn't have health insurance.
  9. I'm sorry that your doctor only prescribes expensive meds...I hope I don't do that when I'm in private practice. But in residency now I am constantly prescribing generic meds because most of our clinic patients are either uninsured or under-insured and there is no way they could afford brand-name meds.

    Sorry for the :cursing: - PMSing right now. :p
  10. Eh, I hate doctors like that. I had a doctor who did that, and I switched. My new doctor is a sweetie. For minor ailments she gives me samples from her office.
  11. My doctor gave an Rx for a sleep aid and she suggested I alternate it every other night with an OTC with benedryl. I tried that, but I didn't like the after effects of the benadryl.

  12. Just be careful with any otc or rx meds for sleeps aids use them with caution.
  13. Theres also those herbal "sleepytime" teas... I don't know if they really work but i always see them advertised.
  14. I think the lavender and camomile teas really do work. I've sipped those before bed-time and they really have calmed me and helped me sleep. Warm milk also has some substance in it that is very sleep-inducing. So does chicken I have heard.
  15. I once had a doctor suggest I take Benedryl as a sleep aid and she said it was safe. I don't like to though because it's very hard for me to wake up if I take it and I have to allow myself at least 10 hours to sleep if I do.