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Old 02-22-2008, 10:17 AM   #1
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Default can taking benadryl everyday hurt you?

I've been going back and forth to the doctor and doing tests for sometime now to find out what's wrong with me, one of the things being insomnia. i asked the doctor, if in the meantime i could have a mild sleep-aid, something that would allow me to get up if my son needed me. she said she wants me to go to the psychologist first. (my husband works nights and i have a lot of fears about someone breaking in, she thinks i'm delusional) so she told me to take a benadryl to help me sleep. my concern here is, i saw an episode of montel before where children were being killed, because babysitters were giving them benedryl, not knowing that it builds up in their bodies overtime. i'm wondering if i should keep taking these, i did take one last night, and slept 6 hours, usually i don't sleep at all at night, (literally, it's gotten to the point where i don't even lay down) and i nap with my son during the day. i felt great today though, woke up a little before 7, i've picked up my living room, swept and swiffered, and i'm generally just feeling better. anyways, doc is on maternity leave and i hate to re-hash everything with a new doc, i need to call and reschedule with the psych, but it'll be a two week wait. any suggestions?
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:31 AM   #2
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I don't think it should hurt you - I've been taking one every night for awhile because my allergies/sinuses are so bad... I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't, because I wouldn't be able to breathe. I wouldn't worry about it - take it until you find another solution, and get some sleep!

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Old 02-22-2008, 10:58 AM   #3
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I would think that if you are only taking at night you should be just fine. If you were to take it around the clock long-term, then I would certainly think twice, as with any medication. But if you are only taking one dose per 24-hour period, I would think your body would be clear between doses. To put your mind at ease, talk with your doctor or even a trusted pharmacist about it. Also be sure not to mix any medications without checking as well. Benadryl cannot be taken with certain other medications (MAOI inhibitors, sedatives, or tranquilizers), so if you do get any other meds, check for interactions before starting them.

Hope things work out for you, and I'm glad you had a good night's sleep and a very productive morning!
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:08 AM   #4
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I would talk to a pharmacist about it. Doctors aren't usually as versed in drug interactions and pharmacology as pharmacists are.

I would think one dose wouldn't hurt you- an adult body is different from a child, but I also know that anything can cause problems if you have too much. I don't think it's made for long term use!
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:17 AM   #5
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Also, I would get the syrup (children's) version and try taking only what you need. The full adult dose is 1 tsp, I think, but I know that I can take just 1/2 tsp and it usually does the trick.

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Old 02-22-2008, 12:39 PM   #6
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I took benadryl everyday from about the time I was 7 until I was in my 30's...for allergies. (correct dosage for my weight throughout)

By all means ask someone professional.

(and I find it so funny that benadryl is an OTC sleep aid...because it has always disrupted my sleep pattern...I sleep really hard for about 4 hours, then I sleep walk, sleep talk, wake up, etc...it did always make for a good afternoon nap (I was single, no kids)!)

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Old 02-22-2008, 01:19 PM   #7
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Benadryl has been known to have to opposite effect on ppl (like koopdedoo's).
It is one of the ingredients some of the OTC sleep aides such as Tylenol PM I believe. Just be cautious of what else you are taking. People can take extra of some meds and not even realize it with all the combo drugs out there. There are some herbal things you could try, but talk to your md or pharmacists as these can interact with meds (script and otc as well).
I had a patient once who told me he did not want to become addicted to sleep medications and that they made him sleepy. I responded, "Yes John, taking a sleeping pill will generally make you sleep.. you consider drowsiness (he was complaining of drowsiness within an hour or two of taking the pill)as side effect, I think it is the desired effect." He spoke to the doctor and they changed it to a med less likely to cause 'addiction'. There are lots of things that can help, don't be afraid to explore the options even if it is with the on-call doctor....Just a thought too, how long are your naps in the afternoons with your son? If you are napping a considerable amount of time, you may not be able to sleep in the evening (everyone has circadian rhythms and your innocent nap may be throwing them off) Just a thought...good luck...lack of sleep is tough....
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:33 PM   #8
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My dh was having issues sleeping after returning from Iraq both times and recently again for nothing more than stress and his doctors have all (3 of them) recommended Benedryl. I have also taken it and my doc said there were no side effects from long term use. BUT every doc has a different way of thinking.
If you use it for a while until your doctor returns or you can talk to someone else I dont feel that it will hurt you at all.


I have been having troubles with sleeping recently due to pain and started taking something called "Percogesic" and it also causes drowsiness and it helps me to sleep!
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:09 PM   #9
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I give my son Melatonin...it calms him down and is harmless.
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:14 PM   #10
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I have been taking a benadryl a night for over 6 months per doctor's orders. After a very stressful day, I will take 2.
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:40 PM   #11
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I give my son Melatonin...it calms him down and is harmless.
We have also used melatonin. It does help.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:33 PM   #12
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I don't know about Benedryl, but my DS was on round-the-clock antihistamines for 6 months last year.

If you are doing this, you will find that eventually it will stop working and you will have to go to a new antihistamine. After a while, that one will stop working as well, etc. After a period of time, you can cycle back through the same antihistamines and they will work again. Just make sure that you are switching between antihistamines that are different meds. For example, Benedryl, Allegra and Reactine are all different drugs, but Aerius and Reactine are the same basic drug.

Benedryl has something in it that is has a similar impact on the body to alcohol and it was the one med that we were told to keep DS away from when we were cycling him (doctor told us it was more dangerous to drive with Benedryl than with alcohol). That's the only reason I wonder about whether or Benedryl would be safe long-term - it has something else in it. A pharamcist could tell you.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LidaB View Post
I don't think it should hurt you - I've been taking one every night for awhile because my allergies/sinuses are so bad... I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't, because I wouldn't be able to breathe. I wouldn't worry about it - take it until you find another solution, and get some sleep!

Lisa

My DH has been doing this also for about 3 yrs. He sleeps much better when he does that. I can always tell when he has missed his Benadryl because he snores alot louder! Knocks him out pretty quickly too! It is not right for everyone but if it is a temporary you may be ok! Good Luck!
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Old 02-23-2008, 11:55 AM   #14
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Default Benadryl

I've been taking Benadryl since it came on the market, usually every night. However, I have severe allergies and asthma. I don't know if it's good to take long-term just for sleeping purposes or not. My main concern there would be if you ever have to take it and you have become immune to it.
It can help save your life if you ever have a serious allergy problem.

You might see if you can get some mild sleeping drug from your doctor.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:08 PM   #15
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Post Benadryl for sleeping

Please go see a doctor about your problem. It sounds like you have some anxiety problems. Use the Benadryl until you can find another solution.
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Old 02-23-2008, 03:09 PM   #16
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I understand your fears about your husband working 3rd shift and you not being able to sleep. I used to go through the same thing. If you need someone to talk to, PM me. Also, my husband takes Benadryl every morning to get to sleep when he is on 3rd shift.
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:06 PM   #17
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I used to work night shift and DH worked days so I was weary of sleeping during the day b/c I was afraid that someone would break in not thinking anyone would be home

KWIM?

I took Benadryl almost daily for about 3 years straight and it didn't bother me.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:13 PM   #18
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as for the benadryl, be careful... and I agree with others about talking to the pharmacist. A lot of times people that have a serious problem /overdose ( such as on Montel) were being overdosed with the medicine... more than what was allotted for their age and size....

I just went to the Psych- he diagnosed me as mild bipolar, and also anxiety disorder ( not sleeping, shakes, irritated a lot more than needed to be etc ) and gave me meds for both, and I am much more normal. I sleep better at night, I don't freak out, and I am not a zombie ( made sure I talked to him about several anti anxiety meds and doses that allowed me to still take care of my family) .
They diagnosed me bipolar- tried me on Celexa and then Paxil for the anxiety and both made my symptoms worse, and then the psych did an evaluation.... that often those with bipolar end up with worse symptoms on that family of meds.
Be careful though with any type of medicine because you can become dependent on them....
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:10 PM   #19
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Gave it to my daughter and she saw wild dogs!!!! I've never had it in my house again!!!My husband took it for years before he got on something better(he has major allergies)...I have it on her record as being allergic
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:35 PM   #20
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Default Taking Benadryl long-term

Each person has a different body chemistry, so what works for one may not work for another person. You should also be careful of drug interactions. There are several strengths and kinds of Benadryl too.
My allergies are severe enough that I'm on disability because of them. I've had several reactions to allergy shots and they gave me Benadryl as well as a few other drugs while I was being monitored and then send it home with me. If it's capable of being a life saving medication for me, then I take it.

The more replies I read on this topic, the more I'm convinced you need to see someone about your problem and not rely on Benadryl.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:50 PM   #21
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I also hear that Tylenol PM contains the same drowsy drug as Benadryl without the antihistamine, so you may feel more comfortable with that.
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Old 02-25-2008, 03:08 AM   #22
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Benadryl is an old fashioned ( but effective ) antihistimine. It is not a mix of drugs. Benadryl was the Reactine, Aerius, Claritin of today, so I cannot see how it can be dangerous. Of course, the newer antihistmines are different drugs from Benadryl - and don't make you drowsy - or much less so than does Benadryl.

So I think in the past Benadryl was taken on a daily basis by allergy suffers just as Aerius is now, however, it had the negative sideeffect of drowsiness.

I would say, do see you doctor as soon as you can, or discuss it with you pharmacist - but if for now, it is allowing you to sleep well at night, and not causing daytime drowsiness - I can see no danger in taking it at all.

In fact, when you take Tylenol PM - you are getting some sort of mix of drugs - Tylenol ( hard on your liver in big doses ) plus whatever they have put into it to help you sleep. I would stick with one drug and not a mix.

Just my take on things. My sons and husband have all had to take it `( briefly ) for allergies - and it does make them sleepy. For a bad allergic reaction , benadryl is still the drug of choice.
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Old 02-25-2008, 05:18 PM   #23
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I take ONE tylenol pm most nights to help sleep and to help with aches and pains. Doc said he couldn't see a problem. But for sure talk to doc, cuz everyone is different.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:05 PM   #24
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I also hear that Tylenol PM contains the same drowsy drug as Benadryl without the antihistamine, so you may feel more comfortable with that.

Benadryl is diphenhydramine (or something like that). It IS the sleeping ingredient in any of the sleeping meds. If you read and compare the labels on these meds you can verify this for yourself. Tylenol PM is not benadryl without... it's aceteminophen plus diphenhydramine. Or Benadryl+Tylenol. However you want to look at it.

So instead of paying for high priced Tylenol PM, I take generic diphenhydramine instead. Much cheaper. And I take only half a pill at a time, or else I'm super groggy the next day.

Anyway, you won't want to combine benadryl with your Tylenol PM or you'll be getting a double dose of the same medication. Plus, if you are only sleepy and not in any pain, why take the extra tylenol your body doesn't need?
I think that some of the 'reactions' people have to benadryl are to the red dye in the capsule, not necessarily the active ingredient. Kids in particular seem to be sensitive to red dyes.... This is just my own opinion,but I have been reading a lot about red dyes and the effect it has... I mean, I'm sure that it's also likely that people react the opposite to benadryl. I know the studies have shown that benadryl has no effect on small children...

Anyway, not really intended to be a hijack, but just wanted to comment on this.


I have some friends who work in the medical field who tell me that the doctors who work on crazy rotations rely on benadryl to help them sleep.

Back to the OP, I hope you find an answer and find something that works. I find that benadryl helps me to knock me out -especially at times where I'm not able to shut off my 'waking mind' and fall asleep on my own. It might be a good 'in the meantime' solution for you... until you get a doctor to address any underlying issues. Good luck to you!
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:12 PM   #25
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Default Benadryl (diphenhydramine)

Diphenhydramine (generic name) or Benadryl is commonly used to treat the SYMPTOMS of allergic reactions d/t the body's release of histamine. We use diphenhydramine all the time in the ICU and ER to treat reactions to medications and/or blood transfusions, itching, anaphylaxis (throat swelling d/t allergic reaction). We of course give alot larger doses than what is recommended on the OTC packaging. It does enter breast milk, so if you are breast feeding your little one may be sleepier than normal. It is not recommended taking the medication w/alcohol, other sedatives/hypnotics due to the increased central nervous system depression (decreased level of functioning). MAO Inhibitors (in some antidepresants) intensify and prolong the anticholinergic (dries up the saliva, mucus, tears, slows the bowel tract, etc.) effects. ANYWAY...too much schooling!
In a nut shell...Benadryl is a safe and effective medication if taken properly and not abused. The common dosing for sleeplessness is 50mg 20-30minutes before bed. The drug will cause dry mouth (remember the anticholinergic thingy above?) and can cause skin sentisivity to the sun, wear sunscreen!
Last note: If you do not need the TYLENOL, don't take it! Tylenol PM does have diphenhydramine in it, but also Tylenol. OTC meds like benadryl, Unisom and Diphenhist only have the diphenhydramine...
Hope it helps!
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Old 03-01-2008, 10:41 PM   #26
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For be taking Beneadryl can makes me very sick, I break out in a RASH from it.

I learn this a long time ago. So I stay away from it all together!
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Old 03-02-2008, 06:08 PM   #27
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I carry benadryl with me at all time as I am allergic to bee stings.......I also get hives every month like clock work so I have been taking this product for years and can honestly say it has saved my life more than once.........that being said alway talk to your pharmacist as they are the med specialist good luck with you sleeping issues.
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