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    Thread: Is diphenhydramine (Benadryl) addictive?

    1. #1
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      Is diphenhydramine (Benadryl) addictive?

      I have an overactive mind, and a moderately stressful life that has lately been making it difficult for me to wind down and fall asleep. I have been taking diphenhydramine tablets before going to bed, which seem to help me wind down. I understand that Benadryl is one of the safest sleep aids there is, and I would not consider taking medicines that are more potent, but my question is, how many nights in a row can I do this before becoming physically, or at least psychologically dependent on them? I do not want to depend on any external medication or supplement to fall asleep.

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      No, I don't think it is the safest sleep aid out there. I would highly advise on not taking Benadryl for a sleep aid. If you take more than you have to you will most likely have the side effects. Side effects include; dependency which will cause glaucoma, A breathing problem such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, Trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate gland and in more severe cases, it will destroy your liver and kidneys. It might even cause internal bleeding. You are better off seeing a doctor for your overactive mind. There are other sleep aids out there that can probably help you too. Just look through the threads here, I'm sure you can find ones that won't kill you?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ibeauty View Post
      No, I don't think it is the safest sleep aid out there. I would highly advise on not taking Benadryl for a sleep aid. If you take more than you have to you will most likely have the side effects. Side effects include; dependency which will cause glaucoma, A breathing problem such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, Trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate gland and in more severe cases, it will destroy your liver and kidneys. It might even cause internal bleeding. You are better off seeing a doctor for your overactive mind. There are other sleep aids out there that can probably help you too. Just look through the threads here, I'm sure you can find ones that won't kill you?
      Thanks for the advice, although I believe you are quite incorrect about those severe side effects. Benadryl is safe if not overdosed. I am simply wondering about dependency. I don't take it every night anyway. Mostly I'm looking for responses from people who have experience taking Benadryl on a regular basis. If I went to a doctor, I would most likely be issued a prescription for something far more dangerous.

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      Are these little Sleep Aid (diphenhydramine) tablets, you say? Yes, you could become depended on them like anything else. I'm glad you are not going to take it every night. how many nights in a row can I do this before becoming physically, or at least psychologically dependent on them? About a week or even a month and you probably feel the side effects: Insomnia is a problem for up to 30 percent of people. It can be caused by a number of different things and doctors categorize insomnia. Your physician can best evaluate if Benadryl is an appropriate medication for you since your physician has access to your medical information. About the warning, are you sure about that? Perhaps, you could do some research on it yourself. You could also develop a Blood Disorder, Severe Extra Heartbeat, Severe Hallucinations, Severe Seizures and Severe Blurred Vision. Well, that's it, though, any meds, either over the counter or prescription otherwise, CAN BE DANGEROUS. Also, if you were to take it for a long time, like everything else, you may cause you to have a dry mouth which is not good for your teeth and your mouth health in the long run. Plus, your body could become immune to it so, when you need it, it may not work. Besides, It probably wouldn't help you with becoming lucid or with your dream recall either. BTW you are not taking anything other medications? Because Certain drugs interact with Benadryl and may cause problems. However, take it at your own risk. I'm just being honest. (IMO)
      Last edited by Ibeauty; 09-03-2016 at 10:02 PM.
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      You can become tolerant to diphenhydramine pretty quickly. It can get to where you are taking upwards of 150mg at night just to sleep. Is it psychologically addictive? Only in weird cases... like people who take it for it's delirium inducing effect, which is absolutely bizarre because it makes you feel terribly physically uncomfortable, have terrible dry mouth, the inability to focus your eyes, you feel a sense of impending doom, and you see terrifying hallucinations that you can't distinguish from reality, and people describe it as having one of the worst hangovers of any drug, and it (the hangover) lasts for two days--some people actually get psychologically addicted to it, but it's extremely uncommon for people to even like such a terrible, not to mention neurotoxic, set of effects... let alone get addicted to it. In terms of using DPH as a sleep aid, I wouldn't say it's addicting, but it is most definitely habit forming. Typically, people who take sleep aids ignore the advice given by doctors that is often mentioned on the back of the label. If you have to take a sleep aid for any longer than every day for two weeks, you need to talk to your doctor about your issues with sleep.

      So, it's not at all uncommon for people to start taking these sleep aids every night, and when it's not a supplemental aid like melatonin or 5-htp (which are naturally produced in the body), and an actual drug, what the commercials say and what the companies print on the bottle isn't factual at all. They always make a point to say non-habit forming sleep aid, but they're legally in the clear to print this specifically because the bottles always say on the back to never take the sleep aid every night for more than 2 weeks, otherwise speak with your doctor. If you follow their instructions, it indeed isn't habit forming--but like I said, most people ignore that advice. Many start using drugs to go to sleep every night, and when you start to actual build a tolerance to the drug, you've clearly already formed a habit. Many people who take something like diphenhydramine/benadryl/zzzquil or doxylamine/nyquil/unisom sleep tabs (which are both sedating antihistamines) wind up finding that they have a near impossible time getting to sleep after using them for so long. It's not too surprising either, because they already find it very difficult to sleep when they take up using these drugs as sleep aids, so it's just that much harder after they wind up creating a psychological and possibly even physical dependence to the drug.

      As long as you dedicate some effort to combat your trouble with going to sleep, and you merely use diphenhydramine to help on nights that nothing is working, that you must get sleep, or to otherwise supplement the other methods you're using to learn how to get to sleep without any outside aid, then you won't form any kind of habit. If you get lazy and rely on diphenhydramine solely as your ticket to dreamland, then you will form a habit that further disrupts your sleep cycle and ability to fall asleep naturally without a doubt. Look up "sleep hygiene" on google, it has a lot of tips that, if you follow them religiously and not just the few that are convenient to you, you will see a lot of success. Having a set schedule, maintaining a structured life style, having a nightly ritual, getting 30 minutes of regular exercise, and going to bed and waking up at the same time every day all have a huge impact on your ability to sleep. I didn't believe they did, that I was some how an exception, but the truth was that I was simply too lazy to put in the effort and stay disciplined, and I was expecting results instantly even though they take some time (2 weeks and upwards of a month for it to really become effective, but it's worth it).
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      With me, I never had to use a sleep aid to fall asleep. Have you tried hypnosis or meditating, wormholejoys?

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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      You can become tolerant to diphenhydramine pretty quickly. It can get to where you are taking upwards of 150mg at night just to sleep. Is it psychologically addictive? Only in weird cases... like people who take it for it's delirium inducing effect, which is absolutely bizarre because it makes you feel terribly physically uncomfortable, have terrible dry mouth, the inability to focus your eyes, you feel a sense of impending doom, and you see terrifying hallucinations that you can't distinguish from reality, and people describe it as having one of the worst hangovers of any drug, and it (the hangover) lasts for two days--some people actually get psychologically addicted to it, but it's extremely uncommon for people to even like such a terrible, not to mention neurotoxic, set of effects... let alone get addicted to it. In terms of using DPH as a sleep aid, I wouldn't say it's addicting, but it is most definitely habit forming. Typically, people who take sleep aids ignore the advice given by doctors that is often mentioned on the back of the label. If you have to take a sleep aid for any longer than every day for two weeks, you need to talk to your doctor about your issues with sleep.

      So, it's not at all uncommon for people to start taking these sleep aids every night, and when it's not a supplemental aid like melatonin or 5-htp (which are naturally produced in the body), and an actual drug, what the commercials say and what the companies print on the bottle isn't factual at all. They always make a point to say non-habit forming sleep aid, but they're legally in the clear to print this specifically because the bottles always say on the back to never take the sleep aid every night for more than 2 weeks, otherwise speak with your doctor. If you follow their instructions, it indeed isn't habit forming--but like I said, most people ignore that advice. Many start using drugs to go to sleep every night, and when you start to actual build a tolerance to the drug, you've clearly already formed a habit. Many people who take something like diphenhydramine/benadryl/zzzquil or doxylamine/nyquil/unisom sleep tabs (which are both sedating antihistamines) wind up finding that they have a near impossible time getting to sleep after using them for so long. It's not too surprising either, because they already find it very difficult to sleep when they take up using these drugs as sleep aids, so it's just that much harder after they wind up creating a psychological and possibly even physical dependence to the drug.

      As long as you dedicate some effort to combat your trouble with going to sleep, and you merely use diphenhydramine to help on nights that nothing is working, that you must get sleep, or to otherwise supplement the other methods you're using to learn how to get to sleep without any outside aid, then you won't form any kind of habit. If you get lazy and rely on diphenhydramine solely as your ticket to dreamland, then you will form a habit that further disrupts your sleep cycle and ability to fall asleep naturally without a doubt. Look up "sleep hygiene" on google, it has a lot of tips that, if you follow them religiously and not just the few that are convenient to you, you will see a lot of success. Having a set schedule, maintaining a structured life style, having a nightly ritual, getting 30 minutes of regular exercise, and going to bed and waking up at the same time every day all have a huge impact on your ability to sleep. I didn't believe they did, that I was some how an exception, but the truth was that I was simply too lazy to put in the effort and stay disciplined, and I was expecting results instantly even though they take some time (2 weeks and upwards of a month for it to really become effective, but it's worth it).
      Good info. I've only been taking it occasionally as you suggested, but was considering stepping up my usage of it to get more sleep. I certainly do not want to become dependent on any drug, howeve, so I will not be taking it more than a few times a month. Thx for the thoughtful reply.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ibeauty View Post
      With me, I never had to use a sleep aid to fall asleep. Have you tried hypnosis or meditating, wormholejoys?
      Yeah, that works sometimes for me. Some nights I have no trouble sleeping. Others I do. I don't think I'm a true insomniac; I think it's more due to temporary life circumstances.
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      That's good to hear. That happens to everyone at one point! Good luck with your future sleeping schedule.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ibeauty View Post
      That's good to hear. That happens to everyone at one point! Good luck with your future sleeping schedule.
      Thanks! :-)

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      Apparently, a higher risk for Alzheimer's is associated with heavy long term use. I'm not saying you shouldn't take it, of course, but it's good to consider all possible risks.

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