Does Benadryl help you sleep?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by marw, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. marw

    marw New Member

    I have a lot of trouble falling asleep, and tend to wake up sometimes after my pain med (Vicodin) wear off (4 hours). I also take 1 mm of Ativan at night and 2-3 mm of Valium. I want very badly to take Benadryl...it is an OTC for allergies for those that don't know...because it knocks me right out and I then sleep good. Does anyone think this would be dangerous? Have you heard of others doing it?

    I didn't get very definitive answers from 2 docs I asked. You would think they would know! But no, they just said things like "well, Benadryl is very safe, but you are taking a lot of other stuff, so be careful...." THIS IS NOT a definitive enough answer. Wondered what you all thought.

    Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night and take it anyway because I get desparate for sleep. I had a sleep test, and the first 2 times I took the sleep test, I never went to sleep at all. Then I went to a differenct doc, and he said I could take meds on the test, so I did. That time I did sleep and had normal results on the sleep test. I also did not awake with FMS (one of my best days that day!)

    So I think maybe the air is not healthy in my apartment even though I run air purifiers 24/7. Also my apartment bldg. is noisy sometimes, but I cannot afford to move. The Sleep Clinic,on the other hand, had a perfect environment....soooo quiet, wonderful fresh scented air...the lights exactly like I wanted them. It was not a real life situation at all.

    I was tested for allergies, but am not allergic to anything except cats.

    Anyway, does anyone know anything about the Benadryl?

    Thanks,

    Margaret
  2. amymb74

    amymb74 New Member

    sometimes but I don't know about staying asleep as I never have a problem with that. I also take ativan with the benadryl and haven't had any problems. My ex used to take 4-6 benadryls and ativan if he had any (I think he used the ativan recreationally looking back) but anyways he is fine. Also, if you look at OTC sleep aids, most of them are benadryl. Hope you get some sleep - I hate laying in bed for hours so tired but not able to fall asleep! AMY
  3. victoria

    victoria New Member

    they didn't say anything about not taking an antihistamine with it...

    I was interested since I do take an antihistamine to sleep, altho not benadryl, and because otherwise I awaken with nasty sinus headaches; I also occasionally take valium, another benzodiazepine, and have never had a problem.

    hope this helps,
    Victoria
  4. KerryK

    KerryK Member

    Benadryl does help with sleep. In fact it makes many people very groggy. I do not tolerate it well, though I assume it is safe because it is the same drug used in several OTC sleep meds. One risk often not discussed is that it can make one feel quite depressed, as it is a central nervous system depressant. Another, better OTC drug is Gravol. In fact, it is the precursor drug to benadryl. I find the sleep is better yet and it is not quite so depressing.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/16/2006]
  5. victoria

    victoria New Member

    is sold in the U.S. as Dramamine, for seasickness...

    interesting, as it is also classed as an antihistamine from what I can see. I can remember taking it when I had to sleep on a boat, it did help me fall asleep at the time AND I didn't get seasick. I'm very prone to seasickness.

    Bet it would be especially great if I had to sleep on a waterbed AND had insomnia! <grin>

    all the best,
    Victoria
  6. angelstarr

    angelstarr New Member

    I have terrible time sleeping. I have tried EVERYTHNG....

    Currently I am taking 3mg of lunesta. with sometimes a 2nd dose 1/2 way through the night. THat is why I am up at the computer at 2 :17 am.... LOL.

    I take 5-6 Benedryl that is 150 mg. not an uncommon dose in patients with anaphalactic shock or something.
    well let me do it this way... I will list them
    9 mg of melatonin
    Deep Sleep ( an herbal that has alos nutientse
    Also I take Soma, 2 VIcdin ES, Topamas 25mg. Lyrica 75mg,

    Sooooo all in all... i sleep some nights, tonight I am finailly getting sleepy.'ee

    So to answer your question... I think Benedryl is a pretty benign drug with few sideffects. the biggest one being sleepiness which we want.. I am a nurse and looked it up in the PDR. I cannot see much that is bad... BUT AS always it is in your best interest to Check with your PCP doctor.

    Hugs
    Angelstarr
  7. Bruin63

    Bruin63 Member

    Have you talked to your Pharmacist? That is the person who can give you Information on Meds. and their Interactions with other Med.s .
    With OTC Meds, we sometimes forget to ask the Pharmacist, when we use the check out line's, instead of paying at the Pharmacy.
    This would be in the bigger stores, that I am talking about.

    Also you can check on line, for interactions to Med.s and even Supplement's.
    I usually do before even filling a Rx these day's, tired of wasting co-pay's.

    I am one of the weird ones who can not tolerate the Benadryl. I wound up in the Hosptial, Er , one time, and that was enough for me.
    I do take Vistril, it's a anti-histamine, but made differently than the otc one's.

    I just can't sleep, well I can get to sleep, but cannot stay that way, no matter what Med, I use, and I have tried so many, like most of us do with these Syndromes.

    Hope you find what will work for you, we need our sleep, and I know it can reduce the pain, the tough part is the Trial and Error, of finding one that will work for us.
    sharonk
  8. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    just about every night. I has helped me sleep. I also take Klonipen (.5-1 mg) a night and sometimes Ativan and Soma...othertimes, I take Ambien.

    However, I do take something every night and have never had any trouble. I don't take Ambien and Benedryl together, but I do take the other things depending on how I'm feeling with one or the other in different combos. I rarely use Ativan, however.

    So, Benedryl is a safe med and it is non-habit forming and has no withdrawal symptoms...it's cheap and it works for me. BUT, I am an individual and everyone is different.

    So....hope this has helped. I have a very high tolerance for meds and it sounds like you might, also.

    Hope you fine the answer for you.

    Sue
  9. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Asa...I have several friends that have this reaction. Good point! I hadn't thought of that until you posted.

    Way to go!

    Sue
  10. dani78xo

    dani78xo New Member


    my doctor prescribed me benadril to help me sleep.
    i took two at night along with nortriptyline,
    but then i got off of the nortrip.
    and found that the benadril doesn't work for me by itself.

    so now i'm on lunesta every night.

    if benadril does help you sleep though, then i'm sure it'd be fine to take it. several doctors recommended i just take it OTC to help me sleep before i got on a sleeping pill.
  11. marw

    marw New Member

    Thanks, everyone, for the info on the Benadryl. I really appreciated it a lot. Everyone's answers were additional views and adding more information.

    I feel safer when I know others are taking this, too, and are O.K. I also appreciated when you listed the drugs and amounts for you or hubby or friend. I feel like I take so much stuff that sometimes I get worried about it. It has been a blessing to find out others take a lot of drugs also.

    It's funny, I have now remembered that I used to not be able to take Benadryl (when I did not have the FM) and now I can! Very weird. My system has completely changed, and I can take a few things that I once couldn't (namely, the Vicodin and now the Benadryl) but mostly it works the other way. Most of the things I would once take are no-no's now. I have terrible-actions to most sleeping pills. I even had a reaction to Klonopin, and because it is a benzodiazapine I should have been able to take it, but could't.

    Unfortunately I don't have a high tolerance for drugs. Very low, in fact. I tried the lowest dose of Fentyl patch for pain, and even taking it alone with no other meds, I ended up at ER as an overdose!

    It sounds to me like Benadryl will, however be very safe for me, but I will certainly discuss it with the Pharmacist. That is a good idea. And checking online, too,which I think I did but didn't see anything too scary.

    I cannot take Gravol if it is Dramamine, because I have a bad reaction to dramamine. More weirdness. (eye roll here) When I am am a ship, usually do not get seasick, but if I think I might I just take a Valium and it does the trick. This was before I got FM, however, so I don't know what would happen now.

    THere is no contraindication for Ativan and Vicodin, so those are O.K. I think they are O.K. with Benadryl, too, esp. as I take only a low dose of it to sleep...25 mm. Maybe I will leave off the Valium and try 50 mm. of Benadryl, although that would be a lot for me.

    I have many medicines that I am allergic to, although cats was the only airborn thing, so when I am prepped for a hospital test that uses Iodine (allergic to it) I am prepped with 150 mm of prenisone and 50 mm of Benadryl. I get goofy, but that's all. THe prednisone really makes me hyper....so that's the only time I take it. When I get off the test, I crash and usually have to sleep for 12 hours to recover....the only time I ever get to sleep!

    Sorry to have strayed a bit from the subject. Last night I took the Benadryl, but I woke up 5 hours later anyway! It doesn't really stop the belly pain or muscle pain, so the pain breaks through and wakes me. I just got up and took more Vicodin and Ativan and was able to go back to sleep.

    I guess we just have to experiment. I have learned more on this site than anywhere else!

    Oh, and Benadryl used to leave me groggy (and give me 8 hours of sleep) but now it is losing it's effectiveness a little. So maybe I will vary it, or like I said, up the dose. It has not causes depression yet, however.

    Thanks again. Great Info!!!