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Old 09-15-2009, 11:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Benadryl addiction?

I strated taking benadryl to help me sleep through a horrible rash i got becasue of pregnancy. It's called PUPPP- anyway its horrible and wont allow me to sleep. I dont know for sure if i am addicted but im pretty sure i am on my way. I feel like i cant sleep without it. What do i do and how do i know for sure if i am even addicted?
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Are you abusing the pills, or do you think you might just be dependent on them?

Are you still pregnant or breastfeeding?

Along with the rash, either condition would imply that you should really be talking to your doctor about this.

If you feel that you're abusing the pills or psychologically addicted to them, then that's our world. Welcome to it.
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Old 09-16-2009, 12:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Benedryl can be habit forming. A couple of times in my life, I started taking them to go to sleep, then couldn't sleep without them after just a few days. I was able to cut the dose a little at a time by using benedryl syrup instead of the capsules (I wouldn't suggest tapering for opiate addiction, though. Doesn't work for me.) and just took a little less each night for about a week. I was fine. But I didn't take anything like that in pregnancy. Is your doc OK with this?

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Old 09-16-2009, 12:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like your body may be dependent on it to sleep. I am 8 months pregnant and also take benadryl (sometimes) to sleep because my OBGYN recommended it.
I would suggest either quitting cold turkey, tapering off, or discussing it with your doctor before it gets worse. You may have a few rough nights of sleep when you come off but it shouldnt be TOO bad. Maybe ask about switching to melatonin??
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was told by my pharmacist it was addictive - I was really surprised, but it did explain why I needed more and more just to get to sleep - and stay asleep! Like KJ, just in a few days my tolerance was up and I needed it.

I still use it from time to time, when I've worked myself up into a state about not sleeping - but never for more than 3 days. I find that is a good limit for me.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow I am glad I read this.. Thanks for opening my eyes to this! I take benadryl or Advil PM (same ingredient as benadryl) Another med they say is not habit forming or addictive that is!
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yep, it can be addictive. I've gone through several episodes with it and you'd think I'd learn my lesson but something about the dryl's always draws me back to them. Maybe it's because it's the lesser of a few evils I'm prone to abusing (like xanax)? Maybe because it's so cheap and easily obtainable? Whatever the reason, those pink little pills call to me at night while my head is the Daytona 500 of racing thoughts.

Yeah, I'm a recovering Dryl Sergeant and I'm not ashamed to admit it. There is hope for us though. If your habit isn't excessive, kicking them is a breeze. As far as withdrawals are concerned, it's mainly anxiety and insomnia for a few days to a couple weeks. It could be worse.

My advice is if you're going to pop these cute little pink pills, that you only take the lowest effective dose and don't use them on consecutive nights or more than 3x a week.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Question Benedryl Addictive????????????

I take generic Tylenol PM for sleep every night and do forget to take it some of the time. My husband does too but I have never thought of it as an addictive med but I guess it could be....???

I have known Benedryl Addicted people who take a very large dose....like they buy many boxes or packages of them at different stores. This one man was very paranoid before he went to treatment to get off of it.

I do take Xanax for Anxiety but have it reduced to .50 every six hours but do take it once or twice a day if needed. I took 1 mg every six hours for years & did slowly titrate it down hoping to get clear off of it...but do know I need it presently as confirmed by my psyc doc & counselor for my depression.

My drug of choice was alcohol & it has been 21 years since I got help for that addiction. I have found that I am not tempted to misuse prescription meds & never got into the drug scene like my Brother. I am 69 & he will be 67 in a week. He has been clean & sober since 10/09 but was clean & sober 14 years when he had a jail sentence over his head if he got caught using. Then he started with his sippy cup & alcohol in place of coffee again.

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Old 11-23-2009, 02:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Benadryl is not "addictive" in any reasonable sense of the word.

Could you become psychologically "dependent" on it? Well, sure.

But, guess what? People become psychologically "dependent" (i.e., it causes discomfort to go without) on all SORTS of routines, e.g., their usual breakfast, their TV shows, etc.

Unless you want to stretch the word to its breaking point, making it useless and non-indicative of anything other than a facet of human nature that plays a role in everyone's daily life, you cannot begin to apply this to taking two Benadryl a night.

Just stop taking the Benadryl and you'll get over it after a few days.

The fact that people who have difficulty sleeping become used to taking a medicine which helps them sleep, and have difficulty imagining sleeping without it does NOT make it addictive in any reasonable sense.

It just means you fear going back to being unable to sleep! (After all, if that was your previous state, how can you attribute a recurrence of that state of affairs as an effect of cessation of the drug?)

It's psychological -- you have no physical dependence on Benadryl (again, without stretching the concept of physical dependence even further than the concept of addiction).

So, to put it simply -- you're fine. Just stop. Benadryl is NOT like Ambien, benzos, barbituates, etc. It's all in your head. Be glad you don't have a real drug dependence or addiction.

FWIW, I used to take Benadryl to sleep at night on a daily basis. I just stopped at some point. I'm sure I took Benadryl at least as long as you have, and it's just an antihistamine, you quit it, and that's it. Done. That's why it's available OTC in even the prohibitionist USA.

The fact that I remember none of the specifics of the stopping at all -- and that I never even decided to stop, but rather that it just happened organically, if you will -- is indicative of just how non-existent any sort of diphenhydramine addiction is.

Again, there is nothing reinforcing about diphenhydramine besides the fact that it allows you to sleep. You're just worried about not being able to sleep (and about the ridiculous idea that you're taking an addictive drug)! So, stop worrying, and start sleeping without it. Whatever you may have heard about it is wrong. It is most certainly not addictive (although people become psychologically dependent on sleep aids, this is simply because they fear returning to being unable to sleep [benzos, Ambien, barbs, etc., are different -- they actually do cause a physical dependence, as well as a psychological dependence]).

Or, alternatively, keep taking it if you still have trouble sleeping without it and it makes your life better!
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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At least you aren't itchy.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Smile Natural Remedy for Sleeping

I have taking antihistimines for sleeping for a long time. I talked with my doc about this and she recommended some herbal approaches. Probably a good idea to talk with your doc before trying any of this stuff as herbs can interact with other drugs.

The idea of course is to just go to sleep without any supplement. Anyway the doc recommended a valerian root capusle with hops and skullcap. The valerian helps get to sleep and the hops help stay asleep. This has worked well for me and I think it's better than the other over the counter sleep meds. Warning: Valerian Root smells like dirty socks

Also found that chamomile tea works very well although not nearly as strong as the antihistimines. The final recommendation was melatonin which helps me fall asleep but does not keep me sleeping.

Ultimately the best approach I've found is to rise early, remain physically active and begin unwinding a couple hours before bed. Letting the stressors go. I hope there something here that helps.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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valerian always weirded me out.
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