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Altostrata

Antihistamines for withdrawal insomnia (diphenhydramine, doxylamine, hydroxyzine)

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Altostrata

For withdrawal insomnia, people often use Benadryl, a sedating antihistamine, to help sleep.

 

It's often an ingredient in nonprescription sleep aids, such as Nytol, Unisom, Tylenol PM, Excedrin PM, Midol PM and Advil PM.

 

Info about Diphenhydramine

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000704/

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diphenhydramine

 

The problem with is diphenhydramine is its beneficial sleep effect can wear off and it can go paradoxical -- it will keep you awake instead. So use it sparingly if you can.

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Nikki

Alto this is Hang Over time for me when I take antihistamines. Yes they do work, but they do not agree with me at all.

 

Not an option. I tried Calms Forte, but it didn't work. Propanol helps, but it can bring on depression.

 

Hugs

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Altostrata

Good point, Nikki. Diphenhydramine can have a hangover.

 

Have you tried cutting a Tylenol PM tablet in half or quarters?

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Phil

Is it true that Diphenhydramine is a mild ssri?

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Altostrata

The SSRIs evolved from antihistamines.

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Nadia

I've been resorting to diphenhydramine and also doxylamine succinate on occasion. I lik the doxylamine more. But I try to take it very sparingly. It also makes me groggy the next morning.

 

With diphenhydramine, my AM anxiety has sometimes gotten worse, and also my alerting system has sometimes reacted against it (as if I was trying to drug it and it was trying to fight back, which I guess is the case!), making me feel dread as I was falling asleep. I find it works OK if I'm not overly anxious to begin with. I've never taken it more than one day in a row, so I don't know about it wearing off.

 

That is very interesting that SSRIs were derived from antihistamines.

 

I have a feeling it would be best not to resort to these at all, but I sometimes give in after several nights of really bad sleep.

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Nadia

OK, so I paid dearly for taking the diphenhydramine... two nights of totally fractured, restless sleep. Gonna stay away from it.

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Altostrata

Yep, diphenhydramine for sleep often goes paradoxical.

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BRapsidy

I wish I could take Diphenhydramine. I take it and within 35 minutes I just want to crawl out of my skin. I took just 3/4's a tsp of kids Benydrel and it kept me up for about a hour or so. I was taking it for an itchy rash I got on my arm. I had to just sleep with ice packs on my arms and put anti itching lotion on my arms. When I was first WD I could handle taking a Benydrel here or there, but not any more. Hopefully this will correct itself since I get seasonal allergies and I use it to sleep when I have really bad attacks.

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Brandy

BRapsidy, I get itchy rashes too. (Very allergy-prone all my life, and the rashes/hives/itching got much worse for me in w/d.)

 

Although I'd taken antihistamines (including antivert for vertigo, which is an antihistamine for vertigo, a lifelong problem for me also) most of my life, I found I could no longer tolerate them orally at least, in w/d. Also had to stop using the cortisone spray (Rhinocort Aqua) I'd been using for severe seasonal respiratory allergies.

 

I found a couple of other options very helpful.

 

For itchy skin/rashes/hives, I now use an herbal cream called Florasone cream. (The name is misleading - it contains NO cortisone or anything cortisone-related. The name is a play on words since it's an herbal alternative to cortisone creams.) It's available in health food stores, but I use so much of it (for myself and for allergic family) that I find it's more economical to stock up online, usually from Swanson's when ordering other things anyway (they have flat-rate shipping). But you might want to try one tube purchased locally first to see if you like it.

 

The packaging calls it homeopathic, but it's really a 10% herbal (cardiospermum) tincture in a bland vegetable base, not what we normally think of as a homeopathic dilution by any means. My family and I find it amazingly effective, and you only need to put on a very thin layer to get results.

 

I now only seem to get bad respiratory allergies at the beginning of the year but that can go on for months (something that grows near me seasonally, obviously). I find NeilMed nasal rinse helps a LOT. Frankly, I'll never really like feeling all that water going through my sinuses, but the relief after using it makes it worth it!

 

NeilMed has a lot of products, but I use the original nasal rinse where you mix the packet (natural non-irritating saline ingredient) with distilled (or reverse osmosis) (NOT tap) water in plastic bottle and rinse sinuses as directed. Some of their other products contain ingredients that probably are useful for some people but which I know I don't tolerate. The original sinus rinse doesn't have those. It's available in most drug stores (never seen it in health food stores for some reason).

 

Hope that helps.

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compsports

Hi Folks,

 

Unfortunately, I am still unable to sleep on the cpap machine. What was happening was I was falling asleep and waking up after about an hour on the machine.

 

Finally, for various reasons, I have come to the conclusion that due to my highly sensitive system which has been an issue for as long as I can remember, I am having difficulty tolerating this machine. But I have no choice but to learn how to.

 

Initially, I wanted to ask my doctor for an ambien prescription. No comments please about how dangerous this is as I am pretty desperate and have tried a million solutions.

 

Unfortunately, I fear he will make me come in since I haven't been there and since June. Because the office is kind of far to get to and I really am not sure I am going to stay with him, I am looking OTC remedies.

 

Is there anything I could take on an PRN basis like ambien? It seems all the OTC sleep remedies need to be taken on a consistent basis to work consistently.

 

Thanks!

 

CS

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GiaK

if you've not tried milk peptides ( Lactium) they are incredibly helpful to me...I hate taking them because I have issues with milk, but I have to sometimes...

 

if you don't have issues with milk and haven't tried them I do think they're far safer than antihistamines (diphenhydramine) or whatever else you might try and certainly safer than ambien...

 

this is the cheapest source I've found...ignore the name...they're good for men and women...the active ingredient is Lactium.

 

http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-ultra-womens-anti-stress-formula-lactium-167-mg-60-caps

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GiaK

also I would consider micro-doses of lamictal before I took ambien or even over-the-counter stuff...

 

like 1 to 3 mg of Lamictal...remember a normal dose is 200 to 400 mg...

 

it's astonishing but these micro doses can be very effective.

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Nadia

Maybe you could try a little yogi stress relief tea? It has kava extract. Read warnings about liver damage. I still think it's better than a lot of options out there. It is what has worked best for me for sleep, without making me feel groggy or drugged. The second day after I took it I had high anxiety so was afraid to try again, but have been thinking about it out of desperation, like you...

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compsports

Hi Nadia and Gianna,

 

Thank you for your suggestions. Good news is last night, I had my best night of sleep on the machine and only drank some decaf green tea/creamer and ate a few almonds to get back to sleep when I woke up prematurely.

 

Nadia, the tea suggestion is a good one but unfortunately, I don't seem to do well with teas that are supposedly relaxing.

 

Gianna, I may still purchase the Swanson product to have on hand.

 

Thanks again.

 

Compsports

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Nadia

I understand. I can handle chamomile but not much else... no linden, no valerian, etc. Kava has been the only one so far, and maybe it will turn on me, too.

 

Oh, now when I wake up in the middle of the night I take magnesium and 250 mg of niacinamide, and those two together seem to really help.

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compsports

I understand. I can handle chamomile but not much else... no linden, no valerian, etc. Kava has been the only one so far, and maybe it will turn on me, too.

 

Oh, now when I wake up in the middle of the night I take magnesium and 250 mg of niacinamide, and those two together seem to really help.

 

Thanks Nadia, I will give that a shot as I don't think Niacinamide is too expensive.

 

Sorry you have experienced tea difficulties and I hope the Kava doesn't turn on you.

 

CS

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Nadia

Thanks, Compsports!

 

It's all a crapshoot... we are all different, and what works for us one day can stop working or backfire. And the need for sleep is so real!

 

My approach is not to do anything for more than a few days in a row, with expception of the magnesium.

 

The niacinamde and magnesium combo works well for me, but of course, it is subtle. It's not like taking a barbituate or anything like that.

 

What I liked about the kava is it didn't make me feel drugged and it worked better than any benzo or antihistamine I've tried. I might experiment a bit more with it if I'm feeling brave.

 

Of the antihistamines, I found doxylamine succinate, 15 mg, to work pretty well. I never took it more than one day in a row, though.

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laineyk

Hi was wondering about using Benadryl for w/d symptoms. anyone have experience with that?

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cymbaltawithdrawal5600

Hi laineyk,

 

Using benadryl is not generally recommended, especially if you are trying to use it for sleep. I found this quote from Alto:

 

 

The problem with is diphenhydramine is its beneficial sleep effect can wear off and it can go paradoxical -- it will keep you awake instead.

 

I found this to be true. When I was still on meds, the doc told me I could try it and I was up to 3 tabs a night for only a short time when I had to stop. Had the worst headache from using it. Generally, only high quality fish oil and magnesium are recommended to cope with symptoms and other non-medical aids such as relaxing music, room darkening at night, etc. No one here (I think) has found a magic bullet or it would be shouted from the rooftops! 

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mattinsmom

I have found that if I am having a significant allergic reaction to something Benadryl will stop the reaction and I won't experience any side effects. If I take it for any other reason I may get that zoned out feeling. If I sleep it is a restless sleep and I am outright mean the next day. 

 

Alto's information: "The SSRIs evolved from antihistamines". was something that I did not know. I was kept on Benadryl for springs and summers until I was probably 11. I'm serious, I took it every day. Falls and winters brought cough medicine with codeine. Ohhh, just had a s****y aha moment. Time to journal. 

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Ellen042

I've found that not only does Benadryl wear of as a sleep aid with long term use, but its anxiolytic effect also wears off with prolonged use. Just my own personal experience, but doesn't surprise me.

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btdt

If you look you will find people who have been or are addicted to antihistamines.  

I found it set back my withdrawal I used it only when I felt not sleeping was causing symptoms I was scared of really scared of I was losing it... then i would take 1/4 and even with this low dose I would feel my withdrawal became worse after I have used it.  Some feed back mechanism is what caused it or so I learned when  I read about it long ago... I had already had a paradoxical reaction to benzo for sleep before this and was not into taking any sleep meds.  I found I could go about 3-4 days without sleep after that I got dangerous and would take something. 

Tho I battles insomnia and broken sleep for years I took !/4 dose only 3-4 times during all that... as the fallout was just not worth it. 

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Abilifyneedhelp88

Does anyone know if you can take lactium and a low dose of remeron (4.5) together? and if you are already taking mag glycinate, tart cherry, melatonin, calm forte and at times valerian tea or chamomile, what transition should you be doing with going on to lactium...was going to introduce lactium once remeron was complete but just wondering if it can be taken consequetively with the remeron for break thru sleeping but also cautious as to whether I need to be eliminating the calm forte and melatonin and replacing that with lactium? Any thoughts or suggestions on this topic? was sleeping on avg 6-7 hours per night...now 5 hours last eve....

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Altostrata

Lactium is very, very mild. Given all you're taking, you might not even feel it.

 

Lemon balm (melissa) is relaxing, but it can be strong. Try a fraction of a dose first.

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MaryDavid

Hi there,

 

Im in protracted withdrawal (8 months now) and looked up non-addictive medication to treat anxiety and it came up with Vistaril (hydroxyzine) and wondered if anyone has used it before and whether it was worth it?

 

Thank you

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Prozac20

My MD prescribed it after I took Prozac and quit . I haven't tried it due to the symptoms I'm having and don't want to make them worse . I wish I could have tried it before . I saw that it has some precautions when taking an antidepressant and since our nervous systems and very sensitive right now I wouldn't dare try anything that messes with that . This is just my opinion .

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MaryDavid

My MD prescribed it after I took Prozac and quit . I haven't tried it due to the symptoms I'm having and don't want to make them worse . I wish I could have tried it before . I saw that it has some precautions when taking an antidepressant and since our nervous systems and very sensitive right now I wouldn't dare try anything that messes with that . This is just my opinion .

Yes I agree, Prozac20.

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Prozac20

How long were you on the antidepressant ?

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Petunia

We have a topic on this drug in the symptoms forum, see: Atarax (Hydroxyzine) for Anxiety? - Surviving Antidepressants
 
and...

 

On 5/4/2015 at 5:45 PM, Petunia said:

Atarax (Hydroxyzine) is an antihistamine. For someone recovering from antidepressant withdrawal, antihistamines can make symptoms worse and possibly slow recovery because they affect some of the same family of receptors that antidepressants target.

Please see this topic for more information:

Antihistamines

Edited by Altostrata
updated

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MaryDavid

Thanks Petunia for the info.

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Prozac20

ThAnks

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Area1255

It's a common medication prescribed in mental wards and Prison's as well lol. It's really no different than a tranquilizer, falling short only of antihistamines like promethazine, higher doses will  have you drooling on yourself in no time.  :D

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ravijaua

I took doxylamine succinate half a pill or 12.5 mg for 4 months when my first tolerance poopout started after 9 years on paxil. I helped me sleep for those 4 months, but I also suffered from dry mouth, etc. I think it does negatively effect withdrawal and tolerance and causes rebound anxiety in the long run and loses it effect on sleep and anxiety.

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genlady

I've tried Nytol, and all of its counter parts and it did nothing to help me sleep.  I'm taking L-Glutamine 5 grams four times a day and my sleep is getting better.  

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