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OTC Sleep Meds - questions and comments


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Unisom, Benadryl, Simply Sleep, Sominex, Sleepenal, etc.

If you have a question about an over the counter sleep aid, ask here!

(there is a seperate pinned thread about melatonin)

NOTE - DO NOT TAKE SOMETHING FOR JUST SLEEP IF IT IS A PAIN RELIEVER AS WELL!!!! (example acetaminophen PM, asprin PM, ibruprophen PM, migraine relief PM).  THE ARE ONLY INTENDED FOR PEOPLE WITH OCCASIONAL PAIN AND SLEEPLESSNESS, NOT JUST SLEEPLESSNESS. TAKING THIS STUFF EVERY NIGHT CAN PERMANTLY DAMAGE YOUR LIVER! Diphenhydramine is the ingrediant in these that help you get sleepy and you can buy that seperately - just look at the labels (or generic versions) of the products listed in the first line of this post.

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Secrets

Jan 23 2006, 09:07 PM

and I dont care  if I get liver damage, i dont wanna be up with my sad thoughts !

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Penny Century

Jan 23 2006, 09:16 PM

does it have tylenol in it or is it just diphenhydramine?

tylenol is the one that you have to worry about for your liver.  i can't find any warnings online about diphenhydramine and liver damage.  (i'm not a doc, just i've never heard of any dangers from diphenhydramine other than some people get used to it and it stops working.  it's actually commonly used for sleep.)

if there is tylenol on what you're taking... please switch products?  tylenol doesn't do anything for sleep, it's the diphenhydramine that's making you sleepy.

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Rabbit37

Jan 23 2006, 10:05 PM

what script meds are you taking? It might interact with something

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Secrets

Jan 24 2006, 09:41 PM

i take adderall  daily and xanax prn. no it doesnt have tylenol in it

Welp time for my nightly dose !

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HaloGirl66

Jan 29 2006, 11:58 AM

The benadryl might lose effectiveness after some time. Have you talked to a doc about getting a prescription for sleep?

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Mod note - messed up while trying to merge topics so I copied the topic and added it where it belonged - sorry!

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Comments?  All of the above are useless if you are hypomanic.  I took Benadryl and Gravol every night for about 15 years, but still only manged to get maximum 3-4 hours sleep.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

None of them work for me either, but I know some people who they work for.

But whomever they work for, it seems to be a short term solution, not a long term. It can be a useful stop-gap measure for someone who has run out of their usual sleep meds and want something to get a few hours of sleep as opposed to none at all. As with everything here on CrazyBoards YMMV.

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Heya,

Different brands here, same drugs.

Make me crazy(er).

If I needed to stay up all night I could try a Benadryl.

Gravol (Dramamine in US) made me look drunk, almost couldn't get on the plane.

(Ironic?  Or just annoying.  Took it so I wouldn't be nauseated on said plane.)

Works prn (as needed) for some people, short term at least, so hey.

--ncc--

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4 unisom is probably not a good idea.  Tell your GP what you are doing and maybe he/she can prescribe something safer.  BTW, advil has no qualities to induce sleep anyways, but might give you an ulcer.

My GP knew when I was using benadryl and gravol nightly for years and did liver and kidney function tests every 6 months or so.  So, over the counter or not, these things obviously can take a toll.

25 mg of seroquel, 15 mg of remeron or Trazadone works wonders.  Ask your GP about alternatives.

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4 unisom is probably not a good idea.  Tell your GP what you are doing and maybe he/she can prescribe something safer.  BTW, advil has no qualities to induce sleep anyways, but might give you an ulcer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Listen to Dee, thats good advice.

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Hubby sometimes takes ForceSleep, which is basically a melatonin/velerian root mix. It will work about 1/2 the time. When it doesn't work, he whips out the seroquel.

Benedryl doesn't do anything to slow him down, but a regular dose is enough to put me in a coma!

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  • 1 year later...

Benedryl doesn't do anything to slow him down, but a regular dose is enough to put me in a coma!

OTC stuff does nothing for me either. DW took half an amitriptyline as she couldn't sleep (I was taking four a night at that point) and she still felt dazed 36 hours later. God only knows what my trimipramine ('cause the amitriptyline wasn't enough to knock me out) would do to her, let alone my Zyprexa stash (sweetest sleep I ever had on that stuff).

Sometimes, I wonder if there's maybe something wrong with me...

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Gravol is a bad choice as a sleep aid. Gravol is Dramamine which is Dimenhydrinate, and from Wikipedia:

"Chemically, dimenhydrinate is a salt of two drugs: diphenhydramine and 8-chlorotheophylline, a chlorinated derivative of the theophylline. Theophylline is very closely related to caffeine and theobromine, mild central nervous system stimulants. It was thought that by combining the antiemetic effects of diphenhydramine with a stimulant, the extreme drowsiness induced by the former could be mitigated somewhat by the latter."

I've heard that your best bet is Unisom. It's more sedating by far than Benadryl.

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I've heard that your best bet is Unisom. It's more sedating by far than Benadryl.

"Maximum Strength Unisom" and Benadryl both have the same active ingredient - diphenhydramine. (source: drugs.com)

However, Unisom (PDRhealth link) has doxylamine succinate which, like diphenhydramine, often shows up in nighttime cold remedies.

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I've heard that your best bet is Unisom. It's more sedating by far than Benadryl.

"Maximum Strength Unisom" and Benadryl both have the same active ingredient - diphenhydramine. (source: drugs.com)

However, Unisom (PDRhealth link) has doxylamine succinate which, like diphenhydramine, often shows up in nighttime cold remedies.

Sorry. I meant Doxylamine Succinate.

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Sorry. I meant Doxylamine Succinate.

Hey, *I* didn't know until I looked it up. Then I recognized it from browzing drugstore brands of OTC cold medicines just last week.

For that matter, it may be better. Diphenhydramine can have a bit of a rebound effect when it wears off... which then means a poor night's sleep for me.

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  • 1 month later...

I tried OTC sleep meds for a long time before going to my doc about it. My mom had taken Unisom for years and it worked great for her for a very long time, so I kept trying. I tried Benadryl in high doses, Unisom, Sominex.... I once went through a whole box of Sominex in 2 days. I know it was extremely stupid to take that much, and that was years ago, so don't worry I'm not going to do it again. And I definately don't recommend that anyone do this, either; I barely slept anyway, it didn't even work. So I finally went to my GP about it, and I was first started off with Vistaril (hate it;) then Lunesta (hate it;) then finally Ambien. I used Ambien and then Ambien CR for a long time. But it pooped out on me eventually, and now my main night-time med is trazodone, 150mgs. I take the traz every night now, and it works pretty good most of the time. And incase this matters, my night-time cocktail also includes Seroquel 400mgs, Lithobid 600mgs, and Valium 10mgs. But I do still have some nights where I just can't sleep. But I think it mainly depends on what side of the mood spectrum pole I'm on at the time.

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  • 3 years later...

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