Medical Questions > Mental Health > Sleep Disorders Forum

Diphenhydramine withdrawal? (Page 2)


December 16th, 2010
Diphenhydramnine (Benadryl) withdrawal help.
Here is my diphenhydramine withdrawal story. Hope it helps. I too have bad diphenhydramine withdrawals. They can last a week (hell week) for me. Takes only a month of taking twice the normal dose amount for me to get dependent on diphenhydramine. My main complaint from the withdrawals is the psychological. I had some vistaril on hand, and remembered that it's related to diphenhydramine. Now vistaril is an antihistamine, but also a good antianxiety med. It helped a lot to get rid of my withdrawals. I stop the Benadryl and after a week on vistaril (normal prescribed dose)I could stop taking it and be just fine. Now another med that might work, and need no prescription, is meclizine, also known as Dramamine. Meclizine is close relative to hydroxyzine, which is the drug in vistaril. Promethazine, also known as Phenergan, could work too, but needs a prescription. Please be aware that none of this has been discussed with my doctors. That's not a biggie to me because it seems a lot of doctors don't even realize the pitfalls of diphenhydramine. I keep seeing posts about people's doctors surprised that their patients think they are addicted to Benadryl. They tell them the symptoms are not from withdrawal, but give no diagnosis on where the symptoms come from. All I can say is to try 1 of these meds instead of going cold turkey off Benadryl. Might be easier to taper off the alternative meds, or go cold turkey off them rather than Benadryl.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 14th, 2011
I have taken a combo of pm's and unisom for almost 20 years. Really bad idea trust me. I stopped both on Xmas day 2010. Since then have experienced severe hives. I took claritin about a week to counter the withdrawal and had some success. I stopped the claritin about a week ago. I still get hives but not as much and it's about half way through January 2011. I would bet I have not seen the worst yet. At least I am approaching the fourth week though. I believe most abused substances need a month to clear your system at least the physical withdrawal anyway. I am not a doc but hope this helps someone. Trust me we are not alone.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 14th, 2011
I have taken a combo of pm's and unisom for almost 20 years. Really bad idea trust me. I stopped both on Xmas day 2010. Since then have experienced severe hives. I took claritin about a week to counter the withdrawal and had some success. I stopped the claritin about a week ago. I still get hives but not as much and it's about half way through January 2011. I would bet I have not seen the worst yet. At least I am approaching the fourth week though. I believe most abused substances need a month to clear your system at least the physical withdrawal anyway. I am not a doc but hope this helps someone. Trust me we are not alone.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied January 26th, 2011
OMG I have taken this stuff since 1987 when tyenolPMs first came out. About 150mgs everynight to sleep. Have recently stopped and have been nauceous for the last week or so. Thanks for all the advise now I know its not something worse and its only withdrawl.It sucks but Im sure Ill be ok. Any advice on what to take to relive the nausa?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 3rd, 2011
has anyone ever had hallucinations, heard voices, from an overdose of benedryl?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied March 9th, 2011
wava1 wrote:
has anyone ever had hallucinations, heard voices, from an overdose of benedryl?


I had visual hallucination never had audio.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied March 9th, 2011
Warning of Arrhythmia!
I've taken anywhere from 50 to 500 mgs a night over the past, maybe 5 years or more? I actually quit a couple times briefly, and now a few days ago.

To quickly answer the recent post about hallucinations.. I know upon falling asleep sometimes I felt like I had pieces of random conversations drop into my head, clearly as if from some outside source. It would sort of startle me. I thought it was sort of fascinating, actually.

Anyway, a warning, something I don't see mentioned here that might be something to keep in mind.. I think my biggest concern is what one doctor told me, you can develop ARRHYTHMIA. You probably don't want heart problems, of all things. So if you're concerned, look into that if you need inspiration to quit.

In any case, my withdrawal symptoms have largely been confined to slight stomach pains that go away with a pill or two of diphenhydramine. Though I find I can sleep, a tad too much actually, and I am quite drowsy and horribly tired. And though I've never suffered from allergies, my nose starts running like mad.

I might take a pill or two (compared to the 6 I've been taking regularily) just to ease the symptoms. But I want to get off of it. I'm tired of feeling drugged constantly. Fear heart problems. Not to mention it costs. Unless you start buying at Walmart or the 99 cent store (if you really need it)... much cheaper route if you need to wean yourself off the stuff.

Might as well mention... I've never taken it to get high. I take it to calm down. To fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. You can build resistance, but a few days of not taking it I could easily go back to the regular dosage.

I think I hate the drowsy feeling... maybe it'll go away. Anyway, I figure if Eminem can clean himself up, I can definitely get off this stuff. (Hey, I need some source of inspiration)...
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 26th, 2011
Help?
I am only 14 and I have been taking as much as 10 pills a day. I had to stop because i ran out and my mom hasnt been able to get more. This was about a week ago though. I feel like i am losing my mind and my stomach hurts so bad. I have substituted it with nyquil and other medications but it still isnt the same. I still want the benadryl and I hate that.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 26th, 2011
I am only 14 and I have been taking as much as 10 pills a day. I had to stop because i ran out and my mom hasnt been able to get more. This was about a week ago though. I feel like i am losing my mind and my stomach hurts so bad. I have substituted it with nyquil and other medications but it still isnt the same. I still want the benadryl and I hate that.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 26th, 2011
Just want top thank all of you who posted sharing your stories. It helps so much to know I'm not alone. I've been taking two to four 25mg pills a night to help me sleep for at least the past three years-can't remember exactly how long. I've had depression, an elevated heart rate, dry eyes, occasional dizziness, blurry vision, spaciness, etc. etc. etc. I thought I was either going crazy, drinking too much caffeine or going through early menopause. I'm now pretty sure most of my issues stem from the generic Benadryl. My BF is the one who suiggested it or it never would've occurred to me to do some Googling. My gosh! I always thought this stuff was innocuous!

Gonna go cold turkey starting tonight and see how it goes. I'd been having a lot of trouble sleeping so was taking more Benadryl not knowing it was worsening the cycle! Warm milk and melatonin tonight! Thanks again!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 1st, 2011
was taking vistaril by RX for a few months for anxiety. ran out and started with the generic benedryls.. having severe withdrawls when not taking them after a day or so. Have a D & A addiction problem too, mental and mood disorders to boot, hence the vistaril as opposed to Xanax or other tranqs. If you can.. Ween yourself off of them. I thought I was having withdrawls of the Xanax yesterday and havent taken any for over a month. The withdrawls I have experienced with the diph can be as severe as withdrawling from the benzo's. Dont quit cold turkey, will only make you worse and want to search for another med to curb these W/D's. taper yourself.. Hope this helps
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied June 3rd, 2011
Me too
Wow. didn't realize so many others had this same problem. I appreciate ALL your input here. I've been taking 25-75 mg per night for the last 2 years to help me sleep better. I recently decided I dont want to dependant upon ANYTHING. Pills to sleep and caffeine to wake up doesn't seem to be the healthy way to go. This week, I tapered off. Gradually taking less doses each night until I had NO DOSE 2 nights ago. I'm ok so far. Headaches and I did have a night sweats. I also got a dry cough yesterday but it went away. I'm sleeping, but only a few hours at a time. Tonight will be my 3rd night dosage free. I have a really good book and my bible of course. Figure it's a good time to catch up on some reading. I'm praying to get back to healthy, normal sleeping habits really soon.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 13th, 2011
Severe Benedryl Withdrawl Symptoms - Shakes, Suicidal
I was addicted to Benedryl for 10+ years -- up to about 75mg a day. I would take 2 pills every couple of hours, round the clock, sometimes more if stressed. When my psychologist explained I was abusing Benedryl, and listed me on my medical records as a substance abuser, I tried to quit cold turkey. I went totally suicidal, hands and body shaking, etc. I almost called 9-1-1 suicide hotline at the mental health clinic but my husband calmed me down with 5 Benedryl tablets and stayed with me. Then I went off it over a period of weeks, dropping a few pills a week. I don't ever plan to touch it again!
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied August 18th, 2011
I have been taking the WalMart equivelent of Excedrine PM for many, many years. A few times I have stopped taking them and experienced what I call withdrawl symptoms; moderate to severe headache, moderate to severe nausea (at times almost to the point of vomitting)and general over-all 'yuck' feeling. I didn't take a dose night before last and felt awful all day yesterday. It didn't dawn on me until I got home last night what was happening. I took two pills last night and today I feel fine. I would say my symptoms are related to withdrawl. I haven't had the hallucinations, either visual or hearing. I have researched on the internet for information regarding withdrawls, but this is the only site I have found. Has anyone had just the symptoms I have described?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied September 1st, 2011
Withdrawal benadryl
I have been taking benadryl 2 capsules for years and years. Quit cold turkey little over a week ago. I�ve been able to skip 1-2 days before with out a problem but after 3 days, this is what happened to me.

On August 31st I left work feeling like there were weights on my arms and legs. It was a crushing exhaustion. That night my knees ached so bad I couldn�t sleep. The next day I left work the same way and that night, knees ached again (no swelling). The low grade headache/focus issue stayed a problem. By weekend fatigue very mild but then came Sunday.

At work last Sunday night I began sweating profusely from my scalp and was having a low grade headache and focus was shot. It felt like the store was 90 degrees and I was literally cooking. I knew I wasn�t going to be able to close registers so I left 2 hours before close looking like walking death and hair soaked with perspiration. The following day I had a rash all over my skin and my skin, especially on arms was textured very peculiarly in oddly shaped bumps. The next day the all over itching started even though rash/texture was gone. I went to the doctor.

I waited 48 hours for bloodwork. The only abnormality was that my white blood cell count is high. Doctor put me on an antibiotic. I�ve wondered if I do have Benadry withdrawal but also some other infection as well? I am still itching all over, especially scalp, chin, nose and back.. I have also had some depression during this week but don�t know if that�s connected or just hormonal. I�d love anyone�s input on this craziness.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied September 17th, 2011
dyphenhydramine withdrawal
all of the symptoms, sbmorgan, you describe are some of the same i have experienced. I have tried several times to stop and am in it to the end this time. my husband and i both are doing this together. you could try to taper off but i know i will only take my usual dose if i buy some more. i would suggest going to the doctor for visteril. it doesn't have the abuse history as other anti anxiety drugs since it isn't a benzo. it does help with the cramps and physical discomfort. take only the recommended amount. your post is over 2 weeks ago so i hope you are sticking with it and the symptoms have gradually gotten more manageable.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied September 17th, 2011
Took about 2 1/2 weeks for nightmare to stop. I'm now successfully of that stuff. I'm taking responsibility for how much I sleep during the day now and accepting natural consequence of not being able to sleep (staring at ceiling) if I nap too much, don't exercise, drink caffeinated drink after 4pm... I never finished antibiotic because it was making me too nausous and I had already missed enough work. Another doc I saw recently said I didn't need it anyway. I do have a benzo prescription but I'm very careful to take it when absolutely needed which is about once every 2 weeks. I also quit sugar substitutes same day as dyphenhhydramine so I'm sure that made it all worse but once I was in that was it; I was going to get it over with and only suffer once!!! Smile
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 20th, 2011
Withdrawal from Benadryl
sbmorgan, thanks for your post. Did your symptoms improve over the 2 1/2 weeks, or did all of the improvement come at the end? I too believe that I am withdrawing from Diphenhydramine. I've been taking it on and off for about 2 months. About 3 days after taking my last one the symptoms stared building up on me. I have pins and needles in my hands, tinnitus, big time nausea that seems to come and go. Occasionally the skin on my face flushes and starts to tingle or burn a bit, amongst a few more things. This is the 5th day since I stopped and I'm trying to figure out how long this is going to last. Anybody else out there got any idea when this nightmare will end?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied September 23rd, 2011
I seriously believe smoking marijuana for the first week or two was a good substitute to conquer the withdrawal-drinking only made me worse.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied September 28th, 2011
Withdrawal from Benadryl
I have been taking diph 50mg for about a year and stopped abruptly when I read it could cause dementia and contributes to your ability to develop Alzheimer's disease. I'm so shaky and moody, but determined to keep what's left of my mind.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied September 28th, 2011
Withdrawal from Benadryl
I have been taking diph 50mg for about a year and stopped abruptly when I read it could cause dementia and contributes to your ability to develop Alzheimer's disease. I'm so shaky and moody, but determined to keep what's left of my mind.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied December 20th, 2011
I too believe that I am withdrawing from Diphenhydramine. I've been taking it on and off for about 2 months. About 3 days after taking my last one the symptoms stared building up on me. I have pins and needles in my hands, tinnitus, big time nausea that seems to come and go. Occasionally the skin on my face flushes and starts to tingle or burn a bit, amongst a few more things. This is the 5th day since I stopped and I'm trying to figure out how long this is going to last. Anybody else out there got any idea when this nightmare will end?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 15th, 2012
Hi, I have been taking Bendaryl, (Walmart brand) for at least 3 years now. The past year, I upped the dose to 3 pills a night. In addition, I take .5mg ofI fluoxetine for anxiety and have done so for the past 8 years. Recently, for the past 6 months I have been smelling smoke that isn't there. At first my doctor suspected it was sinus problems, but I have been to the nose specialist, had an mri, all clear. he sent me to a neurologist, i just met with him. he was very helpful. we are ruling out the possibility of migraines. But when I told him about the bendaryl, he said that could be the cause of this problem, as it dries everything out. That said, I am on day 2 of no bendaryl, i am hot flashing/sweating intermittently, but I am very irritable, as well as feeling off..spacey/sleepy. I had the worst nightmare I've had in a very long time, in fact, when i reflect, i really haven't had many dreams (i used to all the time.) And I had the nausea feeling yesterday. However, that went away after aerobic class. I am hoping that cold turkey won't cause any problems, but most of all, I am hoping that the smelling of smoke goes away, because that is just nasty. I use earplugs to drown out my husbands loud snoring, which is what started me on the benadryl to begin with! Silicone ear plugs are the best out there! I have had several occasions when taking bendaryl before bed, I will fall asleep for about 15 minutes and wake up with a feeling of my heart beating very strong, like a heart palpitation, so that is not good! Here is hoping the withdrawal process doesn't last too long. Maybe stepping down would be the better thing for me. Has anyone had recommendations to step down as opposed to cold turkey?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied February 15th, 2012
Diphenhydramine Withdrawal
Hi kmbbarbier. I stopped at the end of December and am still having problems. I'm hoping it won't last much longer because it is not pleasant. Could you post back when you think that you are fully over it so that I can see how long it took you.
|
Did you find this post helpful?