I enjoyed the sedation and excitability that occurred. .. So I started to take it a lot. Basically abusing it. And now I cant get off of it because I do experience withdrawal when I don't take it. What should I do?? And is is common?
Has anyone had any dependance issue 's with diphenhydramine use?
Question posted by whitneylove92 on 11 Oct 2013
Last updated on 2 April 2021 by Myra1957
You will have to wean yourself off the Benadryl slowly which could take a very, very, long time. If you don't mind me asking, what kind of withdrawal symptoms did you have?
I started taking Benadryl 4 years ago when my doctor recommended I take it after surgery to aid in sleep. Since then, I began taking it nightly - and have continued since then. I regularly take less than a full dosage at bedtime (usually about 3/4 of a 25mg pill) -- and now I've recently been advised by a friend of the potential adverse effects of long-term use. I'm concerned about my sleep, but know I have to explore other approaches to insomnia.
Given the relatively low daily dosage, am I at risk if I don't reduce the amount gradually over a few days?
Diphenhydramine... most certainly can cause withdrawal symptoms. I know, that is not revealed and I have heard many Dr's tell patients to just take it, instead of a prescription sleeping medication. The dosing is 25-50mg at bedtime, that can cause withdrawal symptoms if used for a extended period of time and the detrimental effects on the brain and weight gain, is real!!
I see by these comments, that it's being used by some in very high doses!
I suggest Googling "Diphenhydramine abuse/withdrawal. Educating oneself is extremely important and so is seeking medical help, if needed, instead of relying on what others say, one situation can be every different from anothers. Yes, I understand this is for "sharing experiences!
Best of health to all!!
I gained almost 25lbs by taking ZzzQuil for over 5 years high dosages... I had no idea diphenhydramine was the problem here. If I didn’t have a few episodes of heart racing I would have never stop taking this OTC medication.
I was on diphenhydramine (10-20mL) for about 2 years due to my working on night shift. I recently decided to quit since I was no longer working at night, and could go to sleep like everyone else. There are defintely physical withdrawal symptoms. My symptoms are similar to having a cold or allergies; constant nasal drip, constant repetitive sneezing, hard to fall asleep, water eyes sometimes, mild headache, some days it seems as if my mind is foggy. I didn't taper down I just quit it all at once. I think my body is so used to the diphenhydramine that it's trying to "trick" me into having similar symptoms in order for me to take it... nope I'm not doing it. I want to rid myself of unnecessary drugs. I wish you all luck. I will come back soon for an update.
if you use it to sleep everyday for a few years then stop using abruptly... you will get withdrawals and be very sick. *headache, runny nose, sleep deprivation... normal withdrawal symptoms...
I've been dependent on Benadryl since 2003..and cannot get off of them... been looking for a lawyer to take my case
I know this is an old question, but this thread has been most helpful. I’ve taken various forms of Benadryl, diphenhydramine (generic sleep aids, allergy meds) for 5 years every single night for insomnia and sometimes during the day if my allergies are real bad. I have since developed histamine intolerance and am allergic to all foods that cause a histamine response. I can literally only eat like 8 things and it is hell. If I eat a high histamine food (like bananas, cheese, lunchmeat) I will be sick for 24 hours with headaches and flu like symptoms. It has taken me a long time to figure out what the heck was going on with me getting sick all the time. So, I didn’t put it together that the Benadryl for years could’ve caused this until researching histamine intolerance and they said diphenhydramine overuse could cause this. So I decided to go cold turkey 4 days ago and I am hella sick.
Bad headache, nausea, itching all over in weird places (scalp, armpits, palms) and overall feeling like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck.
Everything I read online always said “Benadryl is fine! Safe! Non addictive! Even pregnant women can take it!” I even told my doctor I took it for insomnia and she thought it was fine. IT IS NOT FINE. I’m going to power thru this, and CBD oil is helping somewhat with sleep and nausea, but it’s still misery. I wish I knew how long it will last or if I can eat normal food ever again. Best of luck to anyone dealing with this.
This has been the most helpful comment I have found almost 7 years after it was first posted
I experienced withdrawal symptoms as well but they went away by the third day. My symptoms were nausea, slight dizziness (overall car sick feeling) tiredness and minor flu like symptoms.
I had been taking these as post surgery sleep aid (four ankle surgeries in 6 months) and had been taking them for over a year. I ran out one night and didn’t make the correlation between the withdrawal symptoms until I recently decided to stop taking them all together and the symptoms were the same as the last time I got sick.
I recommend starting to go off of the medication on Friday night and take Monday off if needed. Tough it out through the weekend and by the third or fourth day you should be feeling much better. Drink lots of water during this time to help flush out your body.
Good luck, I hope this helps.
I am right now trying to to detox off of benadryl. I feel as if im crawling out of my skin.
Hi what were your symptoms?
It's more common than you think. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is abused all the time, especially in teens because of it's easy access. Go to any high school and there are kids bragging about the "high".
There are high risks associated with high dose and/or long term diphenhydramine abuse including high heart rate, cardiac arrest, seizures, memory loss, dementia (plenty of studies on the connection causing irreversible dementia out there now), urinary retention, etc.
There IS a withdrawal period. And depending on your level of abuse, it can get pretty bad. Expect nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jitters, insomnia, etc for the first few days. Then for the next couple weeks you'll likely experience allergy symptoms (stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, etc) and feeling like crap. Not to mention the psychological withdrawals, which might never fully go away, but the first month or two is the worse.
Just like kicking any other habit.
You WILL get through it, you just need to push through. The worst will be over within the first 3 days.
If you need help, ask for it! Believe it or not, this is a relatively common addiction in treatment programs. If you don't want to get professional treatment, tell someone you trust so that they can help keep you accountable.
What are your withdrawal symptoms?
I have burning skin with pins and needles on my feet, shins, hands and face. I have nausea and dizziness. I have insomnia where when I wake every 1-2 hours I have night sweats, heart palpitations and vibrations throughout my body. I also have tachycardia, but after 3 months it is starting to slow down somewhat.
In my previous post I put 60 - 7 days. It should read 6 - 7 days.
I'm going through this now and it's horrible. The real problem that I have is that I just had an operation last week and was given a lot of drugs while I was under. I'm not sure if this had any influence or not.
I took diphenhydramine 50-75 mg, on and off for a few years. Sometimes I would take it for 60 or 7 days straight and then it could be two weeks to 3 months before I took it again. In late October I got a cold and took it on and off until Nov. 6th. On Nov. 10th I started feeling sort of strange but wasn’t sure what was going on. I have an enlarged prostate and while I was in bed late on the 10th I got up and found that could not pee at all. I tried all night with no luck, and on the 11th ended up in the ER. They had to catheterize me and told me that diphenhydramine does that to enlarged prostates.
The problem was that I was getting all kinds of side effects now, like pins & needles in my skin and an elevated heart rate. My resting heart rate is usually 57-59, it was now 85. As the days went on I was waking each night with tachycardia and nausea 2-3 times a night. By night 7 I started getting hypnic jerks and was getting zero sleep. Meanwhile the pins & needles were increasing in my hands, face, shins and feet. I was getting nausea during the day and a stuffy nose. My heart rate was sometimes into the 90’s and I had slight depression and lots of anxiety. During all of this they tried pulling my catheter but, I still couldn’t pee. Luckily they had already booked an operation for me, so, on Dec. 6th they operated on my prostate. It was tough because I was still suffering all of those side effects at the time. A few days after the operation they pulled the flushing catheter and I was able to pee. I’m still in bad shape with burning and sometimes itchy skin all over, nausea, headaches and tachycardia. I’m not sure when this will ever end but, if it does, I promise to come back and report what happened.
The prostate issue I'm glad you posted this as I've had problems since the benidryl and it's really scary with all sorts of symptoms weird electrical like tingling internally trouble peeing pain I stomach constipation etc. I'm worried it's cancer but going to the Dr about it is terrifying
Kootenayboy... The electrical feeling is a withdrawal symptom. So are the stomach issues. I just don't know how long this is supposed to last. How long have you been going through it.
Hi! I have been experiencing almost the same symptoms you experienced. I was taking ZzzQuil for 5 years approximately 7-9 pills, and then they were not helping me go to sleep so I increased the intake to 12 pills for about 2 months, one night I woke to an extremely rapid heart beat and it freaked me out. I stopped taking ZzzQuil and started feeling sick, like dizzy, nauseous etc... so I went back to it, taking about 4 pills every night but one Friday night I was watching tv with my children and all of a sudden I got very dizzy so I dropped the pills again and have been out of it ever since( about 2 weeks) however I have been experiencing dizziness pins in needles on my hands, face, feet, numbness on both arms tachycardia(167bpm) my husband brought me straight to the Er, I had and EKG a whole bunch of blood work done and nothing was found. I went back home and had a pretty rough weekend feeling nauseous dizzy and racing heart beat Etc..
on Monday I woke up extremely agitated my heart was racing, my body was shaking and I started panicking so I called my husband because my heart once again hit 167pbm my arms, hand, feet, neck was all numb, the ambulance came and picked me up. I got to the hospital once again did all the blood work again EKG and nothing was found they send me home with no diagnosis. I don’t know what to do anymore
I can't even believe I found a thread on this, because I thought I was the only person legit "on Benadryl." I've been taking it for probably about 12 years, just to sleep (although I few times when I was younger I took up to 16 and got really high, but high similar to dextromethorphan - not recommended). Otherwise, I have been taking 2-3 to sleep. My doctor actually prescribes it because she thinks it's better for my insomnia than actual sleeping pills. I have been off of it for 2 nights and I really thought I was sick, but now I am thinking it is because I am not taking the pills. No one has mentioned this, but the thing that made me think it was stopping the Benadryl is my whole body is itching (along with headache and a flu feeling). I also just read about the Alzheimer's and dementia connection.
Can this be reversed by stopping, or is the damage done? I can't find anything in the medical literature about what can be done. I am also wondering how long these "withdrawal" symptoms will last. I never had to quit anything except cigarettes and that was not physically hard (mentally, another story).
I took it in the form of Nytol for 5 years and i slept better than I had i several years. When I read about the long term effects of it , I stoped. Not having any side effects for the first three days, I didn’t connect chronic headaches and sniffles right away as withdrawal symptoms. They continued for 2 weeks and gradually lessened. Drank lots of skin milk. Avoided coffee tea or caffeine. I’m fine now.. BUT THE SIDE EFFECTS ARE MOST DEFINITELY PHYSICAL. Headaches for me were the worst
drug dependence, sedation, diphenhydramine, withdrawal
- Diphenhydramine uses and safety info
- Diphenhydramine information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side effects of Diphenhydramine (detailed)
Search for questions
Still looking for answers? Try searching for what you seek or ask your own question.