Thursday October 23rd 2014

Can you get addicted to Benadryl?

Sometimes. If you are taking Benadryl as prescribed, your chances of becoming addicted to the active ingredients found in the antihistamine are relatively low. But if you are taking Benadryl for euphoric effect, risk of Benadryl addiction increases. We review here.

Benadryl chemistry and use

Benadryl is an antihistamine used for the temporary relief of allergy symptoms, motion sickness and in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. However, the active ingredient in Benadryl (diphenhydramine) can also affect the central nervous system and has been used medically as a sleep aid and a cough suppressant. Non-medically, people may seek the significant sedative side effects of the drug and abuse Benadryl for euphoric effect.  In other words, many over the counter and Rx drugs do not have euphoric effect.  For example,  getting high on ibuprofen and taking trazodone to get high is impossible.  But Benadryl is different. Some people can feel high on Benadryl.

What does Benadryl do in the body?

Diphenhydramine is a H1 receptor antagonist, which works by blocking the effect of histamine in the body and results in relief from allergy symptoms. However, the chemical reactions that diphenhydramine trigger in the body may also other effects, including significant sedative side effects on the central nervous system. The effects of Benadryl are dose dependent and peak plasma concentrations of diphenhydramine occur 2-3 hours after ingestion. The effects of Benadryl usually last 4-6 hours. Benadryl central nervous system effects include:

  • abnormal sensations (“pins and needles”)
  • blurred vision
  • confusion
  • convulsions
  • disturbed coordination
  • dizziness
  • euphoria
  • excitation
  • fatigue
  • inflammation of a peripheral nerve or nerves
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • nervousness
  • restlessness
  • sedation
  • sleepiness
  • tinnitus
  • tremor
  • vertigo

Mixing Benadryl with other substances

Benadryl is known to have adverse reactions when mixed with other medications or substances.  Effects of diphenhydramine are increased by the presence of MAOI’s, diazepam, hypnotics, sedatives, tranquilizers, and other central nervous system depressants.  Like other drugs, mixing diphenhydramine with alcohol can be dangerous and should be avoided (can you mix Adderall and alcohol?). If you take Benadryl and drink alcohol, the sleepy, drowsy, or lightheaded sensations of alcohol may be amplified…but you are at increased risk for overdose on Benadryl and can cause serious harm to yourself and others.

How do you get addicted to Benadryl?

It is rare that people who take Benadryl as prescribed report dependence or withdrawal effects within recommended doses (25-50 mg diphenhydramine every 6-8 hours, not to exceed 50-100 mg every 4-6 hours.). But you should know if you take Benadryl repeatedly, or at higher than recommended doses. over time you can develop a physical tolerance to diphenhydramine. In other words, you will need to take more Benadryl to achieve the same effects. But physical dependence is not the same as addiction.

If you are taking Benadryl for the central nervous system effects of sedation or euphoria, you may also develop psychological dependence on diphenhydramine. Psychological dependence on drugs is a mental obsession with your drug of choice, and craving the drug even though taking it does you harm. So, Benadryl addiction occurs when your body both develops tolerance for diphenhydramine, you go through withdrawal when you stop taking it, AND you crave Benadryl despite negative consequences drug use has brought in your life.

Questions about Benadryl dependency

If you think that you may have a problem with Benadryl, you probably do. Please leave your question about Benadryl use or possible dependency below. We’ll be happy to help or to refer you to a local organization who can.

Reference sources:  NIAAA publication Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol with Medicines
AHFS Consumer Medication Information on Diphenhydramine
NIDA COMMUNITY DRUG ALERT: Prescription Drug Abuse
Daily Med drug info for diphenhydramine
Wiki on histamine antagonist
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Drug and Human Performance Fact Sheets on Diphenhydramine

Photo credit: mrphancy

Leave a Reply

192 Responses to “Can you get addicted to Benadryl?
tina
8:37 pm December 1st, 2011

i have a problem…

6:54 pm December 3rd, 2011

Hi Tina. Thanks for getting in touch. Are you ready to stop taking Benadryl? Do you trust your family doctor enough to tell on yourself?

Samantha
11:58 am January 3rd, 2012

I have a problem .I take 100 to 150mg every night. been taking it for 3 years now. Can’t sleep without it.

4:07 am January 4th, 2012

Hi Samantha. Thanks for letting us know. It must be scary to think that you cannot sleep without Benadryl. Do you want to stop taking it to get to sleep?

Samantha
5:23 pm January 4th, 2012

Yes I want to stop my heart starts beating really fast now about 30 min after taking the medicine

Bill
11:21 am January 5th, 2012

I think I was unknowingly developing a serious problem but have now flushed the benadryl and won’t be touching it again, thanks for the very informative article

2:00 am January 7th, 2012

Hi Samantha. My suggestion to you would be to consult a doctor. You first need to evaluate your dependency levels, and then come up with a plan for possible withdrawal. You should be able to do this with the help of a general physician or family doctor…but if needed, you can always consult a local detox office.

Does this help?

bretney
1:19 pm February 23rd, 2012

I wanted to know more about dependency. I take it at last twice a day at about 500 Mg at a time. Does it cause health problems? I was wondering if stopping causes irritability.

2:37 pm February 23rd, 2012

Hi Bretney. Thanks for your question. From what I have read, some tolerance may develop to the sedative effects of diphenhydramine with repeated oral dosing. That means that after time, you would have to take more Benadryl to achieve similar effect as when you first started. But withdrawal protocol from Benadryl is tricky to find.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, no withdrawal effects within recommended doses have been reported. However, one recorded case study of diphenhydramine withdrawal occurred when doctors lowered doses from 1600 to 600 mg/d suddenly and then tapered diphenhydramine over 9 days. Records do state mildly irritability and increased defecation as side effects during diphenhydramine withdrawal.

You can find more information here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1451752/pdf/cmaj00214-0060.pdf

Does this help?

Dana
6:11 pm July 23rd, 2012

I’ve been taking Diphenhydramine every night for 7 years. Now I am up to 250mg a night I stopped about 48 hours ago and I’m just wondering how long these withdrawal symptoms last. Been dealing with nausea, dizziness, headache, irratibilty, upset stomach, insomnia. Thanks

12:29 pm July 24th, 2012

The time period it takes for drug withdrawal to occur and for symptoms to resolve is as unique as the individual withdrawing from the drug. Antihistamines taken as sleeping aids because of their sedating properties can provoke withdrawal symptoms for up to a week after you stop dosing. However, your experience will be unique and differ according to your age, body mass, general health, etc. I’d suggest that you seek medical help and counsel for advice on diphenhydramine withdrawal, including possible medical interventions to help ease the symptoms that you report.

Cierra
10:06 pm August 7th, 2012

I have been using diphenhydramine(HCL) to help me sleep for the last three years, i have taken up to 400mg a day. I stopped taking them three days ago and i have been experiencing nausesa, irritability, headaches and an upset stomach. I was wondering if anyone had a similar experience as me and how long did it take for the withdrawal symptoms to go away?

6:11 pm August 8th, 2012

Hi Cierra. I hope that this article can help you:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1451752/

Please let me know if there’s anything else we can do to support you in your decision to stop using diphenhydramine to get to sleep.

Alicia Rogers
10:45 am August 26th, 2012

Im addicted have been for 5 years I take around 15 a day sometime more depending on the day I have a immune disorder and celiac disease im scared my addition or need will kill me someday. And my doctors know I take it and how much everyone knows they dont seem to concerned my mom is of coarse but any medical doctor I have told says it is ok

3:58 pm August 28th, 2012

Hi Alicia. I’d suggest that you seek help from a doctor or addiction specialist who knows about the addictive properties of diphenhydramine. Keep calling people to ask for help or go straight to an addiction treatment center and as their intake people if they can treat diphenhydramine addiction. Better to know up front what kind of services a medical establishment can provide you with than to be disappointed later.

jakeblake
4:23 am September 2nd, 2012

When I was just out of high school I.started taking sleeping pills then turned into benedryle. I am 35 and still take massive doses(40-50 pills a DAY) I’m high right now but know I have a problem. I feel hopeless all the time and its ruining my life. What can I do?

7:27 pm September 2nd, 2012

Hi Jake. The first thing that you do is to admit that you need help. And then, you seek council with a medical doctor, trusted friend or addiction professional such as a psychologist, counselor or psychiatrist. You CAN get better…but the path to getting better requires an honest look at the reasons why you use drugs to feel OK in your own skin.

Does that help?

jakeblake
2:53 pm September 3rd, 2012

I have been to a treatment facility but when I told them my drug of choice was benedryl they didn’t take me seriously. Kind of laughed in my face and discharged me the same week. Where do you go after you go to the people that are supposed to help you and won’t?

8:11 pm September 3rd, 2012

Hi Jake. I find it disappointing and disturbing that a professional addiction treatment center does not recognize the real danger of addiction to diphenhydramine. I can only say that there are many charlatan treatment centers who disguise themselves as medical centers but are in reality just there for insurance money. I’d suggest that you seek a recognized expert facility or even a private addiction counselor who understands drug addiction and its manifestations. Sound them out by making a phone call to screen out unprofessional centers and ask if they specifically CAN treat diphenhydramine addiction, or not.

Alicia Rogers
5:01 pm September 5th, 2012

Can it kill me? Or do something to my body?

6:34 pm September 5th, 2012

Hi Alicia. The short term side effects of diphenhydramine include agitation, dry mouth, confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, disturbed coordination, irritability, pins & needles, blurred vision, and depression. Most notably, this drug may cause drowsiness and has an additive effect with alcohol or other central nervous system depressants…making you even more drowsy if you take other depressant medications.

Diphenhydramine can cause serious symptoms if you overdose on it such as tremors, sinus tachycardia, fever, hallucination, convulsions or seizures, low blood pressure, deep coma, cardiorespiratory collapse, and death.

Do you know who to ask for help? Have you tried calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357)?

Jeff
7:16 pm September 5th, 2012

Hey everyone.. I can tell you from first hand experience in most cases you can know more about a particular drug than your doctor. Not to make excuses for them but think of all the medications out there that a general doctor has to keep up with. I had some major side effects when I quit taking gereric paxil. My doctor was clueless but then I started doing research on my own and all of my symptom other people had experienced when they quit taking the prescription drug. Naturally, everyones symptoms vary. Just do your homework before taking or getting off a prescription drug. If your doctor prescribes something, ask him/her the side effects then get online yourself and see what people are saying who have actually taken the drug. My prayers and thoughts are with everyone because I know YOU CAN get YOUR life back!!!!

Alicia Rogers
8:21 pm September 5th, 2012

Im not gonna overdose my body is getting immune to it therefore I have to take more do alot of people get addicted to Benadryl?

11:03 am September 6th, 2012

Hi Alicia. No, I do not think that Benadryl addiction is very common. That does not mean that it does not occur. However, I do think that Jeff is right. Keep looking for a doctor who understands drug addiction, and is open to looking at research and who can help you. For more information, search for these keywords in your internet browser:

site:.gov diphenhydramine dependence
site:.gov diphenhydramine addiction

chris
9:06 am September 7th, 2012

Hey ive been takin diphenhydramine since i waaas 9 yrs old im 23 now im up to 800 to 1000 mg a day i jus got out of treatmen gt for 7yrs methadone and benzo i know i got a prob with diphen to but i cant sleep at all no more do u have any advice

12:24 pm September 8th, 2012

Hi Chris. Yes! My suggestion is to talk with a sleep specialist. There are many lifestyle adjustments to make in order to get a good night’s sleep. But if you are in early recovery, turning to other meds might NOT be the right approach. See a doctor and ask for a referral to a sleep specialist.

JakeBlake
4:37 am September 9th, 2012

Benedryl and alcohol is very addictive together. My experience with it is, it gives me a rollercoaster. I might be ready to go to sleep but when i try, my body wants to move so i have to get up therefore i drink more. This is was very fun in college but now that i have kids i hate the way i feel but i still do it. I have been doing both together for about 15 years. my life has passed in a daze. I hope that whoever is taking them together can get off. its not fun when you’re 35

saucy
10:17 pm September 9th, 2012

A family member completed rehab for an oxycodone / heroin addiction. This person is now taking sleep products with diphenhydramine and drinking alcohol – possibly at the same time. I tend to think that this is a dangerous combination, but the family does not see it that way. This person seems overwhelmed, unhealthy, and stressed all the time. The physical surroundings of the home are in complete disarray – similar to when this person was an addict. I’m highly concerned. Some in the family think that the addict is “cured” and that it’s ok to drink and take sleep aids. Am I right to be worried? What do I do?

7:39 pm September 11th, 2012

Hello saucy. Yes, drinking and taking diphenhydramine are risky behaviors for a drug addict. If you are concerned, I’d suggest that you address the person yourself, or speak privately with the person’s doctor. However, there is only so much influence you can have…and the situation will not change without the addict’s involvement and commitment to get better.

chris
8:38 am September 12th, 2012

Does diphenhydramine hurt your stomach lining for the past couple weeks when i take my diphen it kills my stomach and it never did before ive been on them close to 14 years

1:12 pm September 12th, 2012

Hi Chris. Stomach pain can be present during acute diphenhydramine overdose or may be caused by other factors. FYI, gastrointestinal symptoms are less frequently observed with diphenhydramine than with
other H1 antagonists. I’d suggest that you contact a family doctor ASAP and look into possible other medical causes for your stomach discomfort.

Toli
6:12 pm September 14th, 2012

I have been taking two benadryl to sleep for about 20 days, sometimes i had to take 3-4, most of the time 2. Can I still get off them or am i addicted?

1:15 pm September 15th, 2012

Hi Toli. There is a difference between physical dependence and addiction. I think that you may be confusing the two. While it’s possible that you may be physically dependent on Benadryl, you can stop taking Benadryl, go through possible withdrawal symptoms and then recover. For a Benadryl addict, cravings for diphenhydramine will persist even after withdrawal.

And yes, you can stop taking Benadryl at any time. However, if you think that you’ve become dependent on Benadryl, seek a medical opinion first, taper your dosage, and stop taking Benadryl under medical supervision.

2:06 pm September 16th, 2012

Hi Chris. To be honest: I do not know if long term diphenhydramine affects the stomach lining, or not. Not many longitudinal studies exist which look at the long term effects of diphenhydramine. I would suggest that you speak with your general physician or family doctor about these reported side effects…you may be due for a physical check up and full diagnostic analysis.

chris
4:59 am September 18th, 2012

Thanks for yr advice

TastesLikeTang
1:35 am October 9th, 2012

I’m very sad to read about this drug. A friend admits that she takes Benadryl every day and has done so for years. Reading the above has me worried.

chris
8:38 am October 10th, 2012

I’ve been breaking out in hives for 16 yrs, Doctor couldn’t do anything but prescribed me Predisone at the breakouts Benedryl couldnt stop..Started at normal dose 50mg at a time now Im at 100mg for it to work. Recently I was but on Antibotic therapy for a Bone infection and Predisone to jump start my Immune system….I was breaking out every treatment and at 3*a day thats 300mg…I found myself falling asleep sitting down and constantly fighting my eyes….Came to the point My Girlfriend has backed off of me and wants explanations or its over…..My QUESTION does anyone have a simular case and what are my options? Benedryl just messed up something amazing and I HAD NO clue Addiction could be a possibility. I haven’t taking any in 3daya n feel fine but I know when I start surfing again….I need a solution or is this all in my head??? Its a trip

9:24 am October 10th, 2012

Hi Chris. What does your prescribing doctor say?

emory
11:41 pm October 10th, 2012

I am a hopeless diphenydramine addict. I began 4 years ago with 300mg to acheive euphoria. Now, 4 years later I am taking as many as 70 pills a day. I need help and don’t know where to find it.

6:59 pm October 11th, 2012

Hi Emory. Good for you for reaching out for help. You can find help by calling the National Drug Information Treatment and Referral Hotline: 800-662-HELP (4357) This 24 hour, 7 day a week hotline offers information, support, treatment options and referrals to local rehab centers for any drug or alcohol problem.

Cory
11:14 pm October 11th, 2012

I just recently came to the realization that I am addicted to diphenhydramine. I had some very severe symptoms including waking up from some very vivid nightmares feeling like. I was going to die! The only way I can explain it is to compare it to motion sickness or vertigo. I woke up drenched in sweat with heart palpitations and anxiety. I have also been experiencing constant joint and muscle pain originating from my knees and radiating out into my leg which have gotten progressively worse over the last two years.I also have experienced a lot af nervousness, depression, restlessness and insomnia, just to name a few less severe symptoms.
I realized after doing some research last night what has been causing it. Benadry. Is it just me or shouldn’t our government be protecting us from stuff like this.This crap should at absolute minimum have some serious warning labels on the box. I have been taking this garbage for almost three years now at about 50 to 75 mg a night before. Go to bed. Its ruining my life and I’m very angry about it. Not to mention scared! Should I just quit cold turkey or wein myself off?

2:53 pm October 12th, 2012

Hi Cory. I’d suggest that you get an appointment with your family doctor ASAP for a consultation on tapering Benadryl dosage, as well as asking for more information and local resources/alternatives to treat the symptoms that you mention. It’s time for a check-up and visiting your doctor is the first step in getting help! BTW – any drug withdrawal has potential side effects, so cold turkey withdrawal without medical supervision is definitely not the best way to go. All the best of luck to you!!!

American
6:29 am October 28th, 2012

I’ve been taking two benadryls per night for the past six months to help me sleep. I don’t drink, smoke, or use any other drugs. Can I be addicted?

9:03 am November 5th, 2012

Hi American. You body can be physically dependent on the main active ingredient in Benadryl, diphenhydramine, without having a psychological addiction to the drug. If you want to end the physical dependency, I’d suggest that you consult with your family doctor to report the use and to seek alternatives (either lifestyle or pharmaceutical) for sleeping. For mild sleeping problems, I personally use melatonin. There are plenty of options out there!

Jeff
2:35 pm November 5th, 2012

Hey American. I am in no way a doctor but can tell you that do everything in your power to resolve your sleeping issues without medication. Try walking in the evenings. Eating earlier. Read a good book, (the Bible is awesome)… Get up earlier… Good luck!!!

Rick
12:45 am December 13th, 2012

Hi yall I am trying to get my ol lady of this crap ..We have both have our drug ues out back in the day and hardcor drugs ..Not just pot ..but I thought we were both over all that crap ..Boy was I wrong …Last week my ol lady ran out of this crap and she was with out for two days ..Man she started acting angry for no reson and it only got wores as the night went on.In the moring she went to the store and got some when she got home about half hour later she was cool and relaxed ..She was acting hi of this crap..Can you help me??

Lee
10:38 pm December 17th, 2012

My daughters dad has been giving her large amounts of benedryl to get her to sleep the entire time she is with him. She is 16 months old and spends 48 hours every other week with him. Is it possible for her to become addicted to benedryl in this short amount of time? She comes home and she’s very irritable and just cries unconsolable for 3-4 days then she starts recovering. She also has severe dry mouth as she drinks 5x as much as usual and won’t eat. What are the withdrawl symptoms of benedryl in young children? What are the long term harms that this will cause to her?

8:32 am December 18th, 2012

Hi Lee. Contact a social worker immediately! Your child’s father SHOULD NOT be using Benadryl to put a child to sleep. This is borderline drug abuse and if it happens any more, you should not leave your daughter with him.

Oliver
9:35 am January 2nd, 2013

I started taking benadryl about 3 years ago. I’m afraid it’s out if control now I started at 50mg and now I’m taking 6 pills several times a day. It’s affecting my memory, my behavior, everything. I started taking benadryl to help me sleep, but then i noticed it was helping control my mood swings, i have bipolar disorder. it was also making me a lot less anxious and thats a huge problem I’ve always had. All I want to do is stay at home & space out from the benadryl. The winter doesn’t help because I am a shut in during cold weather. I really want to stop but im afraid that doing so would make me revert back to my old ways and I don’t want that. I tried to quit a yea ago or so, the farthest I got was 2 weeks. It’s frustrating. I knew my use was a problem before but now it’s starting to scare me. I’m easily confused about normal tasks & driving is beginning to be a problem. I don’t use them while I drive but the morning after, driving seems to be a bit tough. I notice I’m clumsier & when someone speaks to me, my reaction time is delayed, my body feels weird, not to mention the stomach pains I wake up to sometimes. I know one of my issues with it is that it makes me dehydrated & maybe my lack of keeping myself properly hydrated is making these side effects worse. I don’t know who to go to for help for this, but I’m desperate.

11:42 am January 2nd, 2013

Hi Oliver. You can start with seeing your family doctor. The best thing to do when you’re ready to face psychological addiction to any substance is to move beyond denial and admit your problem to someone else. It’s a real relief! For free, anonymous help you can call the National Drug Abuse Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP.

Good luck and let us know if this helps!

Sarah
1:46 am January 9th, 2013

I am addicted to IV Benadryl mostly, I have a port in and have been seretly pushing 50-100mg of Benadryl whenever I feel like I need it. I also take 3-4 pills before bed too. My friend has an addictions church that meets on Wednesday nights but I would feel stupid going there when I don’t even have a true drug problem. I don’t do any drugs only Benadryl. How do I ask my friend about coming to his support group? My friend is the addictions pastor there. I don’t want to overdose on this stuff but I need that feeling it gives me.

3:21 pm January 9th, 2013

Hi Sarah, I think that you definitely qualify for the support group! Needing a chemical to get through the day is totally the basis for addiction, so don’t feel silly. Reach out to your friend and ask for help!!! You don’t need to do this alone!

Lisa
4:10 am January 22nd, 2013

I am addicted to benadryl. I have been taking it to get high for at least 2 years, if not longer. What damage have I caused my body and what can i do to stop?

2:37 pm January 23rd, 2013

Hi Lisa. I’d suggest that you go see your family doctor ASAP and ask for help. You may need to taper doses before totally eliminating Benadryl from your system and it will be helpful to have a medical opinion. Additionally, you can ask for referrals to mental health services in your area that treat chemical dependence and addiction. It’s possible that you can detox in a clinical setting, if necessary. And then, you should plan to follow up with psychological treatment for the underlying issues which compel you to use Benadryl. Let us know if you need additional support!

Eddie
6:32 am February 7th, 2013

I do think I have a problem. I take about 4-5 pills of 25 mg. I love the sedating feeling it gives me. It makes me sleep so great!

Kisara
5:27 pm February 13th, 2013

Can Benedryl cause pain in the legs where you can’t walk for a few days?

Erika S
2:41 pm February 22nd, 2013

I have been taking Benadryl off and on for many years. At worst i can take 40 a night of the standard 25 mg. Cosco sells a bottle of 600 for a little under $6.00 (yes 6 dollars). When I try to stop and have on numerous occasions i feel like I’ve got a flu or just bad in general. The symptoms kick in after 36 hours without my 30 pills a night. I can get the symptoms down by taking 6 pills, but that starts the cycle and before I know it I’ve taken 25 more. I have done this since I stopped drinking 20 years ago.
It affects my ability to focus or discern my tasks as a software developer. I did kick it(again) 4months ago. That time was bad and I actually experiences swelling plus elevated blood pressure. This may not be related but it certianly felt like it.

Concerned
1:50 am February 24th, 2013

I am scared to death! I think my uncle is SEVERELY addicted to benedryl. He goes through at least 100 in a day. he is falling down most of the time, loosing weight, bright green diarrhea, and has become very anti social. his kids call him and he just ignores the calls. When you try to talk to him, he gets very agitated, incoherent, and is exhausted all the time. I don’t know what to do. Most of the time, his kids, family, friends call me, because I am the one who lives closest to him. It’s getting hard to balance my life and his. what do I do? How can I help him he seems like he doesn’t care anymore……

2:33 pm February 24th, 2013

Hello Concerned. 100 bottles of Benadryl a day is a serious cry for help! I’d suggest that you get in touch with your state attorney general’s office and see if there is a law that can require him to seek treatment. In Florida, it’s called the “Baker Act”. Additionally, call the social services office in your county and learn more about what you can do.

Maria
12:06 am February 25th, 2013

Can Benadryl make you gain weight? I use it during allergy season, and its one of the only drugs to help me, especially with asthma. But I feel like I gain weight during that time. Is this possible side effect? I know thats not your specialsty, but I thought maybe you had heard something.

PS, I don’t really need much of it. I take one or at most two 25 mg pills a day. Sometimes even just half of a pill. Just put my mind at ease that its not realistic to assume that could cause weight gain. Wow. You people realize that Benadryl is one of the older drugs in the world, right? Its not often that it leads to addiction. I suppose any sedative can. But no reason that the rest of us should die from an allergy attack( yes, die) so that a few people who somehow developed an addiction would not have it around.

1:59 pm February 25th, 2013

Hello Kisara and Maria. I’d suggest that you both ask these questions of your local pharmacist via phone or walk in consultation. Pharmacists are trained to understand and explain possible effects of drugs.

Scared
8:48 am March 27th, 2013

I have been on them 10 years now. At first I only took 2 a day for allergies. But now it’s bad real bad. This past week alone I have taken 800 pills. For all the people ^^ thats saying there is not many people addicted to Ben sorry but have you been reading the same posts above that I have been reading. I know I am addicted I just don’t know how to stop. I don’t have money for a Doc or insurence. I am scared that this will kill me. I can buy a bottle of 250 pills for 3.00$. It took me 2 days to finish that bottle. I have been geeting worse and worse side effects. I stay sleepy I am having breathing issues like I cant catch a breath, my vision stays blurry for longer periods of time, I have started getting irregular heart beats, I cant focus, I am quick to snap and quick to cry. I never want to leave my house to do anything but get more pills.My mouth is always dry. The last few days my breathing and heart scare me so bad. I know I have a problem. Lastnight my heart started acting up and I swore to myself I wouldn’t take anymore. Bout an hour later it starting beating ok again so I took more. I take about 20 or more at a time. I started to shake somewhat and the heart and breathing started again this time before I could stop myself I flushed the rest down the toilet. I have now been 24 hours since I have taken any I cut up my debit card and told my husband to keep my car keys. He got sent out of town for work about 8 hours ago. I am not this person and hate who I have become. I have kept this to myself for a long long time. I know I have an addictive personality. I have done other drugs in the past and always thought I was strong when I quit those on my own. But all I have done is trade 1 drug for another. I dont have money for to go talk to someone and I do really have sever allergies. I am lost and see no light I don’t want to die from this. It’s just a cycle that will keep repeating over and over. HELP ME PLEASE

2:44 pm March 28th, 2013

Hi Scared. Call 1-800-662-HELP for the national drug abuse hotline. You are not alone!

Nicole
6:25 am March 31st, 2013

I take 2 benadryl every night cuz I have serious problems with my allergies cuz I have 4 cats and I’m allergic to them and I stopped taking them last week cuz my breathing was fine and I’ve had serve nausea and dizziness all week and I’ve had trouble sleeping as well, is it possible that my body got addicted to it without me realizing it

6:29 am March 31st, 2013

Hi Nicole. It sounds like you’re describing physical dependence (which is not addiction). Speak with a specialist in allergies or a pharmacist to talk about alternative medications to deal with the cat allergies. There may be a long term treatment option out there for you.

jen
10:41 pm April 1st, 2013

hi there,

i have been taking otc diphenhydramine for 7 years now…it started off innocent but i became obsessed with sleep and realised i can enjoy being high off these also. all my relationships have failed with my drug use being the common denominator…rehab is extremely expensive so not accessible. i have had what i think is a seizure twice now. my chest hurts i cannot walk, i can only crawl, my heart pounds loudly and my head tightens….i am on anxiety meds for social anxiety disorder so my symptoms should be calmed down.

i have taken two 20 packs a day at my worst…i weaned this down to about 10 but sometimes a take 40. stopped being able to take 20 at once because i wanted to end it all and this scared me. i am at my wits end with this but the only good thing is i can now take the meds between time (eg…2 tablets at 2pm then another 2 at 3pm) i want to get well but i end up taking other pills to get a buzz :( please help me x

7:21 am April 4th, 2013

Hi Jen. Your honesty about taking Benadryl for effect shows a consciousness of the level of addiction you’re in. If you’re ready for help, I’d suggest that you look for a treatment center/rehab and check in for 28 days minimum. We addicts can think of all of the reasons WHY NOT to do this, but it can be life changing if you’re ready for the change!

Lynn
4:23 am April 10th, 2013

Hey I take up to 3 to 4 pill at night to go to sleep that’s like 200mg, I need it too sleep can’t go to sleep without it, it helps a lot, but my family gets worry. Should I stop..

5:52 am April 10th, 2013

Hello Lynn. I’d suggest that you check in with a physician. Taking Benadryl to get sleep can be habit forming, and there may be other lifestyle changes or interventions that can help you get to sleep. But yes, it is probably a problem and you DO want to stop while you can.

Cheyenne
7:26 pm April 10th, 2013

I’m just overwhelmed with this knowledge that Benadryl CAN be addicting. I was able to get IV diphenhydramine for awhile and used it very rarely to sleep. I started noticing the “high” feeling I got when I first injected it-flushed feeling in face, rapid heartbeat, lightheaded and euphoric. I now only take 75mg of it 2X daily and I like the relaxed feeling I have about an hour after taking it. I am a firm believer that you can become “dependent” on any drug-OTC or RX. Is there any certain kind of addiction specialist that may be able to treat and diagnose antihistamine addiction? I see a psychiatrist for anxiety/panic disorder already but most doctors don’t believe you can actually get hooked on OTC sleep aids and/or allergy medication. Thanks in advance for all of the help you have given these people having the courage to say they know this is a problem and need to seek out further assistance!

5:09 am April 11th, 2013

Hi Cheyenne. Check out the American Psychologist Association’s “Therapist Finder” online search tool. Psychologists may be much better trained in identifying addiction than medical doctors and can refer you to local medical experts and resources, if necessary. Good luck!

Chance
5:06 am April 25th, 2013

I took benadryl a couple months ago to help with my allergies it was really bothering me so i took 6 to make sure it helped it did the job and more i liked never really taken it before i go any further around that time i had just quit smoking pot and abusing benzos and ever since then i have taken it everyday i first just started 5 a day then went up 2 every other day until i got to taking 15 a night but after a couple of days of that i started getting irritable so i took 4 in the morning and felt good and way less irritable so for about 2 months i take 5-6 everyday 2-3 times a day when the effects of the 5 i took earlier are gone i know i shouldn’t but i like way to much to stop and i can get it cheap at Sams Club QTY:400 for 5$ any advise ?

Confused
1:56 pm May 15th, 2013

Why has nobody mentioned the worst part of the entire addiction. Is it me or does everyone have intense hallucinations, i feel like ive self induced schizo with a drug that is over the counters. Every day i take it, it usually happens after i take about 12 or 14. If i avoid the sleep… the spiders come out… i think oh thats not so bad. they’re crawling up the walls, then on my arms… Then i start hearing my name being called. i decide to drop more and go further down the rabbit hole. thats where i am pretty sure i am dreaming while i’m awake. people come and talk to me. friends pop in for a visit… all of this happens while im laying in my bed feeling deathly ill. I think you should add Hallucinations to the side effects list… no kidding i have ended up waking up outside of my house in the grass when i reach the 40 point. what is that 25X40 1000… it only takes about 12 to start hallucinating. Make people aware that you’re body is the first thing to go… or rather your mind.

wits end
4:02 am May 23rd, 2013

My husband is addicted to benadryl. He takes 20 or more a day,, this has been an ongoing problem for many years. He is paranoid that everyone, including me, is out to get him. When he does try to get off of them, the withdrawal is horrible. He wont seek help. Advice to all who visit this blog. STOP killing your self, If your only taking a few, stop now, before your strung out. This addiction is horrible.

Dale
9:06 am June 3rd, 2013

I am addicted to iv benadryl use. I inject 2 50 mg pills about 3 times a night. I also take suboxone. I tried quitting both recently and was horrifically nauseas for 2 days. I have never gotten nauseas from opiate withdrawal. Could it be the benadryl.

Nate
5:32 am June 15th, 2013

I’m addicted to Benadryl and I’ll take up to 700 mg’s at least 4 times a week to get “high”. When I tried to stop, I felt absolutely terrible. Any ideas on how I could quit?

Lady crow
4:11 am July 16th, 2013

I`M going through a custody case and my children stay with me a week n they stay with their father a week but one of his family members told me that his mother gives my 3 year old and 1 year old Benadryl to make them go to sleep at night but I was wondering if I took them to the doctor can it be found in their system

12:36 pm July 16th, 2013

Hello Lady crow. It may be possible to request a lab test, but you”ll probably need to go directly to the diagnostic lab ASAP after their stay. Call a diagnostic 3rd party toxicology lab near you for more information.

JLK
10:25 pm July 19th, 2013

I have 5 years alcohol free but in the meantime I have developed a dangerous addiction to benadrl at doses as high as 900mg day. I am trying to get help and have been turned away bc insurance won’t cover this. I have tried to taper on my own to no avail. Any help you can give me would be so appreciated as I need to get this controlled. My addict has been turned on again, and I don’t know what to do…

Diane
5:25 pm July 30th, 2013

I have severe multiple chemical sensitivities and take 25mg(sometimes another 25) of benadryl and .5 of ativan when I have a reaction. when I react my pulse and blood pressure elevate there fore I don’t use the epipen any more. I was away and am back home and reacting frequently and don’t know what. I am “top heavy” as we call it as I was exposed to a lot of chemical ,perfumes, fabric softeners etc. the week I was away.Will it hurt if I take benadryl/ativan daily for a while till I settle down?I have had MCS since 1995 and 25mg usually helps me.Other times I am in emerge with benadryl, solu cortef and zantac administered IV.

Adam
7:19 pm August 19th, 2013

” Benadryl” is a gateway drug . People who feel the need to use it have some kind of deep underlying issues ..which only gets worse & worse as time goes by
.
My wife started on “Benadryl” she is dead today of “mixed dug toxicity” at the age of 40 ..leaving a devastated family behind

Glenda Jenkins
1:53 pm August 21st, 2013

I originally started taking Benadryl to help me sleep after the death of my daughter and as time passed I began having to use more and more. I know that I am addicted and I realize I was using Benadryl as a crutch to help me cope. I need help to stop taking Benadryl and help coping with her death. I don’t want to jeopardize my life, my family and my job any more!!!

5:10 pm August 21st, 2013

Hi Glenda. I am so sorry to hear of the death of your daughter. May she rest in peace and may you also get some peace in your heart! You are not alone. You can call 1-800-662-HELP to find a treatment center near you. You’ll benefit from a break in a rehab setting, whether inpatient or outpatient. But perhaps you’ll benefit from intense psychotherapy. First, reach out. What do your family and friends suggest?

Glenda Jenkins
7:02 pm August 22nd, 2013

They have been begging me to get help for some time but I have been living in a state of denial thinking that I was coping okay with her death. I used the Benadryl to knock myself out at home because I couldn’t sleep and didn’t want to have to feel the pain when I was at home with constant reminders of her. My other two children miss having a mother and I have realized that. I do have a very good support system and I am using them now to help. I have been 2 weeks without any Benadryl and just taking it day by day. I know that the Benadryl is only part of the problem and to stay on track I need to find a way to positively deal with my loss. I feel I am on the right track but I know that It will be a daily battle with a medication that is readily available OTC.

kristi hayes
2:20 am September 3rd, 2013

Hi ,
I take about 35 to 40 a day. And my body is jerking can you tell me what is going on?
Thanks,
Kristi

5:23 am September 5th, 2013

Hello Kristi. Please call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 to report these symptoms and ask for help. You may need to also follow up any type of clinical withdrawal or medical detox with a stay in rehab, as it seems that 35-40 a day is more than just casual use; you’ve probably developed an addiction.

Jennifer Alexander
9:55 pm October 6th, 2013

I’ve been dealing with social anxiety and panic disorder. When I have a panic attack my face flushes, I perspirate more, and my mind races, but when I take 75-100mg of Benadryl (I weigh 120lbs) the symptoms are diminished quite a bit.
After the panic attack ends, my hands are shaky and my vision is distorted. In other words, I feel horrible from the Benadryl but it helps my panic attacks.
I understand this isn’t healthy, but to exactly what extent am I putting myself in danger?

jasmine
4:00 am October 20th, 2013

My names is jasmine im 18 I take 2 pills benadryl Evedynight Because i have bad allergic reactions to alot of things and ive been to a allergy doctor and he told me what i was allergic to i followd his directions and washing My bed sheets and everything in hot water doesnt seem to help . i have been taking benadryl for quite some time now.and its tending to mess up my sleeping pattern now that i take it i can never get to sleep at night so i take it to sleep and for allergies is taking 2 pills everynight leading me to something bad

jasmine
4:02 am October 20th, 2013

and my memory seems to be getting worse by the second what should i do

Cat
11:24 am October 20th, 2013

I have been taking a fairly large amount of Benadryl on a nightly basis to help me sleep for a long duration of time.. (Like 2-3 years)
When I stop taking it for 2+ nights, I get really explosive intense headaches, and once I lost my vision even and couldn’t stop throwing up.
I took it knowing that it was actually making me sick.
I feel silly thinking about telling a doctor about my problem because it just seems like such a wussy addiction..

7:14 pm October 20th, 2013

Hello Cat. There’s no such thing as a wussy addiction. And if your physician treats you with any kind of disrespect or disbelief, you’ll need a new doctor. If you’re ready to take the first step towards help, the doors should open for you.

Diawana
9:41 pm October 20th, 2013

I’ve been taking Benedryl for allergies for quite some time. I’d begun to notice that my allergies seemed to be getting worse, but I attributed it to changing seasons. (Fall to winter). So I talked with my doctor (10/18/2013) & he gave me an injection of cortisone. He said it was a large dose & should give me relief for 4-6 weeks. I haven’t taken any Benedryl in 2 days, yet my symptoms of itchy eyes & nose, runny nose, post nasal drip resulting in cough, are just as bad as before the shot. So, could I be “addicted” to Benedryl& having rebound effects? Has anyone else had this happen? Any suggestions as what to do?

7:16 pm October 21st, 2013

Hello Diawana. Instead of a family doctor, I’d suggest that you consult with an ENT specialist.

Diawana
12:25 am October 22nd, 2013

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll do that if things don’t get better. Today (10/21/2013) the 3rd. day after the cortisone injection, my symptoms seem to have abated. Perhaps I just needed to give the cortisone time to work.

Karen Gratch
6:49 pm October 24th, 2013

How long does Benadryl withdrawal last?

Christy
4:25 am November 18th, 2013

I can’t seem to get asleep without taking a benadryl before bed. I lie awake for hours. 30 minutes after I take a benadryl I’m out like a light, and I sleep all through the night. I’ve only been taking one right before I go to bed for the past 2 weeks or so, never more than that. What do I do? I’ve tried counting sheep, hot baths, warm milk, I’m at my wits end!

11:22 am November 18th, 2013

Hello Christy. Yes, it’s probably best to stop this dosing right now. Look into more natural sleep aid alternatives like melatonin, chamomille tea, and/or meditation. It sounds like you’re on the cusp of making this a habit, which can be hard to break.

Oscar
10:31 pm November 19th, 2013

I have read most of the blogs, but no one mentions my concern. I use to only have to take a benadryl occasionally, but now when I don’t take one on a regular basis, I get really sick…flu like symptoms, heavy congestion, wheezing and sneezing. It seems as if my body has gotten so use to me putting the medication into it for relief, that now if I don’t, I get really sick. Any truth to the possibility that in a way my body is now dependent on it?

Alex
12:12 am November 22nd, 2013

I must say that I think I have fallen into co-dependency for benadryl. I am also a semi alcoholic and use cocain frequently. I realized that the way I was doing cocain was gonna end my life, so I have simmered down on my coke addictions, however, I also smoke marijuana daily, and hash. Now I find myself also popping pills. I mean I have yet to use anything that is as euphoric as cocaine, but, benadryl makes me feel pretty good. I feel high and sedated how I marijuana makes me feel. But marijuana is pricy, and when I don’t have my daily dosage of joints I pop pills, and if I’m out drinking I’m doing coke. Is this a pattern of an addict? This is very sad, because I was drug free my entire life till I lost it all two years ago and fell into major depression. What should I do?

2:32 pm November 26th, 2013

Hi Alex. It does sound as if you may be physically dependent on Benadryl. While this does not mean that you are necessarily addicted to it, you can benefit from medical advice on how to wean yourself from the habit. Have you consulted with a pharmacist or your family doctor yet?

nathan0621
5:24 pm December 16th, 2013

Hello, I was using this as a sleep aid for about 3 months (100-150mg) daily, I quit taking it because i started having auditory hallucinations, ringing in my ear, and confusion….im still having these symptoms after throwing the F**King bottle away about 2 months ago…also my skin feels like i rolled around in home insulation…this is really starting to worry me…. will this go away, I have never felt this way before….my short term memory is shot…im afraid if i see a doctor they wont be able to help or ill get some BS like drink water or something has anyone gone through this?!! please help!

Alex
1:57 am December 18th, 2013

Hi addiction blog, thanks for responding, sorry it took me a bit to get back to you, I barely got the notice in my email. No, I have not consulted a dr. I haven’t been taking too much Benadryl lately. I been doing other things, but keeping it low. I really do not any more addictions that will end badly.

Nathan, what did you say happened to your skin? I have bad short memory too, lately. I realized I watched movies that I seen over n over and I don’t remember the entire movie now. Also, when I c a pic I can remember exactly what I saw, same with words if I’m trying to spell a large word and google it, and I try to remember it l, I cannot for the life of me. Also, I started to get hives and rashes. I don’t know if that is something from drugs or if that is the weather changer, however I did start to take benadryl. I have too hallucinated to seeing things that aren’t there.
I don’t know if this is too much shit in my system, but I’m taking it easy. If you want somethin as good as benadryl that is not harmful, try marijuana, medicated one. It’s good to sleep.

I hope u feel better.

nathan0621
3:18 pm December 18th, 2013

ALEX…thank you for your post…i know exactly what you mean by the images…its almost like i can see through my eyelids….i also felt sedation while on it too and felt so relaxed…its been 2 months since i have been off of it (i only took it for 3 months everyday) im really starting to wonder if this is permanent!! im going to try and give you an idea…Alex im guessing you feel this way too…ok its hard to describe my skin feels like “static” like my nerves are needles like i rolled around in fiberglass…my eyes and forehead are so so dry…i have discoloration around my eyes and forehead….I think we are having a permanent anticholinergic problem it blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is in the central and the peripheral nervous system… as far as im aware your body can “recover” from neurological damage (all it did was just “hinder or retard M Receptors…right?) BUT please do not take my word for it I HOPE i am wrong and can someone please prove me wrong!!

Nick Rodriguez
8:54 am December 19th, 2013

My whole world revolves around the dryl. I snort anywhere from 200-400mg of the dryl. It gets me twisted! Does anyone know how to main line it???

nathan0621
2:15 pm December 22nd, 2013

hello addiction blog…I would like to update my progress about diphenhydramine because this is the only site i could find others like me…I was scared and thought i was permanently brain damaged…after 2 months and 4 weeks im 90% recovered. The auditory hallucination went away, the ringing in my ears are popping and coming back to normal….my vision is coming back (which really sucked…driving was a B*tch at night) my skin feels normal and my face is clearing…im beginning to sweat ! I know longer have confusion and my memory is back!!!! i dont hear a clouded white noise anymore (i seriously thought i was going to have to drop out of school…i am not lying i thought i was retarted and i remembered i used to do this and that and im having a hell of a time with simple task….and what the hell did i just read 10 seconds ago) That is all back to normal and i am so happy i don’t care about the problems i used to have…lol i dont care about my ex girlfriend…losing my vehicle….my apartment and job 9 months ago and starting school at 25…im back to freaking normal!!!!! like i want to just take a hike in the woods and appreciate the small things!! For those of you abusing this shit GET OFF NOW if i was Rich i would pay all of you on the site to get off Benadryl..DO NOT ABUSE AN ANTICHOLINERGIC please just take a few moments and research it if your abusing benedryl other anticholingerics including xanax, paxil or basicly antidepressants you FEEL HIGH because your AFFECTING YOU NERVOUS SYSTEM! PLEASE STOP NOW…get on youtube and type BENZO WITHDRAWAL also an ANTICHOLINGERIC your jaw will hit the floor!!

3:51 am December 23rd, 2013

Hi Nathan. Thanks for coming back and sharing your experience and recovery from Benadryl addiction. We’re glad that you’re doing so well! All the best.

paula murley
2:05 pm December 27th, 2013

I have been taking Benadryl for about 3 or four years. I am 37 and I quit drinking Dec,12,2007.I use no other drugs besides aspirin, Benadryl has helped me keep things together. I am Bi-polar and also have post tramatic stress disorder. I quit taking my meds, because they make me feel bad. In two weeks I eat about 400 pills, Sam’s club has them for $4.00 for 400 tablets. I am not depressed or anything. I am not sick. It helps me control my mood swings, and a lot that use to stress me out doesn’t anymore. I get dizzy sometimes, I am not using it to get plastered actually it gives me calm energy. My life is normal. I know it’s bad for me, Maybe. So is the air and everything else. I am not complaining.. oh I got a problem. because Benadryl is the solution.;)

Kim simmons
5:59 pm December 27th, 2013

@Paula: Costco has bottles of 600 for 4.95 or something. I have been taking it for longer and for me any way there is withdrawal if i stop. I managed to stop about a year ago, but started again. They help me with depression because it suppresses my ability to think, but there is a catch. I have a much lower ability to filter. i can get caught on something that happened from childhood like a a pet dog who suffered a lot toward the end of her life. My parents did not understand a lot of things and i find myself saying over and over in tears that I’m sorry i was not there to make you feel comforted.
The symptoms of withdrawal come on about 36-48 hours after my last dose. Its an upset stomach and a feeling of overwhelming thoughts. The suppressed chemicals in my brain go into over drive I’m thinking. I have to take 10-16 and wait an hour for the symptoms to stop.
I hate these things! My hands and feet get cold, and i cant think as well as i used to. The other side effect is restless leg syndrome and it keeps me up all night!

Kelly
2:54 pm January 12th, 2014

I have been taking Benadryl for over ten years. It started with normal dosage but for the past 5+ years, I take anywhere from 3-8 to sleep though as a former drug user I have always enjoyed the feeling as well. I don’t even drink alcohol anymore.

I stopped taking it last night as I can’t stop coughing (possible post nasal drop) and they said Benadryl can make it worse. I slept only like an hour and I woke up feeling like I’m going to puke. I have a son to take care of, anyone ever have nausea as a withdraw symptom? I feel awful :(

Rose
6:14 pm January 13th, 2014

Been taking benadryl for about 20 years ,50 mgs. For the last 8. No longer is effective for sleep , how do I wean myself off it safely?

Kim simmons
4:18 pm January 14th, 2014

It took one full vary bad week, but I’m off it. I was taking large amounts rundown:
1. 48 hours from last dose the withdrawal started
a. feeling like i was having heart palpitations, but that could have bee early stomach pain.
b. dizzy and feeling a little faint.
c. neg emotions went into over drive probably.
2. 72 hours
a. stomach pains.
b. felt like the flu
c. i started to have leg swelling
d. blood pressure went up.
e. it stayed this way upto day 5.
3. 120 hours
a. negative thoughts slowed down.
b. energy went way up.
c. blood pressure went back to normal
d. leg swelling went down. it was probably water retention.
e. getting to sleep was still not easy, but better.
4. 168 hours (7days)
a. i can remember things much better
b. can focus much better on tasks
c. after one glass of wine i could still do iPad Sudoku Advanced level with a perfect score 3 times in a row. i noticed less need to recheck possible answers and NO need to guess!
5. 8 days at this moment
a. i have lost a hopeless feeling i had toward the future
b. i feel less the victim of events.
c. Oddly i have much less desire to get riled by a post on FB and will not go on it at all for the day till 5 pm.

******* JUST STOP TAKING IT AND DEAL WITH THE WITHDRAWAL UNLESS YOU HAVE HEALTH OTHER ISSUES. **********

Kelly
6:57 am January 15th, 2014

Update from jan. 12

Yesterday was the worst, the second day, slept 14 hours straight, couldn’t eat/drink, felt nauseous, dizzy, shaking, sweating a ton… Horrible!!!

Today I felt much better, rough start in the morning but got some food in me and started drinking water, aside from not being able to fall asleep I’m at about 80% now.

Samantha
6:11 pm January 27th, 2014

@ Kim …”JUST STOP TAKING IT AND DEAL WITH THE WITHDRAWAL”
Yeah, that sounds pretty familiar. If only it was that easy. I’m glad that you’ve quit yourself from it, but for many, I think it feels like an impossible battle to quit alone cold turkey—especially depending on the mental health history of the individual.

My Short Story:
I’m 24. I started taking Ben— (Yes, I’ve personified them) —about a year ago because I developed an innocent allergic rash on my chest. It started off as 2 Bens a day. Fine, no biggie. I then realized that Ben helped me feel drowsy—drowsy enough to sleep. Before this, I’ve had horrible sleeping troubles where it would take me hours to get to sleep even if I was tired. And when I finally would fall asleep, I would wake up all hours of the night. It was really bad. So, when I realized Ben made me fall asleep—AND STAY ASLEEP ALL NIGHT—it was like DING DING DING, we have a winner!!! I took 2 every night and the next morning I would feel so well-rested and energized.

Then, it started to not work as well. Realizing that I’ve built up a tolerance, I upped the dose. It went from 2 to 3, 3 to 4, and 4 to 6—taking 6 Bens a night. After upping my dose to 6 a night, I then realized another thing—If I take it a few hours before I’m ready to go to bed, I get this sweet, sweet calm and relaxing—almost euphoric—feeling. I also suffer from major anxiety—which was probably the reason I couldn’t sleep well in the first place. So DING DING DING again…my anxiety was gone when I took Ben. SO then I started to take Ben throughout the day and my anxiety WOULD DIMINISH! No worrying all day, no paranoia, no depression. Just relaxation and calmness. I LOVED IT! Now I am at about 14 to 16 Bens a day—with potential to increase soon.

So, what’s the problem???=== I’ve turned into an existing zombie. I feel calm and content and I don’t want to talk to anybody. People are taking notice. My friends and family are mad at me because they feel like I’ve “abandoned ” them. I am also concerned about my physical health. I’m terrified of what I may be doing to my body long-term. My social life is non-existent, but when I take Ben I feel CONTENT and don’t even care. I feel as though there is an underlying condition that I need to seek help for—most likely some sort of anxiety disorder—but like others have mentioned, I don’t have any money for treatment. I’m a recent college grad and I’m in this weird transition stage where I don’t have a job and I’m trying to find myself.

Only one person knows about this. My best friend. The only reason I told her was because she was getting suspicious because I wasn’t returning any of her calls or texts, which is unlike me. She laughed when I told her about it, but when she realized how serious it was she said to “just stop taking it.” My boyfriend for 4 years is also getting suspicious.

When I take Ben, I’m content with not talking to anyone. I’m content with not doing anything. I’m content with being in bed all day. I’m content with being alone and having no worries. BUT I’M SICK AND TIRED of waking up in the morning and being content with just existing. I love Bens. “He” makes me feel good, and I’m happy with him. But I know he’s not good for me. He’s making me ignore those around me. This can’t be healthy. Physically or mentally.

It’s getting worse and I need to let Ben go. But I’m scared to face the real world. I’m scared.

Jared
8:03 am February 6th, 2014

I’ve been taking them everyday for 2 yrs. now also. They make me shake and my vision gets blurred. Plus, I lost 30 lbs. I stopped for a few days and experienced nausea but the worst was feeling really scared for no reason. It also have short term memory loss. Is there anything that can help take the edge off for a few days? Please Help!

Judy LaClair
6:01 am February 11th, 2014

A friend gives her children Benadryl at night for sleep. Can they become dependent on it for sleeping?

Thank you.

Rose
3:34 pm February 11th, 2014

I have taken benedryl for over 20 years as a sleep aid. Had to increase dosage in order to sleep was up to 75mg. only at bedtime but was no longer effective. Decided to quit and have not slept well for over a month. My body is not craving benedryl just craving sleep. THE first 4 days I did not sleep for 1 minute. now just here and there but never very much. No matter how tired I FEEL I cannot fall asleep. WHEN I do it is very eractiteand unsettling. I am able to function but extremely tired.

Deanna
6:41 pm February 13th, 2014

I too take one benedryl each night for sleeping. Does it have any long term effects on your organs?

Deanna
6:42 pm February 13th, 2014

How does benadryl effect your organs? I also take one each night to be able to sleep.

jen
11:44 pm February 14th, 2014

please can you tell me if 8 years of 64 pills every other day can be reversed? im petrified i will die and i will soon die, thankyou

Jonathon
11:43 am April 9th, 2014

I have been addicted to diphenhydramine for many years now, my body has built up so bad of a tolerance that I can go through a whole 32 count bottle in 2 days, I’ve tried to quit but I’m so afraid I will freak out from withdrawning, what’s worse is in the past I had a couple of seizures that I believe was caused from me taking too much, can’t really face telling anyone and the times I tried to quit I always give in and start taking them again, and what’s worse is I’ve grown to love the effect I get from taking it even when I’ve had the bad trips, haven’t told anyone in my family or my wife or anyone, I’m afraid after a night of tAking them I won’t wake up ever again, I don’t know what to do.

Roland
6:08 pm April 23rd, 2014

I seriously did not know my anti social behavior could be tied to my addiction to allergy pills. I’ve become a loner. Stuck in time. My life gradually changed to what it is now over time. A big problem i have is ignoring phone calls. Shutting people out of my life and being content with it. I thought it was just me. Until now. I’ve only admitted to being addicted once. But since then I’ve hid not only my addiction from friends and family but also my self. I lost all my friends cause I stopped socializing and my interest in existing in the outside world has diminished. I go to work on them, and come home and take 15 before I leave work, I take another 15 close to 7pm. I sit in my room and feel depressed trying not to notice the many empty allergy medicine bottles scattered all over my room. I know what I have to do. It’s not rocket science. But I just don’t. I have no interest in anything what’s so ever. Just a body that is programmed to do repeat the same routine for the past 10 years. Even now it’s hard to articulate the chaos my depression has create in my life.

chris b
1:39 am May 19th, 2014

hey this is for chris my name is chris also i went to rehab over methadone xanax n diphenhydramine ive been on it about 16 yrs to n my stomach is killing me it burns all the way to my throat n i got so muc pressure in my stomach its like its goin to explode but i kno without a doubt it the diphenhydramine i was on 1500 2000 a night wit 100 mg methadone 6 mg xanax now im jus on methadone 100 mg n about 100 mg diphenhydramine when i take my diphenhydramine thas when my stomach starts like right now im debating goin ER but it burns all the way to my throat idk wut its done to our stomach lining but its the diphenhydramine

emory
4:58 pm May 19th, 2014

I have been addicted to diphenydramine for 5 years. It started when my wife (now, ex-wwife….proof that this addiction leads to bad things) bought unisom sleep gels which is 50mg diphenydramine. I took 3 or 4 at once and experienced a euphoric effect. I figured it was harmless but I loved the affects so I continued once in a while, which led to almost every day, which led to every day, which led to ALL day EVERYDAY. I now take 20-30 25mg tabs at once…about 500-700 mgs. If I stop, I can’t get out of bed, I have nightmares, I’m depressed, and have some other symptoms. so I just continue to use. my family doesn’t know I do this (only my ex-wife). i can’t take vacations with my friends and family because if I bring a ton of benedryl along I’ll have to explain it to someone. the first thing that goes through my mind when a friend says, “hey you wanna go on a tropical cruise?” is not, “wow cool! heck yes!” my response to myself is…”damn, how am I gonna get high?” It’s ruining my life and my health. i’ve been to NA meetings and I absolutely hate them. I’ve tried AA as well….i have never felt any sense of welcome or encouragement from anyone at any kind of 12 step program. I’m lost, stuck, and feel hopeless. Any help would be appreciated.

emory
6:03 pm May 24th, 2014

I’ve been taking overdoses of benedryl now for 5 years. My ex wife’s (notice I say EX…she left me because of my addiction yet I continue to use) primary recommended unisom sleep gels which are just 50mg diphenydramine hcl (benadryl) for her sleep problems. I felt depressed one night and took 4 of them (200mg) to try and knock myself out and I was delighted to feel a buzz that I could only describe as being in kind of a nice, warm, relaxing bubble. I continued to do it just to get this affect, not thinking about the consequences. After a few days of continued use it was impossible for me to urinate because of what is supposedly called the anti-collinergic response. Luckily I had access to urinary catheters so I was able to keep taking pills without my bladder exploding. I soon became psychologically addicted and was buying it regularly, and taking it more and more often until I couldn’t afford to buy it because Im taking 70 pills a day. So, desperate to feed my addiction I began shoplifting. I’ve lifted thousands of dollars worth of benedryl since I began doing that. I even stole it from the place where I worked. I’ve been caught but luckily never arrested. I was only told never to come into the store again. Now, five years later I am more than just psychologically addicted. if I stop there is a kind of “detox” that makes me disfunctional unless I use again. I now hate doing it but can’t stop despite the negative consequences. I also will often take around 800mgs with a few ounces of strong coffee or an energy drink to get a slightly different effect. Last physical checkup, I am in good health and was very surprised to hear that from my doctor considering the benadryl abuse. I’m tired of the sneaking around, lying, and wallering in pitty and desparation. I once had a successful career in the music business….but i lost most of it cuz of my problem. I’ve been to 12 step programs, a 6 week outpatient treatment program, and tried other methods..but just keep relapsing. In 2011 I was clean for 3 months but started again. I don’t know what other treatment to try. I’ve read other posts here and it’s heartbreaking when I read how other people are in my shoes, and me in their shoes. I sit here, and read and become tearful. I just feel lost. What other treatment is there for me to try? any advice is helpful, even it’s just a quick message from someone to say hello and send their support my way. Thanks everyone…

8:11 am May 27th, 2014

Hello Emory. Drug addiction (no matter to what) can be treated with a combination of physical detox and psychological interventions. You do not need to do it alone!

You can find treatment near you here: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/

Ryan
3:56 pm May 28th, 2014

Hi! I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I have a problem, but I’m certainly in a pickle. No matter what I do, I’m often unable to sleep when it’s bedtime, and instead, naturally tire out around 4 or 5 am. This is not helpful to anyone with a job that begins in the morning, obviously, and I often either sleep through my alarms (many of them) or wake up feeling awful all day. And included in that awful feeling is actual bloating (I’m a guy, go figure). If I don’t get enough sleep, I end up gaining weight. acting irritably, and waiting out the clock to go home and finally get some rest.

When I take benadryl, most of the time, it does the trick. Just two of them. I just started doing this more than just when I have allergies, and I’m worried that it could be bad for me. I only take it if I need to wake up early, and never more than 2 pills a day. I hate feeling bloated, and the reward of sleep is priceless. Do I need to be concerned?

Star
3:36 am June 2nd, 2014

So the last few month I have been very depressed. And started taking viciden. When that ran out I started to take benydral. At first it was just a few here few there slowly that led up to daily use of 7-10 sometimes more.. The daily use went on for only a couple weeks before that it was maybe just 2-4 a week.. But I recently got some help and day 4 of not taking any.. Is it possible I was actually addicted to the med?. Even now I know it wasn’t good and was unsafe but I still want it I liked the feeling it have me.. And it seems like such a crazy thing that you could get addicted or go thur withdrawl from(which I think I am the first 2-3 days was so bady shaky and high BP then felt fair like then I threw up for a day and today lot better not sick still upset stomach and shaky but not as bad.) but it so easy to get it OTC and who should even think it possible to get addicted or dependent upon on. Do you think I actually addicted to it?

Amanda
5:17 am June 5th, 2014

Well I’m 28 and have been having problems with benadryl on and off for 4 years. A friend told me to try one to help my panic attack one night. I didn’t use it again because it made me feel like I was a walking zombie. A few months later I remembered that it calmed me down so I tried it a few times until it was a few times a week. I’ve tried stopping even going months at a time with out it but for some reason I keep going back to it. It used to help me sleep but I started to grow a tolerance so I used it for anxiety. I was even able to drive on it. Anyways now it makes me unable to stand when I take it I feel drunk and I have tremors. It causes intense anger and irritability. I really want to stop forever. Please help. Any advice at all. I feel as though it took my life away.

liz
11:27 pm June 5th, 2014

if anyone is interested in someone to share experiences with this horrible drug :(

Melissa
6:50 am June 22nd, 2014

I was personally affected by the floods that hit Colorado last September. Because of the severe stress from that and also how pathetic my life is like at 42 years old. I have been slowly trying to hurt and maybe kill myself.

For the last 9 months I have taken about 325-375mg of benadryl, on top of 1 mg of lorazepam, 5mg of Ambien, 100mg of doxylamine succinate.

Very recently I had to go to the ER, because of having severe vertigio, which is getting better, but still have it.

I told people I quit, when in reality. I have continued.
Besides, if I am not here, NO ONE would care.

I have no kids, never married, crap I am never been on a date EVER.

The reason being, I look very well, but am a post-op female transgender.

As soon as guys here that, they go away fast.

So I am planning on increasing Benadryl more, just want this pain to end, the flood stuff is still on-going………

Jackie
2:15 pm June 22nd, 2014

Iv been taking benadryl for the past 8years it all started when I had my abortion I went n2 a deep depression where I would take 5 at a time to make myself sleep I never told my family or anyone but they always questioned why I was so tired after about 5months of that I wanted too stop but couldn’t I cut back to only 3 a day but its the first thing I want when I get off work or before I go to bed now that I’m pregnant I’m scared that my habbit will hurt the baby even tho that was the first ? I had for my obgyn if it was safe to take benadryl while pregnant they said it was safe but I didn’t tell them that I was addicted to it what should I do?

jimmyoc
3:24 pm June 22nd, 2014

I was taking 3-5 benadryl nightly for sleep aid, I also was ingesting 6-8 grams of high grade cannabis a day. I quite both cold turkey and I feel very anxious and confused about my health. I just want to feel normal again. The benadryl and cannabis abuse went on for over a year. Please give me some words of wisdom, it would be greatly appreciated

nathan0621
2:15 pm June 24th, 2014

I posted about 4 months ago about my recovery (Total process from abuse of being clean until now has been 8 months) NOW, I am doing much much better but I Still have SYMPTOMS (8 months still recovering) and I only did 8-12 a day for 2 months. I DID DO brain damage! I finally went to the doctor a few months ago, BUT they don’t want to hear it, THE DR. said I have an underlining issue, my blood work shows low Vitamin D (I’m an active person I’m always outside) but whatever it did it messed up my Vitamin D, I am on CHOLECAL CIFEROL, my body doesn’t make Vitamin D, so whatever Benedryl did, messed up my BRAIN CHEMISTRY.

NOW, I AM getting way way better BUT the recovery is VERY VERY VERY SLOW! I also did an MRI, and I have floaters in my LEFT EYE, from once again Benedryl. I don’t feel sick, dizzy or in constant pain anymore, what I’m getting at is that it messed up my SSRI’s.

RECAP, the first 2 months withdrawing, I HAD a heart palpitation, shortness of breath, vertigo, auditory hallucinations, confusion, delirium, and I could not ride in a vehicle for long periods, sleep patterns (4 hours here and there) extreme sensitivity to light, sound, everything was irritating! VERY lucid disturbing nightmares! and I would wake up in a gallon of sticky mucus sweat, symptoms severe serotonin deficiency, and when the DR.s looked at my MRI, they asked if I had a HEAD INJURY, and said it looks like you had a concussion at one point in your life!!!

WHAT I AM GETTING AT: I think I am the worst case of Benedryl “withdrawal” I can not find anyone on the net with this long of symptoms! However, it’s very high in ANTICHOLERGENERICS, Just as high as PAXIL, and PAXIL is BANNED!

SO, its been almost 8 months and I am DOING 100% better I AM NOT PERMANENTLY BRAIN DAMAGED, with the slight symptoms I have now I can still live my normal healthy lifestyle:

SYMPTOMS I STILL HAVE; HPPD, yes it gave me hppd, but it’s unknown and people can have it for years example abusing LSD, but If I’m engaged in an activity, or going to work, school, riding my motorcycle It DOES NOT affect me at all, only when I’m by myself like reading, text will have a blue hue or patterns will swirl, not a big deal anymore. I STILL have ringing in my ears, and right now as it stands I have to carry a bottle of Advil all the time, I will get bad headaches almost everyday, but hey, it was nothing compared to even 4 months ago.

READERS, STOP taking the shit (COLD TURKEY) when i was going through this i was taking 2 Benedryl to stop feeling SICK. I quit tapering, I quit drinking, I don’t smoke weed (I’m very casual about it, I mean ill probably get high like 3 times a year lol, anymore) AND FOLLOW A LOW HISTAMINE diet, cut sugars and CAFFEINE, you will notice a great IMPROVEMENT I PROMISE! I’M 95% HEALED AND FEELING NORMAL!!

RECAP; YOU ARE NOT BRAIN DAMAGED, JUST A MINOR BRUISE IT WILL HEAL, BUT IT TAKES A LONG ALONG TIME, give yourself 9 months to a year. I’M SERIOUS, do activities to keep your mind off of it, YOU WILL RECOVER!

nathan0621
2:35 pm June 24th, 2014

OH, BTW EVERYONE will have different symptoms, MINE WERE SEVERE, AND I’M RECOVERING! I CAN NOT STRESS THIS; IT TAKES ALONG LONG LONG TIME, BUT you are NOT PERMANENTLY BRAIN DAMAGES, you’re bruised, your body is in over drive right now, HELP IT recover stay away from drugs/alcohol, and follow a LOW HISTAMINE DIET, this recovery can take up to a year, but you will always feel significantly better. HOWEVER, while recovering you will relapse also back to feeling like s**t….THAT IS HOW YOUR BODY is fixing itself, YOU WILL ONLY GET WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER, you like my 4 months in I thought I was better but no, it was just that much of a relief but my body was still like, “hey SLOW DOWN were not done yet!” I WAS IN your shoes! My whole life till now I’m DISABLED! NO, it’s just a shock, your body will adjust chemically, your BRAIN IS AMAZING. In fact, it’s still very ALIEN to MODERN SCIENCE, and my VITAMIN D, WAS one of MY symptoms do NOT TAKE high amounts of VITAMIN D, DO NOT, get blood work done FIRST BY A DOCTOR. OK?! When it comes to CNS problem everyone is different but we share one thing, RECOVERY!

Cierra
9:52 pm June 24th, 2014

Has anyone else felt a numbness and tingling sensation throughout their body after long term use of the sleeping pills? And if you have how long did it take for it to go away?
I have been taking the pills for five years and just started experiencing this sensation. I stopped taking the pills because I did not like the way it felt. The feeling has gradually started to go away but I still do not have complete feeling in my hands. I’m hoping over time that the sensation will completely go away.

Ashley
1:12 am July 6th, 2014

Hello,
I have over-taken otc drugs (10-40 pills at a time) with diphenhydramine (benadryl, dramamine, etc.) everyday for for months at a time over the last 5 years. Lately I have noticed my lower back hurting or intense abdominal burning after taking my usual dose. I am worried that I may have caused significant damage to my organs. I would like to know what affects my long-term abuse may have on my body?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
9:22 am July 7th, 2014

Hello Ashley. I’d suggest it’s best you make a doctor’s appointment and discuss the situation with a medical professional that can examine you, conduct some other tests if needed and make a firm diagnosis.

Heather
1:17 pm July 8th, 2014

For those of you taking benedryl as a sleep med, there is an alternative that is safe and natural. In fact, it’s your body; it naturally makes it to induce sleep. It’s melatonin and is the only hormone sold over the counter, it is amazing! I take only one at bedtime considering studies have shown it to be more effective in lower doses. Give it a try and be delivered from the unfair burden of not being able to sleep at night.

David
11:25 am July 11th, 2014

Fairly recently, about four or five months ago, I started to get really frequent (at least twice a week) episodes of severe itching. When it happens I get these visible bumps all over my body that look a lot like mosquito bites, but are drastically more itchy, sometimes they are area specific but generally it is all over my body. They reappear on the same areas where they have been before. I have woken up bleeding from scratching myself in my sleep and am starting to get a lot of scars. Purely by coincidence I discovered benadryl will make the bumps fade if I take enough. But, I’m afraid of the frequency that I take it and I’ll even take four at a time or two every two hours if the itching is severe enough and doesn’t cease. I need to be able to function on a day to day basis and at work. Any advice?

Maria
12:03 pm July 18th, 2014

I started taking these allergy pills in June probably everyday, it’s not July and I am late on my period. I’m not sure it this could cause a change in my cycle. Anyone know?

Alice
3:28 am July 20th, 2014

I started taking benadryl for my bad allergies and once I realized it’s great for sleeping too, I increased my dosage. Then I found myself just taking them for the hell of it, like when I get upset or angry it was my escape from reality. But then, I had stopped for a while because they made me so groggy and tired and the withdrawal symptoms are HELL!! I felt so nauseated and dizzy I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t eat a thing and one morning I noticed I was shaking. I could reach out for something and my hands would be trembling I would be so clumsy and irritable. But since I’ve stopped the symptoms are fading away and I’m slowly getting my appetite back. There’s nothing you can find in diphenhydramine but misery. Enough said!

worriedmom
12:21 am July 29th, 2014

Ok after reading these blogs I am worried. My 9 year old son had developed seasonal allergies in September 13. The doctor’s office told me I could give him benedryl at night. He has taken one 25mg every night since then. Now since it’s summer I don’t want to give it to him anymore. I figured he might have somewhat of a reaction if I just stopped giving it to him. So I started to gradually decrease his dose by cutting alittle off the pill. The last week I noticed him having some phobic things and not getting over them, anxiety where he is getting stomach aches, and head aches, dry mouth and loss of appetite. I am so worried I am loosing my appetite. I thought it was harless but having been on medications my self I didn’t know what kind of effect this would have on him. I’m not sure what to do for him, and if it is addicting what do I do about the doctors office?

Sam
10:52 am July 30th, 2014

I have been taking large doses for over ten years now, daily, after developing severe allergic reactions to something I was never able to identify that was causing facial swelling and body-wide hives. I have reason to believe that whatever it was that was causing this may have subsided but I get extremely sick to my stomach and other less-severe symptoms when I go more than 12-18 hours without taking a large dose. This tells me it is a physical addiction, but I have been unable to find any documentation that supports this. Tapering down does not seem to work, but it seems like the only option to get ‘un-stuck’. I don’t have a regular Doctor and it is really hard to find someone to talk to about this. I need to find out what has worked for others in my situation so I can get rid of this problem. I’ve known for a long time I am an addict; It has been over 10 years since I touched hard drugs, almost 3 years since my last drink, and coming up on a year since I bought a pack of cigarettes. I feel I have the psychological side of addiction more or less figured out for myself, but the physical withdrawal seems like a big mountain to climb on this one. Any advice? I seem to take about 1000 mg a day and my body gets very angry if I try to reduce that. This can’t be good for my body….

Dave H.
12:17 am July 31st, 2014

I am impressed with whomever is answering folks questions on this message board on behalf of this blog. Well done.

Benadryl has been my drug of choice since I was very young. Alcohol and narcotic use came later, but always with benadryl on board. I looked for it in any place I could get it. It was to the point that I could, and would, take 20-30 pills multiple times a day. Yes, it can kill you. I experienced an overdose when I was in my early 30′s that resulted in coma. Benadryl was the only medication in my system. And I can honestly say, I felt nothing (no euphoria, no sleepiness) on the day it happened. I then had a sever seizure at work, lost consciousness and had to be ventilated for 3.5 weeks.

While my story is not the norm, it is where benadryl addiction heads. In treatment, I never talked about it. I knew that people would think it was ridiculous, “Who would abuse benadryl?” Because of that, I used again. And again. And again. Talking openly with a professional who will not minimize your experience is incredibly important and, ultimately, life saving.

If you are using and it has a negative impact on your life, great news – - – you don’t have to keep using.

I printed out some legitimate articles on diphenhydramine abuse and dependence and brought those with me when I met with the next professional. She read them. She stated she was surprised and did not know this could be an issue. I told her I was scared for my life. She took it serious. I am clean and sober today for 3 years.

Breathe. Ask for help. And do not assume one “expert” speaks for all experts. They are fallible humans. Keep asking questions. Your life is worth it.

nathan0621
5:33 pm August 2nd, 2014

**SAM**

It’s really hard to find documentation on DPH, The only thing you will find is how it’s used in “research” I only found one documented case from the 90′s of one Dr. tapering a patient from abuse…and how this patients “mind” changed to where said individual was showing signs of “schitzophrenia” and how the individual recovered, It just looked liked a chart some retired physician had and posted on Wiki (yeah real helpful).

I dont know if your have read what I have been posting or not, like I have said I thought I was alone in this until researching what the hell was wrong with me all day every day, I thought I was brain damaged and my whole life has now came to a halt at the age of 26, I did four years in the military (hated it) and still DPH was my life changing experience. I am doing so much better that I dont really notice my slight symptoms anymore, I mean…this was not going away (9 months battling) you know those stories where some guy drops acid and is now living in a half way house….YUP, I honestly thought holy Sh*T! im that GUY!!!?

My advice, sorry you have to quit COLD TURKEY, its what Benzo SSRI withdrawal groups call “SERVING JAIL TIME” you will be very sick and disoriented for a few months and slowly pull out from there, whatever you do DO NOT give in! I did and I think that is what set me back I tried tapering with just one to a half, and a HALF would make me TRIP OUT, and amp up the HPPD it gave me, although it took away my skin burning and feeling sick…TAPERING set me back!!

COLD TURKEY, it sucks, it feels like a living nightmare! it feels like you will never get better! like your permanently that way. ONLY TIME can tell, It messed up your SSRI’s and body chemical change is VERY PAINFUL like your not running on all cylinders.

Im at 9 months of serving my “Time” and im doing great! it was kind of a testimony I have 2 arms, 2 legs and of average intelligence…no more problems in life after crawling out of this hell hole.

Sorry to say but when you start noticing improvements, its like you wake up one day feeling great, then the next you feel like you dosed and back and forth, its your body trying to reach homeostasis, while trying to function the rest of your body like an OVERLOAD. It took me 9 months to reach it! everyone is different some might take 2days, some 2 months, and very few 2 years! although im willing to bet I was way worse off then you if you can get up and type and form a coherent sentence on this blog, your RECOVERING, and your not PERMA FRIED!!

COLD TURKEY, and follow a LOW histamine Diet (not by verbatim, play around) you will start feeling better while withdrawing, and keep HYDRATED, as of now you “stunted” your h1 receptors and your histamine cells are “dehydrated” you got billions and billions of cells your body is repairing.

nathan0621
2:26 pm August 3rd, 2014

ALSO, it messes with your histamines, trying to go to sleep is horrible while withdrawal, it makes you “trip” auditory, and visual, and it might also make your forehead burn during withdrawal, its a roller coaster… there will be days that you think your coming off DO NOT go out and party its called a “window” you will have this for a day or two then wham! your back to square one like you dosed and the symptoms come back…DO NOT STRESS, when you get “waves” its going to happen, eventually you will have longer and longer “windows” and you will feel your body re-adjusting.

There will be days that your vision is blurry, or your skin burns, you might hallucinate, Dont Worry you will get better, during my withdrawal I didnt believe it, but go to you tube and type benzo withdrawal “Its about the same, CNS, ssri’s” there are some that have video blogs that span a year or so of what they are going through, very motivational! knowing that you will heal….ITS ROUGH!

nathan0621
3:20 pm August 3rd, 2014

**WORRIEDMOM**

I would seriously print out this blog page of everyone’s side affects, and show your family Doctor, if a doctor told me to take a hike, ok I get that im an adult, but this is a 9 yr old child, if he cant take the time to read personal stories then F’ him he wants a pay check. Mine was from abuse, but your son’s was just one a day, quit giving it to him, dry mouth and anxiety… contact your Dr. asap and have him read this Sh*T so he can find an alternative.

I know your worried and reading these stories is scary, I think he will be fine… just quit giving it to him and plz tell your Dr. what it has been doing to people. DPH has been banned in alot of countries, or prescribed its not OTC like here in the States.

TheoOver3yearAddict
6:28 am August 4th, 2014

I have talked to people on the internet about this drug. I have been addicted mentally for years high doses to. I love listening to this song at night, only makes sense on diphenhydramine then i can relate. Look at song+lyrics link below. Some other sites have messed up the lyrics on this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bJ7RCFxR88 (song)
http://trancelyrics.wordpress.com/2008/08/24/sunlounger-feat-zara-lost/ (lyrics)

I’ll come by to see if people here are still active and whatsup

worriedmom
3:48 pm August 4th, 2014

Thanks nathan… I will do that. I feel like a terrible mother. It’s not my son’s fault. I just listen to what the drs. say and now I am very worried. I recently had an experience with Nexium believe or not. When I ran out of refills and didn’t take it for a week I experienced worse acid relux than before I was on that. Ironically, they just made the drug otc, so I don’t need to go to the dr.s office immediately, however I will soon. That is what prompted me to look up benedryl. I mean compared to the others on here his is on a low dose but I don’t take this lightly. I am going to print out this blog and I am thinking of talking to a lawyer. I hate these quick fixes the drs. or even the ppl in the office adives you to do. It’s wrong.

TheoOver3yearAddict
8:22 am August 5th, 2014

Worriedmom@ You’re right, 25MG is a very minimal dose. So your son will get the least amount of side affects and minimal withdrawal (besides allergy’s). It may worsen his allergies for some time though. People who abuse nasal sprays that contain “Oxymetazoline” (like Afrin) will get rebound congestion. As soon as the temporary effect of the last dose of spray wears off, the swollen nasal mucosa block the airway and another dose of spray is required to provide relief.

Only a small percentage of these people (less than 4%, according to research) are able to endure the misery associated with “cold turkey” withdrawal. Cutting the benadryl and gradually decreasing his dose is the best idea. The reason why only 4% suffer from rebound congestion is because 96% of people DO NOT abuse it. The small percent of people who do abuse it experience withdrawal.

In his case he is not abusing it. In fact, he has been taking the lowest dose recommended. I would not worry too much about it.

Jessica
8:59 pm August 5th, 2014

I’ve taken gosh I don’t even know how many thousands and thousands and thousands of benedryl pills since starting about 2002 and I still take them.what are the long term effects and I’ve actually had seizures as well because I took so many.Its strange to me that I can stop whenever I want and when I don’t have them I’m ok I don’t crave them or get withdrawal symptoms why is that?I’d like to get some help with this I am very unhealthy and need to get healthy but I need information on how I can do this privately I can’t tell my family or my fiance I will lose them all.please help.I appreciate your time and thank you for your help have a great day and I look forward to hearing from you very soon hopefully. God Bless

Theover3yearaddict
9:40 pm August 5th, 2014

How did you manage to have seizures without your family knowing?? Anyway, how much per dose do you take?

Sheila
10:54 pm August 5th, 2014

I have not been myself lately. Thinking my blood pressure has been high and it is not. Then I thought maybe I should slow down a bit I’m 47 just started my own business. Stress could be a factor. I’m always on the go. I came on here today because as I am trying to juggle three things at once with out being irritable and angry. I am not an irritable or angry person and I can not handle the way they make me feel. I just feel like my brain is miss firing some where in my head. I am trying to stop and just catch my breath. I thought the only time I feel this way is when I don’t have a medicine on board. I quit taking so much benedryl because I just changed to Zyrtec. I was poppin benedryl 25mg every few hours thinking I was going to get a different result. As dumb as that may be. Now I am to only take it at bedtime. The reason for the change? Sinus infection of course. I am a constant user of benedryl. My physician will prescribe it for migraines,sleep,anxiety,allergies. . I am a recovering prescription drug addict. Now I am extremely concerned that what I’m physically feeling lately is not stress. I have a feeling I’m in “jail” again. DAMMIT!! What’s really sad is I did not put myself here this time. They did. Pissed off

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
9:51 am August 6th, 2014

Hello Jessica. If you’re not having any withdrawal symptoms or cravings when you stop taking your medication, then it will be very easiy to just not take them any more. There are many long-term side effects of Benedryl use. Some of these side effects include allergic reaction, tightening of the chest, depression, chronic migraines, insomnia, increased sleepiness, liver damage and chronic stomach pain.

TheoOver3yearAddict
4:26 am August 9th, 2014

Has anyone had there liver checked after chronic abuse of Diphenhydramine? I have info and i’d love some back if you have any info about chronic abuse leave your email in a comment im willing to talk!

Goodluck to all

nathan0621
3:58 pm August 9th, 2014

Theo

I researched this chemical daily during my withdrawal. Now this was done through a VA doctor, I had everything checked and came back negative. I was healthy, even with a heart palpitation my blood pressure was normal, everything was normal. I looked like @$$, I had dark circles around my eyes, my skin was flush, pins and needles, weak, short term memory, I had like 30 symptoms during my withdrawal.

The VA Dr. didnt care to hear what I had to say he was trying to “convince” me that I had TBI, or possibly schizophrenia I guess im around that age where “genetic” problems surface. ANYHOW he said withdrawing from DPH IS IMPOSSIBLE and it wouldnt do that. He then wanted me to talk to a psychiatrist, even though an MRI showed black strands in my left eye (I think from so much pressure I felt from withdrawal).

I felt very alone at that moment and basicly said “phuck you” and walked out, of course the VA blows up my phone everyday about how we just want to help you, yadda yadda, they didnt seem to care then, but when I walked out they were ready to help

I took into my own hands and researched, all day and tried linking DPH to other chemicals, Antichollergenerics other meds that have the same properties, diff molecules, or what receptors these molecules hitch a ride to form a key and lock system during synapses firing, gaba receptors and histamines, the ssri, and sri model, to find out they used to use DPH as an antidepressant (one of the first) and goldielocks een of molecule changes that been mirrored and flipped to form….a type of benzo all from its grandfather “DPH”. from there I found hey im not brain damaged just withdrawing. (9 months, and feeling AWESOME)

NOW, yes I am that small small percent that is hypersensitive to these types of drugs, basicly this ” 2,000 people eat a jar of Jiffy peanut butter, and 1 (me) needs to be hospitalized from an allergic reaction. Im just glad the VA didnt try and put me on some other form of an Anticholinergic my body cannot tolerate those types of meds I would be really messed up now!!!

COLD TURKEY and I suffered for about 7 months, 8th month was the light at the end of the tunnel I could only imagine if I was on a form of Benzo I would probably be messed up for years!!

stop taking DPH dude, research is saying it can cause dementia or higher the chances of developing alzheimer’s down the road, I mean they are using to treat parkinson’s rule of thumb… its like a high anxiety schitzo could drop LSD and probably feel “normal” or leveled out, where as you “normal” person drops LSD and you trip kind of deal…

keke
11:08 pm August 11th, 2014

Hi I was taking 650mg of the sleep aid diphenydramine for at least 3 years. I decide that it was making me look older and made me feel weak. So I started bringing myself off of them I went however many days without them until I felt nauseous. When I felt nauseous I took two, I would push myself to go another day with out it for about two weeks. Thank GOD I finally have been off of it for about 3 months, I feel better look better so grateful I gave it up!

CcCCC
6:28 pm August 13th, 2014

I take at least 150mg twice a day and combine that with my anxiety meds (Clonipin).
It is the onlyway I feel I can deel with the huge anxiety I get.
I think we can get addicted to it. But I dont want to stop, I just hope my heart does not stop, I feel like I am in slow motion at times. delayed responding when in conversation.

Thanks for listeneing.

TheoOver3yearAddict
10:26 pm August 19th, 2014

CcCCC@ Diphenhydramine actually speeds heart rate. Especially in higher doses.

Melissa
5:48 pm August 21st, 2014

I had taken about 300 Benadryl in the past month or so. I stopped taking it Sunday night, suddenly. And now I’m going throught detox really bad. I can’t keep food down, i can’t sleep at night, I have intense headaches, chills and then hot flashes. What should I do? See a doctor? I’m afraid my stomach has been ruined.

samakay
2:32 am August 22nd, 2014

Can a person take benadryl therapeutically for allergies if they once overdosed on it?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
3:21 pm August 23rd, 2014

Melissa, I’d say it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor. They’ll be able to help you out with the withdrawals and see if there is need for further treatment of any kind of physical damage.

Steph
2:53 pm September 1st, 2014

Okay so what if your friend is the one with the benadryl problem.

TheoOver3yearAddict
8:54 am September 2nd, 2014

Steph, statistically speaking that is very unlikely. I don’t judge people, if i am wrong then i’m sorry. How much does he take?

Daphanie
7:40 pm September 9th, 2014

i have been takeing the beynadryl for sometime now,i have found myself addictaed to this,i have to have it at least i think i do,if i have to go with out this i find myself very hateful and agrevated until i get this

Sunny
11:15 am September 10th, 2014

….yeah, I think I have a problem. This is the first time opening up about this. Ive been taking benadryl for a little over 8 years. My mother had given it to me once before to help me sleep. It started out with 2 25mg tablets. At some point I had gotten immune to it because just 2 pills wouldn’t get me to sleep so then I started upping my dose without my mom knowing. Over time I realized you could get ‘high’ off of the medicine so I added that as a plus because I couldn’t feel anything when I reached that point. The more immune I got to it, the higher I made my dose. I’ve gone through the effects on a daily basis. The memory loss, slurred speech, hallucinations, trembling, blurry vision with really bad pains behind my eyes, and convulsions. Sometimes I’d get this weird sensation down my back and where my heart is and at random moments my body would just like jerk up. I’ve ended up having to take it during the day or else I’d feel sick. A bottle of 100 25mg tablets would last me about 5 or 6 days. I’ve tried stopping but when I do I get really sick. My entire body will ache. My head would pound, I’d get white as a ghost from laying down so much, nearly blacked out once before because I hadn’t had it in a week. I’d even vomit even though I couldn’t eat…I know its a problem but the thought of getting help makes me feel like I don’t know, pathetic? I mean its allergy medicine for crying out loud. Something so common that people don’t think you can get addicted to…it just makes me feel low…

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
3:44 pm September 10th, 2014

Hello Sunny. Thank you for opening up and posting this comment. I know, it almost seems impossible how a medication for allergies can be addictive, but it is…Detoxing is not the easiest part of quitting Benadryl, and withdrawals are harsh. But, with the proper approach and treatment you could quit for good.

Sunny
5:55 pm September 10th, 2014

But how do you go about getting help for this kind of addiction when your the only ‘clean’ child of 6 siblings? You know, the pride and joy, the one who doesn’t do drugs or smoke anything. Hell the entire family. I’m afraid it will have a devastating affect admitting this to family. Especially when you’re supposed to be the ‘role model’ to your neices and nephews…

nathan0621
6:41 pm September 11th, 2014

sunny

Quiting cold turkey is rough as DPH is a form of antidepressant believe it or not, it was formed in the 1940′s, it has the same chemical properties as prozac, later DPH was discontinued as an antidepressant and was much suited for allergies, while antidepressants in the CNS attach to b1,c1… all the little receptor sites from the cns, while DPH takes a turn and attaches to h1, thats the most basic way to explain it.

Heres where things get complicated (keep in mind DPH was the first antidepressant) Most Doctors will tell patients “withdrawing” from types of benzo’s (antidepressants) is not possible and will send patients to detox for 2 weeks or so…that is not enough time at all, CNS, ssri damage can take a YEAR in most, on the other hand some doctors will say yes it is CNS damage and only Time can cure…suffer through the withdrawal, what happens is they will taper patients and it seems they never get better…keep in mind EVERYONE is different, anything with CNS damage is very very hard to pin point…recovery is different in EVERYONE also.

Your going to have to tell your family! the quicker the better!, as I am sure they will be very concerned why your disoriented and sick all the time (prepare your self for a good 4 months of being very very sick)

DPH is a very powerful chemical, and it gave you an imbalance you cant just put it to the side and think no one will notice (its going to be a very very rough withdrawal,) not only from the anticholergenic affects but also remember it builds a little film over the hairs in the synapsis firing from Acetylcholine which is why you feel sedated… DPH has alot of compound properties and is useful in lots of things besides allergies….besides all of that jargon it will “mess” up your histamines and histamines do ALOT for your body which is why you may have ringing in your ears, sick, dizzy, and hallucinate, Its not just one chemical in benedryl that causes withdrawal its a slew of compounds…

DONT be scared this is not permanent at all, your going to feel like absolute S**T for a few months it took me almost 9 months to be symptom free, do I still have the affects, not really what it did was give me slight allergies believe it or not so I might flare for a few minutes and then im fine (it gave me allergies when it was all said and done) will that even go away? YES! when I first started withdrawing there is no way I could have wrote this, I was as blind as a bat, and had the memory of a goldfish….that will also go away (my vision was blurry for about 7 months, and sensitive to light)

tell your family YOU HAVE TOO, and ride the withdrawal rollercoaster trust me when this is all said and done the look and smell of that pink pill will make you vomit, my stomach turns if I look at it.

gary
1:18 am September 13th, 2014

Hi my name is Gary and I have been an addict most of my life. I’m in the soboxone program. I have always had a problem sleeping, and I find if I take one or two benadryl I sleep without feeling grawgy the next day. But my wife says I can be addicted to this medication. I go through a bottle about once every nitty days. Do you think I am addicted to benadryl.

TheoOver3yearAddict
6:22 am September 13th, 2014

Gary, i wouldn’t be concerned if you’re taking 25-50mg you say? that is completely safe. UK i believe has 100MG limit so what you’re taking is half that!

The problem you have is likely insomnia not addiction which you can talk to your doctor about and there is plenty of information on that. If it makes you feel better i know people who take 1,000MG (that is 40 pills) a night and struggle with a bad addiction and extreme tolerance.

Have you tried sleeping without DIPH yet?

joe
1:57 pm September 14th, 2014

http://youtu.be/DYBd7gA99gM Song on YouTube I wrote about addictions….

me?
5:58 am September 15th, 2014

Hi, im only 15 years old and ever since my doctor told me to start taking benadryl about 4 years ago because of my allergies, i loved the sleepy feeling it would give me and ive been abusing them “to get high” and taking way more then i should be, and i cant focus in school anymore, and i think i have a problem, and my friends are really worried about me, and i just cant stop and i dont know what to do..

TheoOver3yearAddict
10:51 pm September 15th, 2014

Yeah its hard dealing with that because at the same time you’re satisfying your curiosity, you can sleep easier as well. So you take higher and higher doses while tolerance builds up.

How much are you taking per night me?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
8:59 am September 17th, 2014

Thank you Joe, for sharing your song with us. Your music is nice and this song can really help people understand what’s addiction like from the addict’s poin of view.

Annoyed
3:17 pm September 23rd, 2014

My boyfriend uses it to sleep and I’m afraid he might develop dependancy to it.

He works night shifts so he has no choice to sleep during the day. Instead of buying dark curtains or blinds to block the daylight, he takes Benadryl. And now uses the excuse he has it at hand in case he gets an allergic reaction to Tylenol.

I’m annoyed by this and want it to stop.

jessica
2:48 am September 25th, 2014

In all due respect to the others, me taking 8 a night to sleep is nothing considering I’ve been a major IV heroin & IV crack addict for quite some time. Basically ive never found something i couldn’t inject. I was a garage can, I’ve done it all… Just opiates were my love.
But, now I’m in the methadone clinic- 150mg a day. So, considering where I’m coming from, maybe me taking benedryl isn’t that horrible

TheoOver3yearAddict
8:57 pm September 25th, 2014

Jessica i have recreationally snorted heroin around 10 times going back. My father was the one addicted and died less then a year ago. I have not messed with it since. Injecting is what led to his death, need you to know this.

TheoOver3yearAddict
9:05 pm September 25th, 2014

^He also took 8-10 diphenhydramine a night^ i believe you share similarities because benadryl actually potentiates heroin and reduces itches.

thera
5:13 pm September 26th, 2014

my sister has been abusing benadryl for a few yrs now. my family wont get her help. they say u cant abuse it. ive been telling them u can. my sisters nevers r shot. she cant sit still. i call her the crack head j.rk. because she acts like she is on crack but isnt. she abuses benadryl and laskatives. she has a son shes go threw custuidy battle with her ex. i feel my nephew should be with his father. my sister needs help shes mentaly gone.

ally
3:35 am September 28th, 2014

I’m so glad I found this article. I seriously thought I was the only one struggling with this. I take 16-20 Benadryl every night (25 mg tablets). Have taken up to 30 at a time, but not generally. I don’t take them to sleep, I just really like the way they make me feel. Really relaxed, kind of like I’m floating. I’m only 26, and I’ve already absolutely destroyed my teeth with the stuff, kind of like some meth addicts do. Because it dries up all your saliva just like meth does. I’m pretty much gonna have to get either dentures or implants. And I can’t talk to my doctor about my addiction because I have really bad ADHD, so I’m being prescribed Ritalin, and for some reason, doctors think if you have a tendency towards addiction, you will most definitely start abusing your ADHD meds, which is totally not the case. I’ve been on those meds for 7 years now and, NOT ONCE did I attempt to get high off them.

Sharon
4:23 pm September 28th, 2014

This may not be the correct forum, but my golden retriever has been on Benedryl for years for his allergies (it’s no longer working) and I’m wondering if it’s OK to take him off cold turkey, or if i should wean him off.

jessica
10:53 pm September 28th, 2014

Im sorry to hear about your father. Mine took his ownlife, so I understand its hard not having a dad…
As far as the IV use, I know fully it will kill me eventually. My life is so far beyond screwed up, i don’t know if fading away is such a terrible thing. Just too much for too long. I hope for the other people on here, they still have a chance out of the darkness

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
12:39 pm September 29th, 2014

Hi Sharon. I believe a veterinarian will be able to give you a better answer and advise. But, my guess is, if humans need to gradually reduce doses, so do our pets.

TheOver3yearAddict
7:37 pm September 29th, 2014

Sorry to hear that as well. Suboxone and other strips and stuff he begun using without a prescription. And he told me honestly it’s just as hard trying to get and maintain those drugs. Just So he could “be off drugs” which you”re not. Second one was methadone which for some reason I didn’t belive that it didn’t get him high so I took some myself and I felt bad because he was right.

He ended up in a hotel him self and cut himself off from everyone els often. I would say you should somehow be connected to your family or a group or something. When my father went to group for narcotics (not for long) he still told jokes about it. It’s not a solution right away but it will help you from becoming cut off with the world. God knows I have, just not with heroin. Which is worse because it’s a big deal just getting clean from it.

It is possible though! Almost always requires professional help. My father done it in the past. We had to take him to rehab which he did not like. As far as I know methadone has worse withdrawal the heroin itself. Not sure about Suboxone.

But I obviously am making assumptions. I do not know your current situation or past. Hope you get help either way Jessica Either way it somewhat tore my family apart just dealing with this. Eventually they found out and by then it was to late or he just couldn’t control the urge.

Sunny
12:47 am October 5th, 2014

Does anyone know if a woman is pregnant and has this kind of addiction, will the excess amount of benadryl have any side effects for the baby? Like cause any defects while in the womb?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
1:07 pm October 6th, 2014

Hello Sunny. Basically, no medications are complertely risk-free to be taken during pregnancy. But, it’s ok to take some medications if it’s suggested by a doctor and/or gyneachologist AND if the benefits are greater than the underlying risks. You can find more dertails here: http://www.drugs.com/pregnancy/diphenhydramine.html

Gianni
1:31 am October 8th, 2014

I have taken Benadryl on several occasions. I have just read a bunch if the posts and to think that there are some people who take 70 a day!….
When we know this is happening to people, why not change the drugs status and make a prescription required?

TheOver3yearAddict
9:39 am October 8th, 2014

Because addiction is not common enough for diphenhydramine. There are few people that don’t veer because of the side effects alone.

I do believe there are some country’s where it is not legal or scheduled. That status can be found on erowid.

TheoOver3yearAddict
3:53 am October 9th, 2014

My last message failed. Well Gianni, i believe that is due to the fact that for 1 this drug has been around for a very long time and has proven to be safe and affective with very minimal abuse.

Although, i believe that it would be effective for stores them self to create policies restricting the amount you can purchase. Like for example, DXM. Which is found in cough syrup and is abused much more then diph is. I highly doubt the US will schedule this drug though i may be wrong.

In some stores in the United Kingdom its harder to get and somewhat restricted. Not effectively, because i know someone who simply orders them online in high quantities. Resulting in even worse abuse!

Anyway, you say you “use diph on occasion” what do you mean by that? are you talking recreational use, or therapeutically?

Tonya
5:40 pm October 11th, 2014

I take 100 pills aday some times more and have been doing it for years. I am scared of what’s it doing to my body. I have been trying to look up info on it but can’t find anything. Also what are the withdrawal symptoms

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
1:37 pm October 13th, 2014

Hi Tonya. When you stop using Benadryll you can expect problems with sleeping and some minor changes. But, generally speaking Diphenhydramine can be stopped safely with no ill effects.

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