Is Benadryl Addictive for Sleep?
Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a readily available antihistamine drug, sold over the counter in capsule, tablet, or liquid form. Benadryl is used to help with alleviating reactions like itching, sneezing, and increased mucus production that result from allergies and the common cold. It also is used to treat itching from insect bites and hives which bring about an increase of histamine in the body. Benadryl prevents histamine from binding to certain cell receptors in the brain and blocks the action of acetylcholine. The blocking of acetylcholine (anticholinergic effect) causes a sedative sensation to the individual, often to the extent of falling asleep. Because of this sedative effect, people sometimes turn to using Benadryl as a sleep aid.
- Increased heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Reduced ability to concentrate
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth (leads to GERD or dental issues)
- Memory loss
- Impaired coordination
- Difficulty urinating
- Liver dysfunction
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