Benadryl is Not as Harmless as You May Think

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Millions of people battle addiction, including Benadryl. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) has been linked to serious mental health complications when used in excess for a long period of time. Benadryl is an over-the-counter sleep aid that people sometimes use for its euphoric effects and the dopamine release. Tolerance can develop in as little as a few days, meaning people have to take more of it to achieve the same results. Learn about why Benadryl is not as harmless as people might think.

Risk of Excessive Use

Excessive use of drugs can cause an increased risk of dementia in many people. Before getting to that point, long-term Benadryl use is linked to short-term memory loss. Anticholinergic medicines affect the central nervous system and cause people to get sleepy. Drugs lower the brain’s choline levels, which can cause memory impairment in as little as two to three days. Some of the more adverse side effects associated with Benadryl abuse include:

  • Nausea
  • Excitability and fast heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Constipation
  • Blurred vision

Symptoms of Withdrawal

The effects associated with discontinuation of Benadryl may not be as bad as heroin or alcohol withdrawals but they are very real and should be monitored. Withdrawal symptoms will not ease with any known medications. As with most medication used for a long period of time, tapering down is the best way to stop using the medication or detox. Symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Cold-like symptoms

The biggest challenge with getting off Benadryl and simliar medications is denial. If a person does not admit the need for help, the likelihood they will quit is slim. However, people with loved ones who notice signs and symptoms of addiction starting may be able to lovingly convince the person that help is available and worth a try to get their life on track with support from professionals and the community.

Sound Recovery helps you get present in the moment with our programs, services and resources. If you need help quitting addiction, we are here to support you with professional services and resources designed to give you what you need on an individual basis. We are here to guide you through the steps to recovery. If you are struggling with addiction, let us help. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.

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