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Old 02-10-2006, 11:51 AM   #1
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jumpfree HB User
Are OTC sleep meds addictive?

Are the OTC sleep meds addictive or do they cause any withdrawal symptoms if taken long term. I speaking specifically of Diphenhydramine and Doxylamine Succinate. I would really appreciate any info anyone can share. Thanks so much.

 
Old 02-10-2006, 02:11 PM   #2
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Re: Are OTC sleep meds addictive?

Hi jumpfree,
No, they're not addictive. But use them long enough, and you won't be able to sleep without them. It will really screw up your sleep patterns. They're meant for occasional use, but you know as well as I do, that a lot of us who have trouble sleeping, use them a lot more than that.
I don't know if it'll help you, but I started taking omega 3 fish oil capsules and I don't have to take anything else to sleep anymore. There's lots of alternatives to OTC sleep aids, hopefully you can find one that works for you.

 
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Old 02-10-2006, 02:20 PM   #3
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Re: Are OTC sleep meds addictive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiepls
Hi jumpfree,
No, they're not addictive. But use them long enough, and you won't be able to sleep without them. It will really screw up your sleep patterns. They're meant for occasional use, but you know as well as I do, that a lot of us who have trouble sleeping, use them a lot more than that.
I don't know if it'll help you, but I started taking omega 3 fish oil capsules and I don't have to take anything else to sleep anymore. There's lots of alternatives to OTC sleep aids, hopefully you can find one that works for you.
You see, I'm having a hard time understanding this above statement about them not being addictive yet if you use them long enough you won't be able to sleep without them. That sounds addictive to me. No? I read this alot about the OTC's and I'm not sure just what that means. Does that mean I'm addicted? Does it mean I've built a tollerance? Doesn't tollerance mean addiction to some degree? I'm so confused about this. Can I use one kind of antihistimine for sleep and then trade off with another every week or two to avoid these problems? Any advice?

 
Old 02-10-2006, 09:32 PM   #4
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Re: Are OTC sleep meds addictive?

The most common OTC sleep drug is the same thing as Benadryl but in higher dose. Although this works actually very well you will most likely find that you will be highly drowsy in the morning and unless you have no responsibility whatsoever you will find that it not be very useful for everyday use as you will never wake up in the morning.

 
Old 02-11-2006, 07:08 AM   #5
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cookiepls HB User
Re: Are OTC sleep meds addictive?

Sorry for the confusion Jumpfree. You can become dependent on OTC sleep meds but not addicted. It does sound like it means basically the same thing, but tolerance refers more to decreased sensitivity to a drug. You have to take more of it over time to benefit from it.

Addiction does the same thing but add to it, interference with normal activities. If you were to actually become addicted to OTC sleep meds, and you didn't have any, you'd probably beg, borrow, or steal to get them. In fact, your whole personality might change depending on whether or not you had the drug. But overuse of something like an OTC sleep aid isn't going to change your personality or cause you to break a law to get it, so it's not addiction. You just become dependent on it to get a good nights sleep. In both cases you can experience withdrawals if you stop using the drug.

My favorite analogy is coffee. I'm not addicted to it, but if I don't have one or two cups in the morning, I'll end up with a headache that lasts all day. If I run out of coffee, I'll suffer a little but it won't change my personality or make me run to the grocery store and steal it. LOL
When I used to take Tylenol PM every night in order to sleep, I'd stay awake all night long if I ran out. That was miserable because I was so dependent on it, but still not considered an addiction.

Here's another one: My husband tells me I'm addicted to chap stick. LOL I'm dependent on it because I've used it so long that my lips will crack and bleed if I don't. My lips depend on the chapstick now for moisture.

I know this was kind of an over-simplified explanation but there's a lot more to addiction versus dependency than I would have the time to write. Hope it helps though.

 
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