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  #1  
Old 09-23-2012, 11:12 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Is ZzzQuil a Good Idea?

Vicks recently introduced ZzzQuil, sort of like NyQuil, but not for colds, just to help people sleep. The link is to their product safety page.

Is this a good idea? I find myself terribly dubious. It seems to be using an antihistamine as a sleep aid. But are sleeps aids, themselves, a good idea?

I can accept that some people have significant medical complications and sleep disorders...and I think such people ought to be seen by doctors and, perhaps, given prescription meds to help them with their conditions.

But...as an over-the-counter deal? It just makes me dubious. What's wrong with warm milk and counting sheep? Is this a product that might be subject to significant abuse? Or am I wrong in depending too much on "nature" and an occasional bit of help sleeping is just fine?
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2012, 11:18 PM
Rhiannon8404 Rhiannon8404 is online now
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There are a lot of over the counter sleep aids that have been available for decades. Most seem to contain Diphenhydramine. Nytol and Sominex are basically the same thing in pill form.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2012, 11:19 PM
qualityleashdog qualityleashdog is offline
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I have found that Nyquil is the only thing that makes life bearable when I have a cold/flu/other misery. I have got to the point where I have to sleep it away. The routine is like this: Drink Nyquil, sleep. Wake, hit the Nyquil bottle. Repeat until I am all better, and there is no more Nyquil in the house. Nyquil is helpful, and addictive to me. If I start a bottle because I'm sick, I always finish it, even if, maybe, I didn't need to. I don't use it recreationally or as a sleep aid, only when I am sick, but once I start, I can't stop.
If ZZZQuil is anything like Nyquil, it would have to be just as addictive, and maybe one person could take a tablespoon or two a couple of nights a week, but many others would want to drain the bottle and probably hit it again when they woke up in the morning. Nyquil makes me sleep, but it's not refreshing. When I wake from a Nyquil induced sleep, I just want to go back to sleep, which is often not going to happen without more Nyquil.
So when I first saw that ZzzQuil was a real product and not a joke, I was very surprised. And I don't think it's going to be a good thing.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:38 PM
digs digs is offline
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My doctor told me to stop using anti-histimines as a sleep aid, as there might be memory issues.

As mine is pretty bad already, I decided... something...
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2012, 01:59 AM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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Dude, these are just benadryl gel-caps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
But...as an over-the-counter deal? It just makes me dubious.
It says right on the page you linked: "For more than 30 years, diphenhydramine has been approved by the FDA as an OTC (over-the-counter) medicine to treat occasional sleeplessness. Plus, diphenhydramine is non-habit-forming."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
What's wrong with warm milk and counting sheep? Is this a product that might be subject to significant abuse? Or am I wrong in depending too much on "nature" and an occasional bit of help sleeping is just fine?
Must be nice to not be plagued by insomnia, unlike 60 million+ Americans. If you've never needed a sleep aid, then you shouldn't be criticizing people who do. What's wrong with warm milk and counting sheep... really? They don't help insomniacs get to sleep, that's what's wrong with them. This product is not new, nor is it controversial in any way whatsoever. It's just a money grab by NyQuil.
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2012, 02:23 AM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachellelogram View Post
Dude, these are just benadryl gel-caps.
Are benadryl gel-caps a good idea?

Quote:
It says right on the page you linked: "For more than 30 years, diphenhydramine has been approved by the FDA as an OTC (over-the-counter) medicine to treat occasional sleeplessness. Plus, diphenhydramine is non-habit-forming."
I was asking for additional opinions.

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Must be nice to not be plagued by insomnia, unlike 60 million+ Americans.
I'm sure it must. It might also be nice to be able to make medical diagnoses about people you've never met. Senator Bill Frist has competition.
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2012, 02:51 AM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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I've been using Zzzquil occasionally for the last three weeks, and it absolutely works, too. I'm not a complete insomniac, but most nights it can take me 30-60 minutes to fall asleep because my mind starts racing the moment I lay down. With Zzzquil, I lay down and almost immediately start gently fading into sleep.

It's not a complete knockout potion; my phone went off around 2 am one night and jolted me awake. Even though I got back to sleep quickly, I was kind of out of it the following day. Even when I get a full 8 hours, I definitely feel a little odd the following day, which makes me cautious about using it. It's certainly not habit-forming that I can see yet.

When I need it though, it's excellent. I generally haven't looked into sleep aids before, but I've always enjoyed any excuse to take Nyquil in the past, and I'm quite happy with Zzzquil.

Last edited by Bosstone; 09-24-2012 at 02:53 AM.. Reason: Didn't know what diphenhydramine HCI actually was. Ahem.
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2012, 06:08 AM
Sudden Kestrel Sudden Kestrel is offline
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I can't imagine drinking anything similar to Nyquil for anything less serious than bubonic plague. If Zzzquil tastes anything like its predecessor, I'd be up puking all night. I can get diphenhydramine in a much less revolting form, TYVM.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2012, 06:48 AM
monstro monstro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
[URL="http://www.zzzquil.com/product-safety/diphenhydramine/"]
But...as an over-the-counter deal? It just makes me dubious. What's wrong with warm milk and counting sheep? Is this a product that might be subject to significant abuse? Or am I wrong in depending too much on "nature" and an occasional bit of help sleeping is just fine?
You are wrong for assuming that your occasional problems with sleeping give you some kind of special insight on treating insomnia.

It's kind of like me going "tsk, tsk, tsk" at people who take Pepto-Bismal for frequent digestive issues just because I can usually calm my stomach with ginger ale.

I have no idea if ZzzQuil is a good idea. But as someone who has just had to reluctantly get back on clonazapem after suffering through several months of sleeping difficulties, I'd probably prefer taking something like that over a benzo.

The problem with warm milk and counting sheep? That shit doesn't work. I usually give it the old college the first hour of tossing and turning before I cave in and pop a pill. I'd LOVE to be able to sleep "naturally", and when I can, I'm really happy. But chemical assistance is sometimes called for. Only an individual and their physician can decide when that point has been reached. The tongue-clicking peanut gallery on the internet should have no role in the discussion.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:14 AM
FuzzyOgre FuzzyOgre is offline
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Even the Dayquils knock me out. Whatever they put in them to ameliorate the sleepy-time effect doesnt work right, and it merely leaves me edgy and irritable. And sleepy.

If I take it at night I'll typically wake up feeling creeped out and/or paranoid. Which is a really strange thing because I dont believe in spooks, ghosties, spirits and deities. It doesnt seem to associate with dream imagery, just a vague feeling. I havent had an actual nightmare since I was a kid.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:16 AM
ExcitedIdiot ExcitedIdiot is offline
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This product will save lives.

People were already drinking Nyquil for sleep. Most nyquil formulas contain acetaminophen, which kills more people every year than doxylamine ever has. When people get habituated to sleep aids they usually need to increase the dose. I'm sure this has lead to acetaminophen poisonings.

Nyquil was nearly pulled from the market a while back when the FDA was deciding what to do about acetaminophen overdoses.
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:37 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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ExcitedIdiot got it. It's about taking a recognized product people use in a not-safe way (NyQuil) and taking out the dangerous part, repackaging it and sticking it next to the bottles of what people are used to buying. It's brilliant, and yes, I do think it will save lives.

Never underestimate the power of the mind. There are many people for whom NyQuil works to help them sleep, but Benedryl doesn't. Nevermind that they're the same chemical. For whatever reason, their brain has associated NyQuil with sleepy time, and so it works. Offering this stuff in a similar package made by the same manufacturer but clearly intended for sleep may help people make the switch and still get their sleep. Without downing excess acetaminophen.

As for the safety of antihistamines for occasional sleeplessness? Never seen a study suggesting it's not safe. I'd be wary of using it too often, simply because, again, power of the mind. It may not be physically habit forming to most people, but it may train them that they can't sleep without it.

But my SO suffers from horrible insomnia, and has been through the litany of prescription meds and sleep studies and the whole ball of wax. I'd be delighted if something OTC worked for him. Everything works for him for about three nights. Then nothing works for him, including barbiturates. It sucks...and insomnia is a huge risk factor for heart attacks (he's had one already) and strokes (knockwood no.)
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2012, 09:17 AM
Student Driver Student Driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
ExcitedIdiot Never underestimate the power of the mind. There are many people for whom NyQuil works to help them sleep, but Benedryl doesn't. Nevermind that they're the same chemical. For whatever reason, their brain has associated NyQuil with sleepy time, and so it works. Offering this stuff in a similar package made by the same manufacturer but clearly intended for sleep may help people make the switch and still get their sleep. Without downing excess acetaminophen.
I think the other big reason NyQuil was so popular as a sleep aid is that most people consume it in its liquid form, which allowed the diphenhydramine to be absorbed and act far more quickly than the compressed tablet form used by most of the OTC sleep aid brands. It wasn't just placebo, it did work more quickly than the available sleep aid brands. The best compromise in the sleep aid category had been in liquid gel forms offered as Chattem's Unisom Sleep Gels and generics, which still take a while to dissolve and enter the blood stream, but are quicker than pills. (And those savvy enough to know about buying diphenhydramine in allergy-medication packaging rarely thought to look at J&J's Children's Benadryl liquid and generics in the pediatric allergy category.) I was honestly surprised that no manufacturer in sleep aids had taken a look at the popularity of NyQuil and offered their own liquid version before P&G.

There's also a tack-on problem that NyQuil is shelved in the cough/cold area, while sleep aids are usually shoehorned into another unrelated category at the store (typically analgesics). People who know NyQuil works would not see other, safer brands of sleep aid shelved nearby, and would then be inclined to pick the one thing that they know works. ZzzQuil is hampered because it's not shelved next to NyQuil (unless you're at a convenience store where the entire OTC section is contained in a few shelves), but given enough advertising, it will hopefully get NyQuil abusers to realize that there is a separate sleep aid category and stop heading to the cough/cold section.

The idea of taking Benadryl is even more foreign for a lot of people; if you're not familiar with diphenhydramine and just shop by brand, it makes little sense to look at the allergy section and use something indicated for seasonal allergies that has no dosing information for sleep use.

Last edited by Student Driver; 09-24-2012 at 09:21 AM..
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2012, 09:28 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
Are benadryl gel-caps a good idea?
I don't see why not. I've been using Benadryl or the generic version for nearly 50 years now for my allergies. I'm still alive and no unexpected side effects. It's hardly a new compound, it's very well understood.

Although I often find 25 mg, half the dose in ZzzQuil, to be sufficient to induce sleep whether I want it to or not. Really, folks would be better off purchasing generic diphenhydramine and taking it in 25 mg doses as the default, only doubling that if they're still having trouble sleeping. But then again, there might be a placebo effect with the brand name.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:44 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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The name "ZzzQuil" sounds like such a stoner idea I'm having trouble believing it's real. How is that pronounced, anyway? Zee Quil? Zee Zee Zee Quil? <buzzing sound>Quil? <snorrrrre>Quil?

But yeah, clever rebranding of the same crappy diphenydramine that's in almost every other OTC sleep aid and several brands of allergy med. I don't use them personally, because the "sleep" I get from them is more like a weirded-out half-sleep followed by a foot-dragging hangover the entire next day.

As to abuse potential, I can imagine some idiot teenager guzzling a bottle of ZzzQuil thinking it's like Robitussin--- and you can definitely get fucked up and hallucinate from too much diphenhydramine, but it's reported to be a pretty horrible buzz by most who've been stupid, fearless, or desperate enough to try it. I doubt there are many repeat attempts.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:03 PM
lazybratsche lazybratsche is online now
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Nyquil is legitimately a more effective sleep aid than straight diphenhydramine. Nyquil has 25% alcohol (listed as an "inactive ingredient"). That's nowhere near enough to get you drunk from normal doses, but it's enough to seriously enhance the effect of diphenhydramine. You can, of course, combine alcohol and diphenhydramine yourself. It's not dangerous except in the "avoid use of heavy machinery" way.

(I discovered just how powerful that interaction is by personal experience. Sometime in college I was taking maximum diphenhydramine doses all day to keep bad allergies at bay. Later that night there was a party, I had maybe half a drink before I fell asleep in a chair in the corner. At 7 pm.)

Of course there's no alcohol in the zzzquil gelcaps, but from a marketing perspective people will associate it with the relative effectiveness of nyquil.

Last edited by lazybratsche; 09-24-2012 at 12:04 PM..
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:37 PM
flodnak flodnak is offline
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Last summer I had a long period of serious insomnia. No physical reason - I assume it was a combination of jet lag and, you know, psychological reaction to a certain @$$hole going on a rampage way too close to home. I had some of those antihistamine-as-sleep-aid tablets, and took a half-dose each night for five nights. It got me back on track and I was back to my normal sleep habits.

I think such a medicine has its uses, in other words. I understand concerns that people could become dependent on them, but if antihistamines aren't available, someone who has trouble sleeping might turn to something more habit-forming - like alcohol.
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  #18  
Old 09-24-2012, 01:46 PM
Turpentine Turpentine is offline
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Seems like a good idea to me. My husband is very sensitive to diphenhydramine, it seems. If he takes a single Unisom (diphenhydramine 50mg), he's knocked flat and sleeps 12 hours. You can't cut these Unisom gel-caps in half all that easily, so he can take a very small dose of liquid Zzzzzzquil and sleep normally if he's having problems falling asleep, then wake up refreshed.

Plus we bought it because we thought the name "Zzzzzzquil" was a real hoot and it's funny to see it among the boring stuff in our medicine cabinet. Looks like a cartoon, and it amuses us.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:23 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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There are several references above to NyQuil (not ZzzQuil) having diphenhydramine. I do not believe this to be correct, as it is not listed as an active ingredient: cite, click on "package information."

So it seems to me that the only similarity between NyQuil and ZzzQuil is the marketing, really.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:36 PM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Bad idea, but mainly because the active ingredient is available in generic products for a lot less money. It's Vicks' attempt to remarket a cheap, easily-available product in a way that makes them more money - but otherwise does you no more good than anything you can already buy.

From a medical standpoint: sure, why not use it (or whatever) for the occasional bout of insomnia. If it works, of course; it makes some people paradoxically *hyper*, it just makes me *mean*). If it's more than occasional, then yeah, see a doctor.
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  #21  
Old 09-24-2012, 04:13 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post
I've been using Zzzquil occasionally for the last three weeks, and it absolutely works, too . . . . It's not a complete knockout potion; my phone went off around 2 am one night and jolted me awake. . . . When I need it though, it's excellent. . . .
Thank you! This was the kind of response I was hoping for.

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Originally Posted by Sudden Kestrel View Post
I can't imagine drinking anything similar to Nyquil for anything less serious than bubonic plague. If Zzzquil tastes anything like its predecessor, I'd be up puking all night. I can get diphenhydramine in a much less revolting form, TYVM.
I haven't tasted it; can anyone here tell us if it does, in fact, taste like NyQuil? (I use NyQuil when I'm *really* nasty sick; the flavor is unpleasant, but being that sick is so much *more* unpleasant!)

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Originally Posted by monstro View Post
You are wrong for assuming that your occasional problems with sleeping give you some kind of special insight on treating insomnia.
You are wrong for assuming that I have problems with sleeping, and you are dead wrong and really foolish for thinking that I think I have any kind of special insight. I started this thread to obtain opinions about a product. "In My Humble Opinion."

Quote:
. . . I have no idea if ZzzQuil is a good idea. But as someone who has just had to reluctantly get back on clonazapem after suffering through several months of sleeping difficulties, I'd probably prefer taking something like that over a benzo.
Thank you; that's actually helpful.

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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
ExcitedIdiot got it. It's about taking a recognized product people use in a not-safe way (NyQuil) and taking out the dangerous part, repackaging it and sticking it next to the bottles of what people are used to buying. It's brilliant, and yes, I do think it will save lives.
Okay! That makes sense. I never would have thought of it that way, and so this thread has served a useful purpose. Thank you for educating me.

Quote:
As for the safety of antihistamines for occasional sleeplessness? Never seen a study suggesting it's not safe. I'd be wary of using it too often, simply because, again, power of the mind. It may not be physically habit forming to most people, but it may train them that they can't sleep without it.
This is one of my concerns with over-the-counter sleep aids in the first place. I'm not totally sure there should be such things at all. Again, people with serious problems might benefit from prescription meds, but ordinary sleeplessness doesn't seem to me to rise to this level. I also worry about a vicious cycle of counteractants: people taking a sleep aid, then a waking aid, then a sleep aid, then a waking aid...

Quote:
But my SO suffers from horrible insomnia, and has been through the litany of prescription meds and sleep studies and the whole ball of wax. I'd be delighted if something OTC worked for him. Everything works for him for about three nights. Then nothing works for him, including barbiturates. It sucks...and insomnia is a huge risk factor for heart attacks (he's had one already) and strokes (knockwood no.)
Ouch! Good luck to him (and to you.) I hope medical science advances (fast!) to provide a useful treatment.

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Originally Posted by Mama Zappa View Post
Bad idea, but mainly because the active ingredient is available in generic products for a lot less money.
Another insight I wouldn't have arrived at without your help here. Thank you!

Quote:
From a medical standpoint: sure, why not use it (or whatever) for the occasional bout of insomnia. If it works, of course; it makes some people paradoxically *hyper*, it just makes me *mean*). If it's more than occasional, then yeah, see a doctor.
And this, too: thank you. This answers my real question.

To everyone else who posted, thank you. I know that "Just Asking Questions" is sometimes used as a fallacious manner of disguising an attack, and at least two posters seem to have mistaken my question for that fallacy. They, however, are the ones who have erroneously leaped to a (wrong!) conclusion. I opened this as an opinion question, and, with the exception of those two responders, I have gotten sensible, wise, intelligent, and knowledgeable answers. THANK YOU!
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  #22  
Old 09-24-2012, 06:48 PM
Imago Imago is offline
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I know this thread is mostly finished but this is something I haven't seen mentioned yet.

As someone who googled the hell out of diphenhydramine before buying any, I have to say the potential for prolonged abuse of it is nearly nihil. Tolerance builds up extremely fast for many folks (like, in a matter of days) and can take two or three weeks to go back down. And once you've built a lot of tolerance, no amount of upping your dose is going to get you the sleeping effect you were hoping for.

If I cut a 50mg capsule of diph in half, I can take the other half the next night and it will work. But after those two nights I'd need the full pill to get the same effect, and the night after that one I'm screwed.

It's also a lot harder to hurt yourself with a diphenhydramine overdose than with, like, an Ambien overdose. Or with using alcohol to get to sleep (bad idea! Bad bad idea!), or as previously mentioned the mixed cold meds.

Of course, it was also mentioned that diphenhydramine may not even be the stuff in NyQuil. I don't know; I use generic stuff.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:13 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
I haven't tasted it; can anyone here tell us if it does, in fact, taste like NyQuil? (I use NyQuil when I'm *really* nasty sick; the flavor is unpleasant, but being that sick is so much *more* unpleasant!)
It's a different flavor, "berry", but it's that same cloying mediciny taste that people hate about NyQuil. Personally I like it. That plus the tinge of alcohol makes me feel like there's substance to it that isn't present in a pill or gelcap.

Maybe it's just a placebo effect and I'm fooling myself into falling asleep. Far as I'm concerned, if it works, it works.
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  #24  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:46 PM
Unauthorized Cinnamon Unauthorized Cinnamon is offline
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Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
Is this a good idea?
Fuck yeah.

Unisom (doxylamine succinate) is even better.

Try waking up at 3am, unable to get back to sleep, for a few days and see how your attitude shifts on this.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:09 PM
lazybratsche lazybratsche is online now
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Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
There are several references above to NyQuil (not ZzzQuil) having diphenhydramine. I do not believe this to be correct, as it is not listed as an active ingredient: cite, click on "package information."

So it seems to me that the only similarity between NyQuil and ZzzQuil is the marketing, really.
Hmm, you're correct. Nyquil has doxylamine, not diphenhydramine. They're both similar drugs though -- first gen antihistamines with a major sedative side effect. Or sedatives with an antihistamine side effect, depending on the packaging.
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  #26  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:44 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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If antihistamines are such great sleep-aids, then why does Nyquil need to add all that alcohol? I've always been under the impression that the alcohol was the real 'knock-out' punch delivered by Nyquil; in concert with the other ingredients. Take away the liquor and you just have some placebo syrup (IMHO).
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  #27  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:44 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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My bad. I've never actually bought the name brand stuff, and I generally try to buy only single-medication stuff, so I don't have to worry about ODing on mixtures or treating symptoms I don't have. (Major exception: Theraflu, the kind in the little packets you mix with hot water. That stuff is awesomesauce, far beyond what each ingredient does on paper. Don't try to talk me out of my placebo.) I knew NyQuil has some antihistamine, and assumed it was the most common and cheapest. I should have checked before posting.
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  #28  
Old 09-24-2012, 09:36 PM
missouri65 missouri65 is offline
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Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
Are benadryl gel-caps a good idea?
This thread may have run its course, but for what it's worth, both my cancer-patient uncle and my 90+ year old grandmother were advised by doctors to take Benadryl as a sleep aid. For my uncle, it was the recommended (for children) dose of the children's liquid formula. I don't know what the dosage was for my grandmother. It may not be good for everyone, but at least two doctors out there thought it was a good idea for a couple of folks with already-weakened systems.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:38 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
If antihistamines are such great sleep-aids, then why does Nyquil need to add all that alcohol? I've always been under the impression that the alcohol was the real 'knock-out' punch delivered by Nyquil; in concert with the other ingredients. Take away the liquor and you just have some placebo syrup (IMHO).
Not that I'm any kind of expert, but I would figure it's the combination of medication and alcohol that knocks you out more effectively than either one alone would.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:54 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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If you're drinking enough NyQuil for the alcohol to have a sedating effect, you're definitely not following the label directions.

It is an INACTIVE ingredient. It's there because at least one of the active ingredients is alcohol soluble, and the alcohol holds it in suspension. It is not there to promote sleepiness in any way whatsoever, or it would be in the ACTIVE ingredient section, by labeling law.

I can't find anything on NyQuil's site about how much alcohol is in there, but sources on the web claim 10% or 25%. The dose for an adult is 2 T. That's the same as "a shot", unless it's less (some people use 1.5 oz for "a shot"). So we're talking about a shot of wine or a shot of Captain Morgan's. If you're getting sleepy on a single shot of Captain Morgan's, I've got a sorority house full of gullible girls to sell you...
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:57 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
If you're drinking enough NyQuil for the alcohol to have a sedating effect, you're definitely not following the label directions.

It is an INACTIVE ingredient. It's there because at least one of the active ingredients is alcohol soluble, and the alcohol holds it in suspension. It is not there to promote sleepiness in any way whatsoever, or it would be in the ACTIVE ingredient section, by labeling law.

I can't find anything on NyQuil's site about how much alcohol is in there, but sources on the web claim 10% or 25%. The dose for an adult is 2 T. That's the same as "a shot", unless it's less (some people use 1.5 oz for "a shot"). So we're talking about a shot of wine or a shot of Captain Morgan's. If you're getting sleepy on a single shot of Captain Morgan's, I've got a sorority house full of gullible girls to sell you...
I said "in concert" with the other ingredients; meaning that perhaps the alcohol, when combined with the other ingredients in the product, delivers a stronger punch than if consumed alone.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:04 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
I said "in concert" with the other ingredients; meaning that perhaps the alcohol, when combined with the other ingredients in the product, delivers a stronger punch than if consumed alone.
If it has any physiological effect, it's not an inactive ingredient.

Quote:
1. What is an inactive ingredient?

According to 21 CFR 210.3(b)(8), an inactive ingredient is any component of a drug product other than the active ingredient. Only inactive ingredients in the final dosage forms of drug products are in this database.

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2. What is an active ingredient?

According to 21 CFR 210.3(b)(7), an active ingredient is any component of a drug product intended to furnish pharmacological activity or other direct effect in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or to affect the structure or any function of the body of humans or other animals. Active ingredients include those components of the product that may undergo chemical change during the manufacture of the drug product and be present in the drug product in a modified form intended to furnish the specified activity or effect.

<snip>

6. Can an inactive ingredient ever be considered an active ingredient?

The Inactive Ingredients Database contains inactive ingredients specifically intended as such by the manufacturer. Inactive ingredients can also be considered active ingredients under certain circumstances, according to the definition of an active ingredient given in 21 CFR 210.3(b)(7). Alcohol is a good example of an ingredient that may be considered either active or inactive depending on the product formulation.
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/Information.../ucm080123.htm

So, while, yes, alcohol can be an active ingredient sometimes, if it's listed as an inactive ingredient, it cannot act as an active ingredient.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:10 PM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
If it has any physiological effect, it's not an inactive ingredient.

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/Information.../ucm080123.htm

So, while, yes, alcohol can be an active ingredient sometimes, if it's listed as an inactive ingredient, it cannot act as an active ingredient.
I see. So I went to find out why the alcohol was then included and this is what I found. Apparently it's used as a solvent which blends the three active ingredients together. Ignorance fought.
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  #34  
Old 09-24-2012, 10:17 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Originally Posted by Ambivalid View Post
I see. So I went to find out why the alcohol was then included and this is what I found. Apparently it's used as a solvent which blends the three active ingredients together. Ignorance fought.
Yay! We've both learned something in this thread! How very Doperish of us.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:29 PM
MyMack_1 MyMack_1 is offline
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Hell if it worked for me I'd take it instead of the demon drug Ambien. It'd be safer.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:33 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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I was a bit worried by the word "intended" in the definition of "active ingredient." If the ingredient isn't intended to have a physiological effect...but does anyway...what then? The word seems to be out-of-place in a scientific sense, although it has very obvious utility in a legal sense.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:39 PM
kayT kayT is offline
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Just so everyone is aware, sometimes diphenhydramine has a real rebound effect; that is, if you take it for several days in a row, it seriously wires you up. (I guess for some people it even has this effect the first time it's taken.) Not much fun to take your sleepy-pill and suddenly find yourself jumping out of your skin. Why yes, I am speaking from personal experience.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:01 AM
Senegoid Senegoid is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayT View Post
Just so everyone is aware, sometimes diphenhydramine has a real rebound effect; that is, if you take it for several days in a row, it seriously wires you up. (I guess for some people it even has this effect the first time it's taken.) Not much fun to take your sleepy-pill and suddenly find yourself jumping out of your skin. Why yes, I am speaking from personal experience.
See, there's this problem.

In fact, when you buy Benedryl (or other sedating antihistimines) as allergy medicine, doesn't it always say right on the package: "Caution, may make you sleepy. This effect will diminish after a few days, as your body gets used to the drug" (or words to that effect).

That right there is telling you precisely why diphenhydramine is not a good sleeping aid, other than for occasional and infrequent use. Your CNS quickly adjusts to it and the sleepy effect is more-or-less nullified. Then you will need bigger doses if you keep using it for more than a few days, and when you stop using it, you will have rebound insomnia for a while.

ETA: So, for you chronic insomniacs who have posted above: How does this play out for you? Do you use diphenhydramine regularly, and if so, does it remain effective? Or do you find that it loses its effectiveness when used regularly?

Last edited by Senegoid; 09-25-2012 at 01:03 AM..
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:09 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Mama Zappa View Post
Bad idea, but mainly because the active ingredient is available in generic products for a lot less money. It's Vicks' attempt to remarket a cheap, easily-available product in a way that makes them more money - but otherwise does you no more good than anything you can already buy.

.
Right. It is generaly safe, but the generic cost about 1 cent per dose.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:50 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
See, there's this problem.

In fact, when you buy Benedryl (or other sedating antihistimines) as allergy medicine, doesn't it always say right on the package: "Caution, may make you sleepy. This effect will diminish after a few days, as your body gets used to the drug" (or words to that effect).
No, mine doesn't mention anything about the effect diminishing. This is the first I've heard about it. I'm going to have to do some more research into this effect, because I've actually got a lot of patients whose doctors have prescribed diphenhydramine as a sleep aid to be taken nightly for long periods of time.

Quote:
ETA: So, for you chronic insomniacs who have posted above: How does this play out for you? Do you use diphenhydramine regularly, and if so, does it remain effective? Or do you find that it loses its effectiveness when used regularly?
As I mentioned, the SO has found nothing that works past night 3 or 4. That includes diphenhydramine, Ambien, Ativan, trazadone, melatonin, passionflower/skullcap extract, warm milk, counting sheep...so I never considered that it might be a regular flaw of diphenhydramine.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:45 AM
kayT kayT is offline
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It's not that the effect diminishes; it's that it is reversed. I mean, makes you HYPER!!! Lots different from "not working any more."
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  #42  
Old 09-25-2012, 09:04 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Originally Posted by kayT View Post
It's not that the effect diminishes; it's that it is reversed. I mean, makes you HYPER!!! Lots different from "not working any more."
Ah, no, that I've never seen or experienced. Do you have any information on how common that is? I know it can make some people hyper, but I've never heard that it can make a person hyper after several days of use with a sedating effect.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:07 PM
kayT kayT is offline
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I only know it has that effect on me and when I mentioned it to my allergist he said yeah, that happens sometimes. Don't know how often "sometimes" is, or why it occurs. I just know if I take it more than two days in a row, on the third day odds are I'll be up all night.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:35 PM
Seanette Seanette is offline
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Originally Posted by lazybratsche View Post
Nyquil is legitimately a more effective sleep aid than straight diphenhydramine. Nyquil has 25% alcohol (listed as an "inactive ingredient"). That's nowhere near enough to get you drunk from normal doses, but it's enough to seriously enhance the effect of diphenhydramine. You can, of course, combine alcohol and diphenhydramine yourself. It's not dangerous except in the "avoid use of heavy machinery" way.

(I discovered just how powerful that interaction is by personal experience. Sometime in college I was taking maximum diphenhydramine doses all day to keep bad allergies at bay. Later that night there was a party, I had maybe half a drink before I fell asleep in a chair in the corner. At 7 pm.)

Of course there's no alcohol in the zzzquil gelcaps, but from a marketing perspective people will associate it with the relative effectiveness of nyquil.
And in my (admittedly unusual) case, acetaminophen is also sedating. Take Tylenol, Midol, or such, take a nap. Whether I want to or not.

My most common go-to for sleep problems is melatonin (low doses, around a 3mg dose I can count on nightmares as a side effect), with diphenhydramine (lower doses than the package says to use) as a fall-back. I only use Nyquil when ill (and I use the liqui-caps, frequently only one when the stated dose is two).
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  #45  
Old 09-25-2012, 07:51 PM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Originally Posted by digs View Post
My doctor told me to stop using anti-histimines as a sleep aid, as there might be memory issues.

As mine is pretty bad already, I decided... something...
This. Despite the fact that repeated studies seem to indicate that they think the sleep effect from TylenolPM <which is just benadryl in a pill> is purely illusory, and therefore non-habitformiing, it does do something, and works for many people. I know it's not an illusory effect for me, because several times I unknowingly and accidentally took Tylenol and not TylenolPM, and then couldn't figure out why I was wide awake at 2:30 in the morning. /facepalm

After 20 years of using TylenolPM and generic versions thereof, I started getting that twitchy effect, whatever that is. Combined with my...yeah, increasingly annoying CRS, I switched to another, non-antihistimine type, and it not only works, it works REALLY well. And I feel like my brain is less foggy, which itself might be illusory but I'll take whatever I can get.

As far as why long-time users should go to a doctor to get a REAL prescription, well...I don't get it. Why would I do that, when OTC works? At least twice the price, plus you need prescriptions, plus it's not going to be any less addicting, so...kind of a lose-lose situation, unless nothing else at all works for you.

Last edited by Taomist; 09-25-2012 at 07:53 PM..
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:02 PM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Had to add that what's funny about marketing TylenolPM and the generic versions is that they always seem to include the acetaminophen, which really is something people worry about. Especially people like me who used it nightly for decades.

Here's the funny/stupid part: the version WITHOUT acetaminiphen...JUST the sleep aid...is about twice the price.

Figure THAT one out.
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  #47  
Old 09-26-2012, 08:20 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Originally Posted by Taomist View Post
As far as why long-time users should go to a doctor to get a REAL prescription, well...I don't get it. Why would I do that, when OTC works?
Chronic sleep problems can be a symptom of several health conditions which might be more appropriately treated by dealing with the cause rather than the symptom. Which, yes, might be more expensive than simply continuing to use the OTC aid, but it's not news that some health treatment is decided by finances rather than what is best to optimize health.
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  #48  
Old 09-26-2012, 01:32 PM
MLS MLS is offline
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Originally Posted by kayT View Post
I only know it has that effect on me and when I mentioned it to my allergist he said yeah, that happens sometimes. Don't know how often "sometimes" is, or why it occurs. I just know if I take it more than two days in a row, on the third day odds are I'll be up all night.
Me too, for any use at all. Benadryl or the equivalent and I cannot sleep AT ALL. My doctor said the same thing as yours.
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  #49  
Old 09-26-2012, 01:54 PM
Sister Vigilante Sister Vigilante is offline
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If I don't take something, I will generally be awake until about 5 in the morning, at which point why bother even trying to sleep. I have tried Ambien and built up a tolerance and it stopped working. I tried Trazodone and ended up more anxious than before, with the added side effect of hallucinations.

So I take 2 Advil PMs (the recommended dose on the bottle) right before bed. I take the Advil form because my back is usually hurting as well. If I wake up 2 hours later I will take 1 Benadryl. This will usually carry me through the rest of the night. If my back isn't hurting I'll take 2 Benadryl instead of 2 Advil PMs. I never take more than 3 of anything with diphenhydramine in it within a 4 hour time period because then I start to itch. If more than 4 hours have passed, it means the first batch has worn off and then I allow myself more.

As for regular Nyquil, it stopped working for me when they took the diphenhydramine out of it and replaced it with a different antihistamine. So I do keep a bottle of ZzzQuil handy if I want to fall asleep faster than the pills will dissolve.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:14 PM
DiosaBellissima DiosaBellissima is offline
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Originally Posted by MLS View Post
Me too, for any use at all. Benadryl or the equivalent and I cannot sleep AT ALL. My doctor said the same thing as yours.
Whynot seemed to be questioning the premise that it made someone sleepy for a few days and then made them hyper. Plenty of people get hyper from it, they just get hyper from pill 1. . . not 5 days later.
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