What Can an Antihistamine Do For Me?

True story. A couple of years ago I had a mild case of insomnia. I didn’t want to ask the doctor for a power and potentially habit-forming drug. So I took the OTC antihistamine Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride (sold under the brand name of Benadryl©). I guess my insomnia went away, but I got into the habit of taking the antihistamine every night before I went to bed. I guess it just became part of my bedtime routine.

My question is this. Taking Aspirin regularly is good for your heart. I recently heard Ibuprofen taken regularly may prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Can my taking antihistamine have any possible benefit? It blocks histamine–a destructive substance to begin with, I believe. So that’s good, isn’t it? Is there anyone out there with a medical degree who knows? Is there anyone without one that knows;) ?

(BTW I have told my doctors I am taking it and I talked to a pharmacist who said she couldn’t think of any harm in taking it long-term like I am.)


It probably won’t hurt, but it probably isn’t doing you any good, either. Your body gets habituated to the dose, so now your mast cells are extra-beefed up with histamines, so it will have some to release if called upon to do so. And histamines are not universally bad, they can be helpful mediating immune responses. They just have annoying side-effects.

So why not stop it?


Well, I’m in the same boat as Jiim B. I appreciate your advice QtM.

From http://www.pinofpa.org/partners/meds.html

My doc says he prescribes this for some people who can’t sleep. I can’t use it for periodic allergies because I get too drowsy.