Antihistamines and sleep problems

Antihistamines, often used for relief of allergies, are sometimes prescribed to help people sleep. Examples of antihistamines are diphenhydramine hydrochloride (such as Benadryl) and doxylamine (such as Vicks Nyquil). Side effects may include daytime sleepiness, dizziness, mental sluggishness, and rapid heart rate.1


  1. Abramowicz M (2009). Drugs for insomnia. Treatment Guidelines from the Medical Letter, 7(79): 1–5.

Last Updated: January 4, 2010

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