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Anxiety Message Board

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If you're going to take a medication, do take the proper dosage and formulation---in your case, adult Benadryl. Benadryl is sometimes given to people with insomnia or, more rarely, anxiety, because it has a sedative effect in most people. Problem is, many people become so sleepy they just can't function at all and simply fall asleep and in a smaller number of people, it doesn't even make them sleepy. If it works for you, I'd just buy the adult formula and take a smaller dosage than recommended at first (the max dosage may just knock you out). Benadryl is an antihistamine and is usually used for allergies but has fallen out of favor somewhat because it makes many people sleepy and there are newer drugs that don't. If it works for you, though, and you don't have any medical contraindications, I'd try it, but again, use the appropriate formulation. Many of the nighttime formulation pain killer drugs like Tylenol PM or Advil Nighttime, etc., use an ingredient like that in Benadryl to bring on sleep. Other meds with immediate calming effects that are used in anxiety are the benzodiazepines like Xanax, Ativan, Valium, etc. They bring on a calm and sometimes drowsy state. Many of us on the board are on (or have been on) benzos---they are still one of the mainstays of the medical treatment of anxiety. Beta-blockers sometimes make people drowsy, but they are generally only used for people who have lots of symptoms with heart rate and situational anxiety, they don't generally produce a calming effect per se. Some people claim BuSpar, which is an anti-anxiety drug but not a benzodiazepine, has a calming effect. SSRIs eventually have a calming effect though they generally make people more nervous when starting the meds; that can be overcome by adding a benzo until the SSRI takes effect. Best wishes to you. I don't think Benadryl is a long-term solution to your problem, but if your'e only going to use it at bedtime for a little while, it is probably safe.

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