SUMAYYA
28 September 2022
Medically reviewed by
Kajal Jain
M. Pharm
benadryl-and-zolpide
Table of Contents

Millions of Americans find difficulty sleeping at night. Many older people prefer sleeping pills because nerve problems, pain, or other health problems keep them up at night. For them, a sleep aid is standing in the way of finding a proper remedy to get rid of the ailment. Various prescription and over-the-counter sleep medications are readily available. Two such drugs include Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) and Ambien (zolpidem). 

Ambien is a non-benzodiazepine sedative/hypnotic drug for insomnia, while Benadryl is an antihistamine drug. It is estimated that 50 to 70 million people in the U.S. experience sleep problems. Sleep aids, like zolpidem (Ambien), are frequently used. Benadryl, although an antihistamine, also makes a person tired. Are their effects suppressed if taken together? Let us figure it out.

What is Ambien?

Ambien (known as zolpidem) is a non-benzodiazepine, non-barbiturate sedative-hypnotic, CNS depressant prescription drug used to treat sleep disorders, such as insomnia. It acts on the GABA receptor in the brain and produces a calming effect. It helps individuals to fall asleep faster and stay longer for a better night's sleep. 

Despite its long side effects, it is the market's most widely used sleeping pill. Like most sleep aids, this medication is only recommended for short-term use and isn't a long-term cure for insomnia. 

Ambien is prescribed, considering it the best possible option. If Ambien is ineffective for any reason, a variety of alternatives may be more effective, including over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and prescription medications.

As with other substances, there are potential unwanted side effects and risk factors associated with taking zolpidem, exponentially increasing when it is abused.

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine drug designed to block the effects of the naturally occurring histamine in the body.

It is excellent for allergies, but curl up on the couch after taking it and get ready for a nap. It is also used to treat runny noses, sneezing, itching, hay fever, hives, watery eyes, rashes, common colds, and other symptoms of allergies.

Benadryl suppresses coughs, induces sleep, treats motion sickness, and treats mild forms of Parkinson's disease. It is also used in treating and preventing stomach discomfort, including nausea, vomiting, and dizziness caused by motion sickness.

What Medications Should Not Be Mixed With Benadryl?

Benadryl might interact with other medications, which can increase the side effects or make them worse.

Some medications that might interact with Benadryl include:

  • Other antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Sedatives
  • Stomach ulcer medicine
  • Cough and cold medicine
  • Diazepam (Valium)

Should I Take Benadryl And Ambien Together?

It would be best to seek advice from a medical practitioner before taking these drugs in combination with other medications. Talk to your doctor if you take any medicine or herbal supplement while on these drugs.

It is estimated that 50 to 70 million people in the U.S. experience sleep problems. Prescription sleeping medications, like zolpidem (Ambien), are frequently used. Diphenhydramine can make people drowsy, and combining it with other sleep medications can worsen this effect. 

Taking Diphenhydramine and zolpidem together might increase the side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and confusion. Some people, especially older people, may also experience impaired judgment, thinking, and motor coordination. 

Diphenhydramine is commonly found in OTC sleep aids. So, you may take too much Diphenhydramine if you're taking it for allergies and sleep.

It's best to avoid Diphenhydramine while you're taking sleep medications. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist can recommend a safer combination. 

Dosage Consideration Of Benadryl And Zolpidem

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)

Allergies and common cold symptoms:

Adults and children (>=12 years) As a requirement, the typical dose is 25 mg to 50 mg every 4 to 6 hours.
Children (6 - 11 years) As a requirement, the typical dose is 12.5 mg to 25 mg every 4 to 6 hours.
Children (<6 years) Contact your concerned doctor, who will provide your dose based on your child's age, weight, and condition. 

Trouble sleeping

Adults and children (>=12 years) The typical dose is 50 mg by mouth at bedtime as needed.
Children (<12 years) Do not use.

Ambien

Immediate-release The recommended dose is 5 to 10 mg oral before bed.
Extended-release tablet (Ambien CR) The typical dose is 6.25 mg to 12.5 mg by mouth nightly at bedtime.
Sublingual tablet (Intermezzo) The typical dose is 1.75 mg to 3.5 mg tablet placed under the tongue once needed for middle-of-the-night awakening.
Sublingual tablet (Edluar)  The typical dose is 5 mg to 10 mg tablet placed under the tongue nightly at bedtime.
Spray (ZolpiMist)  The regular dose is 5 mg (one spray) to 10 mg (two sprays) by mouth nightly at rest.

Possible Side Effects

With the administration of any medicine, there are associated risks and benefits. Even if the treatment works, you might experience some undesirable side effects. Reach out to your concerned medical practitioner immediately if you experience any of the following:

Benadryl Ambien
Allergic reaction Sleepwalking
Hyperactivity Excessive sleeping
Upset stomach Shallow Breath
Stuffy nose Chest Tightness
Dry mouth Vomiting
Constipation Swelling of lips, tongue, face, or eyes

What Medications Should Not Be Mixed With Benadryl?

Benadryl might interact with other medications, which can increase the side effects or make them worse. Some medication drugs that might interact with Benadryl include:

  • Other antihistamines
  • Antidepressants
  • Sedatives
  • Stomach ulcer medicine
  • Cough and cold medicine
  • Diazepam (Valium)

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Even for younger adults who find difficulty sleeping because of stress, health concerns, or other sources of Anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy should always be preferred as the primary treatment. However,  various medications are also available if the medicine doesn't work for the patient. Both Benadryl and Ambien are used for the treatment of insomnia. However, Benadryl is also used for allergies, rashes, the common cold, hay fever, hives, motion sickness, and mild Parkinson's disease.

Drug interactions are reported among the individuals who take Benadryl and Zolpidem tartrate. The administration of these two drugs can intensify the side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and confusion. Speak to your doctor before starting any medication to avoid unusual side effects.

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  • Liao KF, Lin CL, Lai SW, Chen WC. Zolpidem Use Associated With Increased Risk of Pyogenic Liver Abscess: A Case-Control Study in Taiwan. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Aug;94(32):e1302. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000001302. PMID: 26266369; PMCID: PMC4616684. Obtain On 28/09/2022
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