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Re: SSRIs versus Insomnia tabitha

Posted by King Vultan on September 3, 2004, at 8:01:36

In reply to Re: SSRIs versus Insomnia, posted by tabitha on September 2, 2004, at 23:51:41

> Ambien helps with getting to sleep but not with the early-morning awakening, so I need something more long-acting. The ambien also seems to poop out after 2 nights in a row-- I never really tried using it nightly. I'm kind of reluctant to get a benzo dependency anyway.
> You say Benadryl & unisom are short lived? That's what I've been using lately, plus melatonin. The melatonin alone was good when I was on a lower dose of SSRI. That didn't work after the increase, so I added unisom.
> I take the melatonin plus 1/4 of a unisom and I'm out for 10+ hours, plus very groggy on awakening. If I take 1/2 a tab I'll be out for 11-12. One Benadryl seems equivalent to 1/2 unisom-- I don't use it much since it's a capsule and harder to split.

I alternate between a benzo one night and an antihistamine the next to avoid acquiring a tolerance of either. This really seems to work pretty well for me. Restoril is the benzo that is best for maintaining sleep but is not as good as Ambien, Sonata, or Halcion for falling asleep. The benzo I use is Halcion at half a pill, 0.125 mg/night, but I do wake up after about five hours. However, I also use a sleep/relaxation CD that keeps me relaxed enough so that I am able to fall back asleep. Back in the old days when I used to wake up in the middle of the night while on Zoloft or Effexor, I was using zero sleep aids, and it sometimes took me two or three hours to fall back asleep--not a very good thing at all.

The antihistamines in Benadryl and the Unisom tablets are relatively short acting in comparison to some of the sedating ADs such as Remeron, or perhaps even trazodone, but that's not to say they are not necessarily completely without aftereffects the next day. You are correct that the Unisom tablets are stronger, as 25 mg doxylamine succinate is considered roughly equivalent to 50 mg diphenhydramine hydrochloride. My insomnia appears to be worse than yours, as I need to take 2 x 25 mg Benadryl or 1 x 25 of the Unisom tablets to have any chance of a good night's sleep, and I will certainly wake up at least once or twice, anyway. BTW, Benadryl is also available in tablets, in both brand and generic forms. If you are finding these types of products too strong, you might also want to experiment with other antihistamines that are not as powerful sedative/hypnotics, such as what is in the Dramamine products. Even the stuff in the non-drowsy Dramamine (meclizine) makes me drowsy, but I have not actually tried it for sleep.





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