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Can Doxepin Cause Insomnia

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What Products Might Interact With This Medicine

Antihistamines for Everything?

When you take this medicine with other medicines, it can change the way this or any of the other medicines work. Nonprescription medicines, vitamins, natural remedies, and certain foods may also interact. Using these products together might cause harmful side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking:

Does Doxepin Cause Morning Drowsiness Or Hangover

Many older medications prescribed to treat insomnia, such as benzodiazepines or Z-drugs like zolpidem, are associated with early-morning drowsiness and sleeping pill hangovers.

For example, some users of Ambien have reported feeling drowsy and less alert in the daytime after using the medication to fall asleep. In response to this, in 2013 the FDA lowered the starting dose of zolpidem-based sleep aids.

Several studies of doxepin have observed that these morning hangover effects dont seem to occur when doxepin is used at low doses for insomnia.

For example, an independent review of doxepin from 2011 noted that doxepin does not cause next-day sedation at low doses. A 2013 review of doxepin for insomnia also noted that it does not cause next-day sedation a distinct advantage over other insomnia medications.

Its important to be aware that the sleep-inducing effects of doxepin last for several hours after you take the medication. This means that although doxepin does not cause next-day tiredness when used normally, it may cause you to feel drowsy if you only sleep for a short period.

To avoid daytime drowsiness, you should only use doxepin to treat insomnia if you plan to sleep for seven to eight hours immediately after taking the medication.

Can I Take Benadryl To Treat My Insomnia

If youve ever taken Benadryl to ease allergy symptoms or treat an allergic reaction, you know that it can cause extreme drowsiness. While this is an unpleasant side effect for most people, those suffering from insomnia may consider sleepiness a welcome relief. But can you use Benadryl as a treatment for insomnia and is it safe?

Here well discuss the active ingredients in Benadryl, how it works, and if its a viable short- or long-term solution for sleep disorders including insomnia.


Benadryl Isnt a Practical Treatment for Insomnia

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Indications And Clinical Uses

Doxepin has been used to treat anxiety disorders and dermatologic conditions in dogs and cats. Some use for dermatitis is related to the drugs antihistamine properties. Although it has been used for treating pruritus and dermatitis in small animals, it has not been effective for treating atopic dermatitis in dogs. Doxepin has been used to treat lick granuloma in dogs, which may be through its effects on modifying behavior. There are anecdotal reports of the use of doxepin for treating laryngeal paralysis in dogs, but there are no controlled studies to support this use.

David N. Neubauer, in, 2012

What Is A Normal Doxepin Dosage

Silenor (doxepin (Silenor)) Uses, Side Effects, Dosage &  Interactions

As we mentioned above, doxepin is prescribed at a variety of different dosages to treat different conditions.

Doxepin is typically prescribed for insomnia at a dosage of 3mg to 6mg per night. When prescribed for major depressive disorder, anxiety and other conditions, doxepin is typically used at a higher dosage, often in the 75mg to 150mg per day range.

For mild depression or anxiety, doxepin may be prescribed at a lower dose, including dosages as low as 25mg to 50mg. The maximum doxepin dosage used for major depressive disorder and anxiety is 300mg per day.

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Is There Any Reason I Might Not Be Able To Take Sleep Medication

Always consider the current medications that you are taking for any drug interactions. Look at the individual ingredients and make sure you have no allergies to contents of the medication.

Any medications that can make you drowsy should typically not be taken when drinking or driving and should be avoided by older adults.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

The major depressive disorder affects more than 17.3 million Americans in the U.S. 75% of individuals who suffer from mental disorders remain untreated, and about 1 million people commit suicide. Therefore, an interprofessional team approach is necessary to provide the best quality care to patients to accurately diagnose, treat, and manage patients with psychiatric disorders.

Studies have shown that individuals’ beliefs about their mental illness can significantly influence their treatment plan and medication adherence. Using an interprofessional team approach that includes clinicians, mid-level practitioners, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, and the patient will help shape an individual’s belief about their illness and hopefully decrease the number of patients left untreated and resort to suicide or misusing other drugs.

Nursing can coordinate between the therapist, pharmacist, and the clinician. The pharmacist can watch for drug interactions, verify dosing, and consult if treatment is unsuccessful, recommending other medication options, notably a pharmacist with psychiatric certification. A mental health specialty nurse will have significant contact with the patient and monitor medication side effects, informing the doctor of any concerns.

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Interaction With Other Medications

One of the most serious things to consider when taking any new medication is how it might react with the medications youre already taking. Be sure to tell your doctor about what medicines you take and if you have a history of allergic reactions. Even certain vitamins and supplements may interact negatively with doxepin. Some of the most common interactions include:

  • Thyroid supplements

Common Side Effects Of Doxepin


Used to treat insomnia, the most common side effects of doxepin include:

  • Sedation/drowsiness

  • Nausea

  • Nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection and other cold symptoms

Of these side effects, sedation/drowsiness is the most common, affecting between six and nine percent of doxepin users in clinical trials. Since doxepin is a sleeping pill prescribed specifically to treat insomnia, this side effect isnt unexpected.

Overall, side effects from doxepin are usually mild and uncommon when the medication is used to treat insomnia. In clinical trials of SilenorĀ®, a sleep medication that contains doxepin, less than one percent of participants discontinued use of the medication due to side effects.

As a sleep-promoting medication, doxepin may cause mild impairment to psychomotor skills the morning after its taken.

This is a common side effect of almost all sleeping pills. Its worth noting that studies of doxepin tend to show that its effect on next-morning alertness are much milder than other, older sleeping pills, such as benzodiazepines.

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Can Doxepin Interact With Other Medications

Like other tricyclic antidepressants, doxepin has the potential to interact with other medications.

Several different drugs are known to interact with doxepin, with some being classed as major drug interactions.

Common medications that can interact with doxepin include certain MAOI and SSRI antidepressants. If you use a MAOI or have used one within the last two weeks, using doxepin may cause severe side effects.

Other medications that can potentially interact with doxepin include sleeping pills, narcotic pain medications, anxiety medications and medications used to treat seizures.

To avoid any potential drug interactions, its essential that you disclose all other medications that you currently use to your physician before using doxepin.

Benadryl And Its Uses

Benadryl, also known as diphenhydramine, is a type of antihistamine designed to treat allergies, hay fever, and the common cold. Symptoms include itching, watery eyes, rash, cough, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose, and throat. Benadryl can also help prevent and treat stomach discomfort including vomiting, nausea, and dizziness caused by motion sickness.

One of the most common side effects associated with this over-the-counter drug is drowsiness. Benadryl blocks your body from histamine, a natural substance your body produces in response to an allergic reaction. Histamine also plays a part in how awake and alert you feel. When the medication blocks histamine to treat an allergic reaction or cold, its also reducing your wakefulness, causing drowsiness.

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What If I Miss A Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is almost time for the next scheduled dose. If you take only one dose at bedtime and you miss the dose, do not take the medicine in the morning. Wait until the next night. Skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take double doses. If you are not sure of what to do if you miss a dose, or if you miss more than one dose, contact your healthcare provider.

Histamine H1 Receptor Antagonist

Adapin, SINEquan (doxepin (Sinequan)) Uses, Side Effects, Dosage ...

Doxepin, which was approved as an antidepressant in 1969, for many years has been prescribed at low to moderate doses specifically to help with insomnia complaints. The pill strengths range from 10 to 150 mg, with the prescribing guidelines going as high as 300 mg daily doses for depression. Some prescribers have employed compounding pharmacies to dispense doses lower than the available 10 mg capsule. Appropriate clinical trials were performed, and in 2010, the FDA approved doxepin in 3 and 6 mg doses specifically for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulty with sleep maintenance. The most common adverse effect at these doses is somnolence/sedation. There is no abuse liability, so doxepin is classed as an unscheduled medication. It is listed as Pregnancy Category C .

Doxepin is relatively rapidly absorbed. The elimination half-life is approximately 15.3 h. The potential for drug interactions is minimal at the 3 and 6 mg doses.

Paul Merlob, Christof Schaefer, in, 2015

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Important: How To Use This Information

This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Doxepin

Can doxepin become addictive?

Doxepin is one of the few medications used to treat insomnia that doesn’t cause addiction or dependency.

Can I drink alcohol while taking doxepin ?

Don’t drink alcohol while taking doxepin , because it can make you become too sleepy. It can also raise your risk of doing activities while you’re not fully awake, which can be very dangerous.

Will I get withdrawal symptoms if I stop taking doxepin ?

Studies don’t show that there’s a likelihood of withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking doxepin , even if you’ve been taking it for a long time. Your provider may still lower your dose gradually if you wish to stop taking [.

Can I use doxepin to treat my depression?

Doxepin is only approved to treat insomnia. There are other forms of doxepin at higher doses that can be used to treat depression.

Should I take doxepin with or without food?

Doxepin should be taken on an empty stomach. Don’t take doxepin within 3 hours of a meal, because it may not work as well or may cause you to be extra sleepy the next day.

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What Are The Possible Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, your medicine may cause some unwanted side effects. Some side effects may be very serious. Some side effects may go away as your body adjusts to the medicine. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that continue or get worse.

Life-threatening : Allergic reaction .

Serious : Seizures unusual weakness or tiredness high fever with rash inability to urinate fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat chest pain sudden or severe headache problems with vision, speech, or balance sudden numbness or weakness fever with increased sweating severe muscle stiffness twitching or involuntary movement of your body or face severe dizziness or fainting yellowing of the skin or eyes confusion hallucinations unexplained sore throat new or sudden mood changes or behavior suicidal thoughts worsening depression unusual bruising or bleeding.

Other: Headache, dizziness, tiredness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, bad taste in your mouth, stuffy or runny nose, itching, weight gain or loss, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, blurred vision, testicle swelling in men, breast enlargement, nightmares, change in sexual ability or desire.

Can I Take Doxepin If Im Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

Doxepin (Silenor) – Uses, Dosing, Side Effects

Ask your doctor about taking this medicine if you are pregnant. Taking an antidepressant during late pregnancy may cause medical problems in the baby. However, you may have a relapse of depression if you stop taking your antidepressant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Do not start or stop taking this medicine without your doctor’s advice.

You should not breastfeed while using Silenor.

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Warning Disclaimer Use For Publication

WARNING: Please DO NOT STOP MEDICATIONS without first consulting a physician since doing so could be hazardous to your health.

DISCLAIMER: All material available on is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. All information is observation-only. Our phase IV clinical studies alone cannot establish cause-effect relationship. Different individuals may respond to medication in different ways. Every effort has been made to ensure that all information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. The use of the eHealthMe site and its content is at your own risk.

If you use this eHealthMe study on publication, please acknowledge it with a citation: study title, URL, accessed date.

Melatonin Ramelteon And Almorexant

Newer approaches include ramelteon, the first and only nonscheduled drug approved by the US FDA for the treatment of insomnia, and in the future possibly by the orexin system, through agents such as almorexant. Ramelteon produces sleep through activation of melatonin 1 and melatonin 2 receptors in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. Almorexant produces selective antagonism of orexin OX1 and OX2 receptor. There is no adequate evidence that they are effective in the treatment of insomnia,.

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What Are The Potential Risks Or Side Effects Of Otc Sleep Aids

Many herbal and OTC medications may seem harmless. But when taken over a long period of time or in high volume, they can potentially cause significant organ damage.

Some of these medications may cause drug interactions with other medications you take or foods that you consume. Residual sleepiness, drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea are common symptoms of most OTC medications.

Antihistamines also block the effect of another neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. Lack of acetylcholine is known to play a role in Alzheimers disease. Chronic Benadryl use may be associated with dementia.

Taking any of these medications with alcohol can be very dangerous.

What Is Doxepin Used For

What is Doxepin?

Doxepin is used to treat a range of conditions. As a tricyclic antidepressant, its often prescribed to treat major depressive disorder , and anxiety disorders. Doxepin is also commonly used at much lower doses to treat insomnia.

Topical doxepin, in cream form, is used to treat itching caused by skin conditions like lichen simplex chronicus and atopic dermatitis. Although it seems to have been largely phased out by more effective drugs, doxepin is also occasionally used to treat hives.

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Common Side Effects Of High

Used at a dose of 25mg to 300mg to treat depression and anxiety, common side effects of doxepin include:

  • Dizziness

  • Increased or decreased sex drive

  • Urinary retention

  • Gynecomastia in men

Of these side effects, drowsiness is the most commonly reported. Most of the time, any increase in drowsiness from doxepin disappears over time with continued therapy. Other side effects may also subside over time.

If youre prescribed doxepin and experience persistent dry mouth, blurred vision, conspiration or urinary retention that doesnt improve on its own, or if any of these side effects becomes severe, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible to discuss adjusting your dosage.

What Are The Side Effects Of Doxepin

With any medication, there are risks and benefits. Even if the medication is working, you may experience some unwanted side effects.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Allergic reactions: Hives or rashes, swollen face or throat, difficulty breathing
  • Worsened depression or increased suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Unusual behaviors while not fully awake with no memory of such behaviors the next day

The following side effects may get better over time as your body gets used to the medication. Let your doctor know immediately if you continue to experience these symptoms or if they worsen over time.

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How Do I Take It

Read the Medication Guide that comes in the medicine package when you start taking this medicine and each time you get a refill.

Check the label on the medicine for directions about your specific dose. Take this medicine exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes. If you need to take this medicine for more than a few days, do not stop taking it suddenly. You may have to reduce your dosage gradually to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Follow your healthcare providers instructions.

Check with your healthcare provider before using this medicine in children under age 18.

Take this medicine 30 minutes before going to bed. Do not take Silenor within 3 hours of a meal, as it may not work as well, or may make you sleepy the next day if taken with or right after a meal. Do not take this medicine unless you are able to get a full night of sleep before you must be active again.

Is It Safe To Take Medication To Treat Insomnia


The cornerstone of therapy for insomnia involves a treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy . This form of therapy provides techniques to help the body relax and develop habits to improve sleep. Its performed by a medical professional with specialized training.

Medications are typically used as add-on therapy when general sleep hygiene and CBT do not work. Thats because there are risks that come along with taking any medications, especially in older adults.

Important considerations when considering a sleeping medication include:

  • how long it stays in your body
  • what side effects it may have
  • the level of dependency it may cause

Its critical to review medications with your physician. Some medications may have secondary side effects, such as daytime sleepiness.

Always take medications as prescribed by your doctor. There should be a timeline and goal for when to start decreasing and stop taking the medication.

I wouldnt say that I never use medications to treat insomnia. However, I am very conservative and considerate of medication side effects.

Most people typically improve with CBT alone. But some of my patients have persistent insomnia and frequent recurrence. Their condition may require both CBT and medication so they can get adequate sleep at night.

Doctors may recommend several medications to treat insomnia.

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