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What Does Benadryl Do For Migraines

How They Help Migraines

Benadryl Brain Warning

Over-the-counter antiemetics do not work in the same way as prescription-strength antiemetics. For example, dimenhydrinate is an antihistamine that reduces nausea by speeding up gastrointestinal movement. Meclizine is an anticholinergic medication that decreases the brain’s sensitivity to movement, reducing symptoms of motion sickness.

Prescription antiemetics have a different effect on the body than other migraine treatments and a very different type of action than over-the-counter options. They are dopamine antagonists, which means that they block the receptors that allow dopamine, a neurotransmitter, to function.

Verywell / Emily Roberts

Dopamine normally fine-tunes muscle movements, and it also modifies mood and pain. Many dopamine antagonist antiemetics are actually antipsychotics, because excess dopamine action is linked with hallucinations, psychosis, and conditions such as schizophrenia. These medications reduce nausea and vomiting through their dopamine antagonist action in the brain and the gastrointestinal system.

Antiemetics are not always effective for treating migraines, however, and they can induce distressing short-term and long-term side effects, which include involuntary muscle movements.

Does Benadryl Calm Anxiety

Benadryl is not an anxiety medication. Its an over-the-counter antihistamine.

Its primary purpose is to provide temporary relief from hay fever and upper respiratory allergy symptoms. Benadryls generic name is diphenhydramine.

It works by blocking histamines in your central nervous system and other parts of the body.

Histamines, the chemical messengers in your body that help with daily function, are also a part of your immune response.

When a foreign molecule enters your body and is seen as a threat, histamines encourage the inflammatory response that results in allergy symptoms.

Benadryl blocks histamine signals and acts as an CNS depressant. This helps provide allergy symptom relief. It may also cause other sensations, such as drowsiness and sedation.

This is why some people may believe that Benadryl can help relieve anxiety, but research is far from reassuring when it comes to this effect and many experts advise against it.

What Happens If I Overdose

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of acetaminophen can be fatal.

The first signs of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Later symptoms may include pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

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Taking Benadryl For Headache And Migraine Can Help In 3 Possible Ways

1- The antihistamine action blocks circulating histamine from attaching to cells and causing negative effects like swelling of blood vessels. Also, histamine in the brain promotes wakefulness so blocking this perky chemical messenger may help calm our nervous system.

2- Benadryl provides a welcomed soothing effect for the brain through blocking acetylcholine in addition to histamine. For many of us, sleep or at the very least, rest, is a key part of recovering from an attack. Many people know that they must get at least a short sleep to finally end the attack. Sometimes its Benadryl that comes to the rescue.

3- Benadryl can boost the effectiveness of some medications. Ive never gotten a good explanation of how it happens, but Benadryl has a known effect of boosting the effectiveness of some medications it is taken with. Drug makers know this as its paired with analgesics and cold medications for nighttime sleep. It is often suggested to couple Benadryl with other acute migraine medications to enhance the speed and effectiveness of the primary treatment. Since it can interact with some medications in a good way it can also interact in a bad way so a pharmacist or doctor should be consulted before you use Benadryl for headache and migraine relief.

Which Medications Are Used For Preventing Migraines

Does benadryl help a migraine

Preventative therapy should be considered for patients who suffer from recurrent migraines that cause significant disability, frequent migraines that require treatment more than twice a week, or migraines that do not respond or respond poorly to symptomatic treatments. Currently there are no drugs that specifically target and prevent migraines. Certain blood pressure medications as well as some antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and herbals have been shown to have beneficial effects in preventing migraine headaches. It’s important to understand that prophylactic medicines may not produce any significant benefits right away and maximal effects may not be seen for weeks to up to 6 months.

Although a number of medications have been used for the prevention of migraines, the medications that have been shown to be effective in controlled clinical trials, and are therefore recommended by the American Headache Society and the American Academy of Neurology migraine prevention guidelines include:

Use of topiramate can result in decreased sweating and increased body temperature. This may be especially concerning during hot weather. Wearing light clothes and drinking plenty of fluids while using topiramate during warmer months is very important. A physician should be consulted if body temperature rises.

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When Is A Migraine Serious

The following headache symptoms mean you should get medical help right away: A sudden, new, severe headache that comes with: Weakness, dizziness, sudden loss of balance or falling, numbness or tingling, or cant move your body. Trouble with speech, confusion, seizures, personality changes, or inappropriate behavior.

Why Does Benadryl Help

Through this sub I learned that many take Benadryl and that it’s also administered in the IV cocktail when you make a trip to the ER. I simply thought this was to help us sleep. I recently bought some as I’ve never used it before. I’ve only tried it a couple times and it did help me sleep during a migraine attack which was helpful.

Yesterday I woke up with a pretty bad headache that got worse over a few hours. It was triptan level bad, but I used a triptan the day before and I force myself to space them out. Although it was still early afternoon I decided I’d take Benadryl and get some sleep to see if that would help. However, I continued doing small tasks around my house and while I did get noticeably tired I didn’t fall asleep. Much to my surprise, my very bad headache was gone in about an hour?? I am curious, what is the link here? I tried to Google but all I see is Benadryl for allergies and anything to do with headache relief is related to sinus pressure or head colds. I didn’t have either and wasn’t suffering any obvious allergy symptoms .

I’m thankful this worked or maybe I was just lucky this one time. If anyone knows why Benadryl helps I’m really interested to know!

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Can Benadryl Be Crushed

Benadryl tablets can be crushed. If you have trouble swallowing whole tablets, Benadryl liquid solution and chewable tablets are available.

Benadryl is an antihistamine. If you have allergies or have a cold, your body releases a chemical messenger called histamine. This messenger causes symptoms such as inflammation, edema , itchiness, and runny nose.

Benadryl blocks some of the effects of histamine and decreases some of the symptoms caused by it.

What Is A Cocktail Headache

Can Benadryl help with anxiety?

After the IV was started, the infusion went smoothly. We started with general hydration, then the steroid, then Benadryl, then Zofran, then one round of DHE followed by another round of Zofran and another round of DHE. … The DHE made me sleepy and caused nausea, even with a high dose …

Migraine IV Cocktail, Day 1 – The Daily Headache

They said they were going to treat me with a migraine cocktail infusion. The nurse shot 3 medicines in me quickly. The first was reglan. Immediately after she put this in …

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Can Benadryl Worsen Or Cause Anxiety

One of the possible side effects of Benadryl is called paradoxical CNS stimulation. Its a condition where you experience the opposite drug reaction to whats expected.

Most people experience side effects of drowsiness and sedation on Benadryl. For some people, Benadryl can have the opposite effect.

Instead of feeling sleepy, you may experience excitation and agitation, which might make anxiety symptoms feel worse.

Theres no way to predict who will have a paradoxical reaction.

There are no studies linking Benadryl, or its active ingredient diphenhydramine, directly to the symptoms of clinical depression.

Feeling tired, lethargic, or mentally foggy on Benadryl is often from the drugs CNS depressant effects.

If youre experiencing symptoms of depression while taking Benadryl, your mental healthcare team can evaluate your symptoms and check for co-occurring conditions.

What Other Information Should I Know

Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly.

You should keep a headache diary by writing down when you have headaches and when you take rizatriptan.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

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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.

What Else Can I Do

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Once you figure out what youâre allergic to, try to avoid it as much as you can.

Manage outside triggers:

  • Stay inside on windy days, when more allergens will be in the air. Mid-morning and early evening are also good times to avoid the great outdoors. Thatâs when pollen counts are highest.
  • Keep your house and car windows closed. Use air conditioning to cool and clean the air.
  • Ask another family member or friend to take care of your yard chores. Mowing, raking, and gardening can stir up pollen and mold.
  • Dry your clothes in a dryer. If theyâre outside on a clothesline, theyâll trap allergens.

Control indoor allergens:

  • Keep your home free of dust. Clean with a wet mop instead of a broom.
  • Use special covers on your box springs, mattress, and pillows to keep out dust mites. Wash your bedding each week in hot water, then dry on high heat.

Avoid pet allergens:

  • Wash your hands after you touch any animal. If it lives in your home, keep it off your bed and out of your bedroom.
  • Keep as few carpets and rugs in your home as you can. Wood floors, tile, and linoleum collect far less dander, the flakes of dead skin that cause most pet allergies. Vacuum any carpet you do have often.

No matter what kind of allergies you have, you can also:

Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports: âAllergic Rhinitis and Chronic Daily Headaches: Is There a Link?â

Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: âPrevalence of migraine headaches in patients with allergic rhinitis.â

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Medications Causing Rebound Headache

Now it is clear from the above discussion that Benadryl is not responsible for causing rebound headaches, it has totally different side effects when taken for long term. It is also important for us to know that which all medications are responsible for causing rebound headaches. The most popular OTC medicines that we use and which are responsible for rebound headache are Excedrin, Tylenol, Excedrin Migraine, NSAIDs like Naproxen and ibuprofen etc. Those medicines which have caffeine as combination have more chances of causing rebound headache. There are some prescription medicines also which are known to cause rebound headache, like Florinal, Fioricet, Vicodin, Tylenol and codeine combination, Percocet etc. The medicines like Maxalt, Imitrex, Triptans, Relpax etc, which are specifically used for migraine can also cause rebound headache or medication overuse headache.

It is also important to know that over use of Benadryl do not cause rebound headache, neither is it seen during the withdrawal symptoms of Benadryl. The effects related to stopping the use of Benadryl are not as severe as those of alcohol or heroin or but they are worth noting down and cannot be neglected. Till now there is not any such medicine, which is used for the withdrawal symptoms of Benadryl. However, it happens with every medicine that when it is stopped being used, it cause severe withdrawal symptoms. The most common withdrawal symptom of Benadryl includes:

Benadryl For Sinus Pain

Over-the-counter Benadryl products arent approved to treat sinus pain. However, some oral Benadryl products contain diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, and a decongestant called phenylephrine. These products can help reduce nasal congestion and stuffiness and may also help reduce sinus pressure or pain.

These products include:

  • Childrens Allergy Plus Congestion

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Daily Use Side Effects May Limit Use

Since its impossible to predict when a migraine will happen, these medications must be taken daily. But the more often you have to take a medicine, the less likely you are to take it faithfully. If you dont have the symptom right away when you skip a dose, then you are even more likely to skip doses, says Dr. Schramm.

All medications, and herbal remedies, have the potential to cause side effects, cautions Dr. Schwamm. Antiseizure medicines can reduce concentration and may cause drowsiness. Beta blockers can slow the heart rate and sometime cause depression or sexual dysfunction. Topiramate can cause weight loss, so some patients are more compliant with this drug, says Dr. Schramm.

Avoiding The Emergency Room

Benadryl Commercial (2001) 54% more effective.

If you do not have a rescue treatment available for home use when abortives fail, then please talk to your doctor. This is an essential part of migraine management that is often overlooked. For decades, I would ask my doctor what to do if my triptan failed. His only response was to visit the ER. It wasnt until I pushed back, insisting that a visit to the ER for a cocktail shot of Toradol, Benadryl, and Phenergan was unnecessarily expensive and wasteful did he agree to prescribe these medicines to me for home use.

Starting in 2013, I began using IM injections of Toradol with a Phenergan suppository as my rescue treatment. Thanks to this, I have been able to avoid the ER ever since. Instead, a few times each year, I am able to treat unresponsive attacks at home, saving me thousands of dollars and avoiding the unnecessary use of the ER.

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Can Antihistamines Help With Migraines

Studies of the effect of antihistamines in migraine are limited and of poor quality. Thus, there is little support for H1 or H2 antihistamines as preventive migraine medication. In addition, there are undesirable adverse effects. Still, non-sedating H1 antihistamines need to be appropriately tested.

Benadryl And H1 Receptors

Many theories into how Benadryl may affect anxiety exist but have yet to be backed up by research.

One of the most popular schools of thought is that Benadryl may improve anxiety symptoms through its affinity for H1 receptors in the body.

The H1 receptor is directly involved with the bodys inflammatory response. Preliminary animal studies suggest that it might also have an impact on anxiety symptoms, but these results have yet to be demonstrated in human studies.

One demonstrated H1 receptor activation in mice resulted in symptoms of anxiety. These symptoms werent observed during the activation of other receptor sites.

Those findings support earlier research in animals from 1999 that showed stimulating or deactivating the H1 receptor could increase or decrease symptoms of anxiety.

But again, this is only seen in animals, and the research is older. Newer studies with actual people are needed, so we dont know whether the process would replicate in humans.

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Diagnosing And Treating A Histamine Intolerance

As histamine testing is not readily available in the UK, you may want to try a low-histamine diet to see if you experience an improvement in your migraine attacks. But speak with your doctor before trying a new diet or if you’re considering a DAO supplement.

“There has been some interest and suggestions that histamine is linked with migraine,” says Munro. “There are few studies on the use of DAO supplements but none on the use of a low-histamine diet. And the studies there are were very small and so more research needs to be done.”

Clearly the histamine/migraine link needs further exploration but, personally, I have experienced a huge difference in my migraine attacks since adopting a low-histamine diet, going from around ten migraines a month to two. The migraines are also milder than before.

A Prolonged Migraine Attack

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Unfortunately, all of this good advice doesnt help you stop a prolonged attack in progress. If youve already exhausted all of your home treatments, and the attack is still going strong after 72 hours, you do need to call your doctor. In most cases he or she will recommend you go to the emergency room for evaluation and treatment. Most likely, the problem is Status Migrainosus which can be stopped in the ER or with a brief inpatient stay.

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