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    Avoid benadryl while withdrawing from opiates. 
    #1
    I had an interesting and somewhat unpleasant experience recently that led me to do a little bit of research. I was withdrawing from opiate use. My main symptoms I get during withdrawal are depression, coldness and RLS (restless leg syndrome). The RLS is often the worst part since it prevents sleep. I did the first day or two cold turkey. Sleep wasn't very easy, but I could get some. So the third night I decided to take some diphenhydramine (benadryl) to help knock me out. I took 50mg. This is very commonly recommended here on this forum. Well that night I could not sleep at ALL. The RLS was more intense than ever. It was pure torture. I thought it was just the withdrawal. I tried again the next night. Same thing. I didn't take it the night after that and it was much better. So I started to wonder if benadryl exasperates RLS. After a quick google search, I quickly found TONS of articles stating that you should stay away from benadryl and related drugs if you have RLS. Why? Because it makes the symptoms 10 times worse. If you want more info on it, do a search for RLS Benadryl. If you are taking the advice found here and take benadryl for RLS, you might want to quit. You are probably just making your problems worse. Just a little FYI for everyone.
     

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    #2
    Bluelighter drunken_etard's Avatar
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    I used to take around 150mg of dimenhydrinate to sleep during W/Ds. I found it helped me sleep. Maybe it did effect my RLS, but It was already so bad i didnt notice.
     

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    #3
    cymbaltra from your doctor or requip works great for RLS. It saved my life,cuz we all know those of us with RLS that it can be so bad it will almost drive u nutts!!!!!
     

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    #4
    Bluelighter Nickatina's Avatar
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    Yeah both nyquil and benadryl did the same thing to me during withdrawals. The one thing that did work for RLS was an OTC medicine containing quinine. See if you can find that.
     

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    #5
    Peace
    wow, and I always thought it was the decongestant component of cold medicines that did that to me!
     

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    #6
    Bluelight Crew paranoid android's Avatar
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    I use benadryl alot during withdrawals in the day time. It helps alot with the runny nose i get during withdrawal. My nose gets really runny when im withdrawing from opiates and it makes the cough worse.

    The clonazepam and gabapentin i take stops the RLS dead in it's tracks. Both of them also help withdrawals.
     

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    #7
    Bluelight Crew sonic's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this info. It is useful for people with RLS. Although, your thread title sort of states that everyone should avoid diphenhydramine during withdrawal. The majority of the population DOESN'T suffer from RLS.
    So benadryl can still help most people with insomnia. Personally, I try to avoid antihistamines and take other sleep aids during withdrawal or any other time, but I do use diphenhydramine or doxylamine as a last resort to help me sleep if I don't have anything better. It works for me, I just don't like the sleep hangover the next morning.
     

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    #8
    I hate RLS (for me it's more like restless arms, but it's the whole body actually) more than anything, the combo I found works for me is 1000 mg of calcium + 2000mg magnesium + 150 mg DXM. Needs to be all three for me, take one factor out of the equation and I still get it. Some people seem to just need the calcium+magnesium, some just need the dextromethorphan.
     

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    #9
    yeah good call. ive experienced this randomly (the diphenhydramine induced rls), especially if i take diphenhydramine after drinking.

    good to know it's not a freak occurence. I'll remember not to take it during opiate withdrawal.
     

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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by sonic
    Thanks for sharing this info. It is useful for people with RLS. Although, your thread title sort of states that everyone should avoid diphenhydramine during withdrawal. The majority of the population DOESN'T suffer from RLS.
    So benadryl can still help most people with insomnia. Personally, I try to avoid antihistamines and take other sleep aids during withdrawal or any other time, but I do use diphenhydramine or doxylamine as a last resort to help me sleep if I don't have anything better. It works for me, I just don't like the sleep hangover the next morning.
    I'm confused- you're saying the majority of addicts withdrawing don't experience RLS? I find that dubius at best. Or rather the majority of the entire population doesn't experience RLS?

    That I easily believe.

    Also avoid things like Seroquel, Alcohol, Risperidone and other Antihistamine-type sedatives (obviously I'm not included EtOH in that list!)
     

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    #11
    Bluelighter thugpassion's Avatar
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    Wow, Benydryl was always what I took if had nothing else available. And it did make me "drowsey" w/no problem, nothing close too a natcotic no matter how much you take.

    I guess RLS is one symptom I never relley get(that bad). Its always the runny nose, buring eyes, sneezing, and my most hated WD symptom, the nonstop yawning .
    Last edited by thugpassion; 11-03-2008 at 00:41.
     

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    #12
    Bluelight Crew paranoid android's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ham-milton
    I'm confused- you're saying the majority of addicts withdrawing don't experience RLS? I find that dubius at best. Or rather the majority of the entire population doesn't experience RLS?

    That I easily believe.

    Also avoid things like Seroquel, Alcohol, Risperidone and other Antihistamine-type sedatives (obviously I'm not included EtOH in that list!)
    I take seroquel regularly anyway and i find it helps alot with withdrawals. I never get RLS from it but thats probably because of the other drugs i take. I like the sedating effect it has on me when im withdrawing and it stops my head from being so loopy. I have bipolar and im loopy enough sometimes as it is.
     

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    #13
    Bluelighter Mr Blonde's Avatar
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    After reading this thread I looked up RLS on wikipedia, and what do you know? Oxycodone is a treatment for it, according to wiki at least!
     

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    #14
    Any opiate can be used, but with pramipaxole now, it won't be used often.

    It'll go Pramipaxole --> Benzo A --> Benzo B --> (Maybe a C or D, etc, possibly another GABAergic) --> Codeine --> Hydro/Oxycodone.

    I talked to my doc once about it (I was withdrawing and was complaining about RLS), he said that's what he was taught when he was learning, though that was before Pramipaxole, so I assume that it's been put first on the list.
     

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    #15
    Bluelighter rachamim's Avatar
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    I will have to cry foul on this one. It helped me pull off of 17 years of 160 mg of methadone so people, do your research and make your own call.
     

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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by rachamim
    I will have to cry foul on this one. It helped me pull off of 17 years of 160 mg of methadone so people, do your research and make your own call.
    You are "crying foul" because it's not the case with you? That doesn't mean much IMO. There are currently 6,602,224,174 other people on earth with different reactions.
     

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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by sonic
    Thanks for sharing this info. It is useful for people with RLS. Although, your thread title sort of states that everyone should avoid diphenhydramine during withdrawal. The majority of the population DOESN'T suffer from RLS.
    So benadryl can still help most people with insomnia. Personally, I try to avoid antihistamines and take other sleep aids during withdrawal or any other time, but I do use diphenhydramine or doxylamine as a last resort to help me sleep if I don't have anything better. It works for me, I just don't like the sleep hangover the next morning.
    Sonic, RLS is an extremely common symptom of withdrawal. From my experiences talking to others, it is safe to say that a majority of people do get it to some degree during opiate withdrawal.
     

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    #18
    Bluelighter chinacat311's Avatar
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    i think there is confusion here because some people (like me) have RLS regardless of their opiate use, and during withdrawal it just gets magnified and is often the hardest symptom to tolerate. there are others who didnt have RLS before their opiate use who will experience restlessness during withdrawal, furthermore there are people that dont even experience it during major opiate withdrawal.. everyones withdrawal is a little different IME.

    overdriven: one thing id like to point out is that it seems you took the benadryl on the 3rd day/night, which is commonly the WORST day of the withdrawal period. if i understand your post you took it again the fourth night, which is also typically pretty bad and didnt take any for the fifth night. well usually its around the fifth day that withdrawal symptoms begin to get better, so it could have just been due to the natural progression of your withdrawal that you felt such differering levels of restlessness, not the benadryl.

    im not trying to deny your experience, just offering a different possible cause.
     

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    #19
    Bluelighter chinacat311's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blonde
    After reading this thread I looked up RLS on wikipedia, and what do you know? Oxycodone is a treatment for it, according to wiki at least!
    haha yea that along with social anxiety are the reasons i began self-medicating with opiates in the first place.

    ..that and the awesome high.
     

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    #20
    Bluelighter memphis10's Avatar
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    during heroin wd i suffer from the most horrific case of RLS EVER

    i took diph regularly to "help me sleep and stop rls"

    bullshit.

    it made the rls WORSE and i could not sleep a wink AT ALL, it almost actually stimulated me. I tried doses b/w 12.5 and 150mg

    fuck diph
     

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    #21
    Bluelighter ChemicalSmiles's Avatar
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    Diphenhydramine at doses of 50-100 mgs are great for helping me sleep... but during opiate w/d's...... diphen is a NO- NO.

    I found this out the hard way... I have been using hydrocodone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone recently....... I stopped cold turkey and tried using ambien and diphenhydramine to sleep. Since I wasnt using the opiates an extremely long time, and ive been through plenty of worse heroin withdrawls... I figured id get to sleep with the combo.... well I ended up getting restless legs and the diphen at least doubled the strength of the RLS.

    The restless legs/arms subsided just under 5 hours after consuming the diphen so I know it was the culprit. I heard skuttle buttle about diphen and rls but disregarded it in the past... after this experience 3 nights ago I stupidly consumed it again by accident (out of habit, take it usually 6 nights a week) last night and had repeat effects..... I would tell you if I experienced restless legs tonight without the diphen but I took methadone and im not in withdrawl anymore.....

    But the night before last when I abstained from the diphen, I had no restless legs while still in withdrawl.....


    so yes..... memphis is right... "fuck diph"

    at least during withdrawl
     

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    #22
    Bluelighter 'medicine cabinet''s Avatar
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    Yea benedryl sucks but its better than nothing when you need to be sedated for a while. it seems to make WD more intense since its throws your head off and makes you dizzy. the hangover the next morning sucks too. i hate the feeling of taking benedryl even when im not in WD. it reminds me of kicking cold turkey.
     

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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blonde
    After reading this thread I looked up RLS on wikipedia, and what do you know? Oxycodone is a treatment for it, according to wiki at least!
    Codeine is often prescribed for people with RLS by doctors in situations where people suffering from it "naturally", or when the RLS is a side effect from other non-narcotic medications. I first read about DXM being a symptom reliever in this case study about tramadol WD http://opioids.com/tramadol/abstinsynd.html

    Good to know for people like me, who want to be sure not to switch addictions.

    The rationale for the calcium + magnesium combo is that these minerals in the right ratio (1 + 2) is that it regulates the electrical impulses between the nerves and the muscles, and RLS is often (always?) a result of these impulses being fucked upped. Calcium and magnesium is a lot like the relationship between sodium and potassium, the proportion needs to be right for the body to function optimally. Like I mentioned in my previous post, minerals aren't enough for me, neither is DXM, but together they work like a charm
     

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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Ham-milton
    Any opiate can be used, but with pramipaxole now, it won't be used often.

    It'll go Pramipaxole --> Benzo A --> Benzo B --> (Maybe a C or D, etc, possibly another GABAergic) --> Codeine --> Hydro/Oxycodone.

    I talked to my doc once about it (I was withdrawing and was complaining about RLS), he said that's what he was taught when he was learning, though that was before Pramipaxole, so I assume that it's been put first on the list.
    Very true. I've been prescribed opioids for RLS for 20yrs. Opioids are by far the most effective treatment for me, but I had to go through the all of the other treatments first. I'm now taking 40mg oxycodone 2x day.

    The following are believed to aggravate RLS symptoms:
    nicotine, caffeine, alcohol
    most antidepressants
    neuroleptic agents
    dopamine blocking antiemetics (such as metoclopramide)
    sedating antihistamines (including benedryl)

    The following are recommended treatments for RLS:
    Carbidopa/levodopa, 25 mg/100 mg
    Dopamine agonists, such as pramipexole or ropinirole
    Gabapentin
    Opioids or opioid agonists, such as oxycodone (5-15 mg), hydrocodone (5-15 mg), methadone (5-10 mg), and tramadol (50-100 mg)
    Benzodiazepines or benzodiazepine receptor agonists, such as temazepam, triazolam, zolpidem, zaleplon, or eszopiclone
     

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    #25
    ^^^^^^
    That's some really good info! When I drink sometimes at night , I get RLS of some sort, not the WD kind, but kind of similar in the early morning hours. Alcohol disturbs my sleep quality overall.
     

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