Is Diphenhydramine Addictive?

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®, Sominex®, and many other brand names) is an antihistamine medication commonly used for the treatment of allergies and insomnia. Since many sleep aids (especially prescription ones) can be addicting, many people may wonder, "Is diphenhydramine addictive?"
Diphenhydramine is not usually addicting, at least in the most common sense of the word. People who regularly take diphenhydramine (especially for sleep) may find that they have become tolerant to the effects of the medication. However, this is simply a physical response to the medication; it does not mean you are addicted to diphenhydramine. If you have been taking Benadryl as a sleep aid regularly, you may also find that you have trouble sleeping when you stop the medication. This also does not mean you are addicted to diphenhydramine.
Sometimes, people become dependent on diphenhydramine in order to fall asleep. Often, this dependence is merely psychological. People believe they cannot sleep without the medication, and as a result, they experience insomnia if they do not take it. To overcome this problem, an individual may need to relearn good sleep habits (such as establishing a regular bedtime routine and avoiding caffeine late in the evening).
(Click Benadryl Addiction for more information on whether diphenhydramine is addictive, to learn about the potential dangers of addiction and abuse, and to find out where you can get help for these problems.)
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