Can I Take Trazodone With Benadryl?

Trazodone is a prescription antidepressant primarily used to treat depression. However, due to its sedative properties, it’s often prescribed off-label for insomnia. Trazodone works by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain, which has a mood-lifting effect.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an over-the-counter antihistamine primarily used to treat allergies. But, as many are aware, it also has sedative effects, leading many individuals to use it as a sleep aid.

The Science Behind Combining Trazodone and Benadryl

With the increasing prevalence of sleep disorders, it’s not uncommon for individuals to combine different sleep-inducing medications in hopes of achieving better sleep. But when it comes to Trazodone and Benadryl, what does the science say?

Potential Interactions: Combining Trazodone with Benadryl can increase the risk of drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. The sedative effects of both drugs can compound, leading to potential oversedation.

Heart Rhythms: There have been concerns about the potential for irregular heart rhythms, particularly when combining Trazodone with other medications, though such incidents are rare.

Why People Consider Combining Them

Desperation for Sleep: Chronic insomnia can be debilitating, leading people to try multiple remedies simultaneously.

Perceived Synergistic Effect: Some believe that the combined sedative effects of Trazodone and Benadryl can produce a more potent sleep aid.

Recommendations: Anecdotal reports on forums, like Reddit, have discussed the combined effects of these medications. However, it’s essential to approach such advice with caution.

The Benefits and Risks of Combined Use


  • Potent Sedation: For those struggling to fall or stay asleep, the combined sedative effects might seem like a solution.
  • Cost-Effective: Benadryl is available over the counter and can be cheaper than other prescription sleep aids.


  • Over Sedation: The sedative effects can be too intense for some, leading to grogginess the next day or difficulty waking up.
  • Potential Drug Interactions: There’s a risk of increased side effects, especially when combined with other medications.
  • Dependency and Tolerance: Regular use of sedative medications can lead to dependence or an increased tolerance, meaning more of the drug is needed to achieve the same effects.

What Experts Recommend

Most healthcare professionals advise discussing any medication combinations with a pharmacist or doctor. When it comes to combining sedative medications, it’s especially crucial to ensure safety and appropriateness for the individual.

Furthermore, long-term use of antihistamines like Benadryl has been linked to potential risks, such as dementia. As with any medication, it’s essential to weigh the benefits against the potential risks.

Personalized Approach

Every individual is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another. Some may find relief from their insomnia symptoms by combining Trazodone and Benadryl, while others may experience unwanted side effects. Always prioritize safety and consult with healthcare professionals before making any changes to medication regimens.

In Conclusion

While the combination of Trazodone and Benadryl might seem like a promising solution for sleep troubles, it’s essential to approach this combination with caution. The potential for increased side effects and drug interactions is real. Before experimenting with any medication combinations, always seek advice from healthcare professionals. Sleep is vital, but safety should always come first.

FAQs on Trazodone and Benadryl

Q1: How do Trazodone and Benadryl individually affect the brain?

Trazodone: Primarily designed as an antidepressant, Trazodone elevates serotonin levels in the brain. This neurotransmitter plays a crucial role in mood stabilization and the regulation of sleep-wake cycles.

Benadryl: As an antihistamine, Benadryl blocks the effects of histamine, a chemical involved in allergic reactions. Its sedative effect is somewhat incidental, related to its influence on the central nervous system.

Q2: Can I develop a tolerance if I combine these drugs regularly?

Tolerance Development: Over time and with frequent use, the body may become accustomed to the effects of medications, necessitating higher doses for the same outcome. This adaptation can happen with both Trazodone and Benadryl. It’s paramount to consult a medical professional if you feel the current dose is no longer effective.

Q3: What about the combined use in special populations, such as pregnant women?

Pregnancy Considerations: Limited research exists on the effects of Trazodone and Benadryl during pregnancy. However, both drugs might pose risks, and combining them could amplify potential dangers. Always discuss any medication concerns with an obstetrician during pregnancy.

Q4: Can other sleep aids be taken along with this combination?

Using Multiple Sleep Aids: Adding more medications increases the potential for drug interactions and side effects. It’s crucial not to mix multiple sleep aids unless explicitly directed by a healthcare provider.

Q5: How does the risk of dementia relate to Benadryl usage?

Dementia Concerns: Some studies suggest a possible connection between prolonged use of first-generation antihistamines, like Benadryl, and an increased risk of dementia. While the correlation doesn’t imply causation, it’s essential to be informed and consider alternatives if long-term use is contemplated.

Q6: What should I do if I experience side effects?

Addressing Side Effects: If you notice any unusual symptoms or side effects, such as palpitations, excessive drowsiness, or confusion, it’s essential to stop taking the medications and seek medical advice immediately. Some side effects can be serious, so timely intervention is vital.

Q7: How long should I wait between taking Trazodone and Benadryl?

Interval Recommendations: If considering both medications, it might be best to space them out, taking them at different times. This strategy could reduce the risk of excessive sedation. However, always follow the directions of a healthcare professional.

Q8: Are there natural alternatives to this combination for sleep?

Natural Alternatives: Some individuals find relief from insomnia using natural remedies like melatonin, valerian root, or chamomile tea. Lifestyle changes, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule, reducing caffeine intake, and engaging in relaxation techniques, can also promote better sleep.

Q9: How do I know if this combination is right for me?

Personalized Medicine: It’s essential to discuss personal health history, other medications, and any potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider. They can offer guidance tailored to individual needs.

Q10: Can pets, like dogs, take Trazodone and Benadryl together?

Pets and Medications: While both Trazodone and Benadryl have been prescribed for pets in specific scenarios, combining them requires careful veterinary oversight. Always consult with a veterinarian before administering any medications to pets.

Q11: How might the combination affect my daily cognitive functions?

Cognitive Implications: Combining Trazodone and Benadryl may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or reduced alertness, which could influence daily tasks like driving, operating machinery, or even attending meetings. Always gauge how you react to the combination before engaging in tasks requiring attention.

Q12: Is there an age limit for safely using this combination?

Age-Related Concerns: Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this combination, particularly regarding fall risks, urinary retention, and memory issues. Pediatric populations may react differently, too. It’s best to approach the combination with caution across age groups and always follow medical advice.

Q13: Are there risks related to long-term use of this combination?

Long-Term Usage Risks: Long-term use of any medication often brings increased risks. With Benadryl, concerns include potential links to dementia, while Trazodone might lead to dependency or persistent side effects. Regular check-ups with a physician can help mitigate these risks.

Q14: How do Trazodone and Benadryl interact with other common drugs?

Interactions with Other Medications: Both drugs can intensify the effects of alcohol, narcotics, or other sedatives. Also, medications affecting serotonin levels, like SSRIs or MAO inhibitors, may interact with Trazodone, potentially leading to serotonin syndrome.

Q15: Is it safe to exercise or participate in sports after taking these drugs?

Physical Activity Post-Medication: Due to the sedative effects of both Trazodone and Benadryl, physical performance might be impacted. Activities requiring coordination, reflexes, or full cognitive alertness should be approached with caution post-dosage.

Q16: What dietary considerations should I keep in mind?

Dietary Interactions: Grapefruit juice, a known influencer of drug metabolism, might impact the efficacy of Trazodone. It’s also recommended to avoid alcohol when on this combination, as it can amplify drowsiness and other side effects.

Q17: How quickly can I expect to fall asleep after taking the combination?

Onset of Sleepiness: The time to feel the sedative effects varies by individual, but many people start feeling drowsy within an hour. It’s crucial to be in a safe, restful environment when taking the combination for sleep.

Q18: Are there risks associated with stopping this combination suddenly?

Discontinuation Effects: While Benadryl can typically be stopped without tapering, suddenly ceasing Trazodone might lead to withdrawal symptoms in some individuals, especially after prolonged use. It’s crucial to discuss any plans to stop or adjust dosage with a healthcare professional.

Q19: What about the use of this combination in managing anxiety?

Anxiety Management: Both Trazodone and Benadryl can induce sedation, which might offer temporary relief from symptoms of anxiety. However, they aren’t first-line treatments for anxiety disorders. There are other approved medications and therapies specifically designed for anxiety treatment.

Q20: Can this combination be taken with over-the-counter supplements?

Supplements Interaction: Many over-the-counter supplements, such as St. John’s Wort or Kava, can interact with medications. Always disclose any supplements or herbal products you’re taking to your healthcare provider before starting a new medication regimen.

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