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Have I grown dependent on Nyquil?

Discussion in 'Prescription Drugs' started by Mackmax, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Mackmax

    Mackmax Active Contributor

    Nyquil is a nighttime cold medicine. If there is one thing that Nyquil is good for, it is knocking you out so that you can get a good night's sleep. I often have issues falling asleep, so I take a dosage of Nyquil and that puts me to bed perfectly.
    I've tried other sleep aids, but none of them work, and my doctor refuses to prescribe anything to me. I can fall asleep without Nyquil, but it can take hours before I do. I take Nyquil every night now.

    Have I grown dependent? I don't believe I have, but I would like other opinions.
    What are the effects of taking this cold medicine when you don't really need it?
  2. Fern

    Fern Active Contributor

    Nyquil multi-symptom has multiple ingredients - pain killer, cough suppressant, and antihistamine usually though it sometimes has a decongestant too. It's the antihistamine (Doxylamine succinate) that's probably putting you to sleep and it's a hypnotic. It by itself is not addictive but is also not recommended for long term use and can cause urinary retention, memory problems, and a whole host of other barely noticed side effects. The pain killer (Acetaminophen) is not good for your liver or your kidneys and not meant for daily use; you could be doing slow progressive damage to those organs, especially if you're not pushing fluids during the day. Potentially stopping will give you headaches. The cough suppressant (Dextromethorphan) is a hallucinogen in high doses and can cause insomnia and/or increased blood pressure even at normal doses. While short term high blood pressure in an otherwise healthy person isn't too bad, over the long term it's bad for your heart and your major arteries. If you can't sleep without it, that's dependence. It's common to become dependant on sleep medications but it's rarer to actually become addicted to the point that you would suffer withdraw. It's more likely to be just a few sleepless nights.

    You could try benedryl (diphenhydramine) alone for sleep. It has fewer side effects. You could also try melatonin an hour before bedtime; regular use of melatonin is supposed to help reset your natural body clock. Or you could try non-pill solutions like revamping your bedtime routine and avoiding backlit screens (phone, computer, etc) for at least an hour before bed.
  3. Mackmax

    Mackmax Active Contributor

    Thanks! I drink plenty of water throughout the day and for the past 2-3 nights, I haven't been using any Nyquil and slept just fine(I was really exhausted, so I knew that I didn't need it). I definitely don't think I'm addicted, which is great. I'll try to have another talk to my doctor and ask him about the effects of Nyquil.
  4. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    Nyquil has a formula called ZZZS that is just for sleeping assistance. I don't think it contains some of the chemicals that are bad for long term use. Nyquil in itself is not addictive, but you could just be in the habit of taking it so your brain could be fooled into thinking it needs it.
  5. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Community Champion

    I'm quite sure Nyquil has a version that is solely sleep related call Zzzquil. Seems the main ingredient is diphenhydramine HCl.

    Per their site:
    Now, I don't suggest using either of these things frankly. There are many natural & herbal options that will not result in you increasing the dosage to get the effect you are used to. My way of looking at things is if these OTC options were not available to you would have to find alternatives. So, try doing that first before running to them & developing a resistance.
  6. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I don't know about the effects but I've been on this habit before and the only real way I was able to break off of it was to give it up for a couple of weeks. After that my sleep soon normalized and after a few months I was able to sleep naturally again. For the time being, you could research on some other substitutes and other tricks to help you out but they are just minor especially compared to a drug that knocks you out instantly, so just don't expect too much out of them.
  7. piez

    piez Member

    Have you tried melatonin? Valerian root is also a very good sleep aid. These two are natural products and are much better for you than the chemical stuff inside of medicines. I think your body is adapted to the nightly dose of medicine that you are putting into it and can't fall asleep naturally without it. Melatonin and Valerian root have done wonders for me when I can't seem to fall asleep.
  8. HugsNotDrugs

    HugsNotDrugs Active Contributor

    You should try Zzzquil. It's from the makers of Nyquil and only has the sleep aid in it (instead of also having the cough suppressant and Tylenol in there). It knocks me out cold just as good as the Valium I was prescribed for sleep used to!
  9. oleskool

    oleskool Member

    I also take Nyquil to get some sleep when I am having trouble relaxing or my sinus has me coughing so much I can not lay down to sleep. I do not take it every night because I am concerned with getting addicted to it.
  10. TripleD123

    TripleD123 Community Champion

    My father was taking Nyquil every night even when he was not ill. I honestly think he psyched himself into believing he couldn't sleep without it. Luckily I got him switched to Zzquil to avoid all the unnecessary medications. I do still think he could fall asleep without it but what can one do. When someone becomes codependent on something its hard to change their thinking.
  11. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    I think maybe you are falling into a habit of taking it at bedtime. Maybe you should just try to go to sleep without it. See if you can if you find you can't go to sleep unless you take it. It honestly maybe all in your head us humans have a way of conning ourselves into believing we must have something that we really don't need.
  12. harold

    harold Community Champion

    You are developing an altitude that might end up as an addiction. I know how uncomfortable it can be to lye on your bed for hours before sleep comes. Try other ways to sleep. You could tire yourself before you go to bed, so that when you go to bed, you will dose off right away. You can do indoor sports and then shower before you go to bed. You will find out that you will sleep faster. I keep myself busy all day and get tired. When I touch my bed, I am gone. I do not know the effects of the drugs, but you can begin by tiring yourself, or skip days without taking the drug, and you might get back to normal. Another way around is that you could buy a novel and try to read it while in bed. It might just lull you to sleep instead of the drugs.
  13. LoveEcho

    LoveEcho Community Champion

    You could try Zzquil but it doesn't have the same antihistamine (the active ingredient that makes you sleepy). Nyquil has Doxylamine but Zzquil has diphenhydramine, the same active ingredient in Benedryl. If other sleep aids aren't helping than neither will Zzquil because diphenhydramine is in almost all OTC sleep aids, except organic slep aids and Unisom SleepTabs. They have
    Doxylamine, the same as Nyquil. Those might help, taking all the other ingredients in Nyquil can become harmful if used too frequently. If you actually become sick and need the other ingredients they won't work as well. The Unisom SleepTabs are available at Wal-Mart and there's the equate store brand that only costs half the price, that's what I buy.
  14. Mr.B

    Mr.B Member

    If I were you I would pick up some Melatonin. Its not addictive and not habit forming. Its all natural. You can pick it up at Walmart, CVS, Kroger, etc. Works great!
  15. Mzpeaceful1

    Mzpeaceful1 Active Contributor

    Anything that you take everyday consistently for a long period of time, especially with all the chemicals and long term side effects that Nyquil has, is never good to rely on something like that for sleep. As many people have already mentioned there are a lot of other more natural ways to get to sleep. Melatonin, Valerian root, Chamomile tea, or a warm bath before bed to relax you. Always check that any natural supplement does not interact with any other medications you are taking. So many people think that just because you can get it over the counter or it is natural that it is always safe and that is not always the case.
  16. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    Dehydration is mostly the cause of insomnia. I use to have this problem until I started drinking the right amounts of water. Drinking cold medicine when you don't need it will probably have side effects, because people don't have colds all the time so this isn't meant to be taken that way. I think you should stop doing this. The best thing to do is research safe cures for insomnia online.
  17. mscaver86

    mscaver86 Member

    I use to take Nyquil every night as well but after awhile it stopped putting me to sleep did you have that same issue? I started taking it every night because I was trying to lose weight and I had a serious problem with eating late at night and I would come home from work and just take the Nyquil and it would put me straight to sleep. Granted I lost weight but I guess my body had gotten use to it and plus it was not healthy.
  18. juno

    juno Community Champion

    It sounds like you have trouble sleeping and need a sleep aid. You could be considered addicted if you were sleeping fine before using Nyquil and now can't sleep unless you take some. However, since you mentioned taking it because you were having trouble sleeping, you need to figure out the source of your inability to fall asleep easily. If you don't and continue this habit, you could become addicted to Nyquil and it can't be good to take regularly.
  19. Ali16

    Ali16 Senior Contributor

    I certainly think you could have developed a small addiction (if there is such a thing). You may want to try this tea called Sleepytime Tea, it's very good for helping people fall asleep without using prescriptions. If you truly can't sleep at all, you may need to visit a specialist instead of your primary care doctor. It could be a sleep apnea issue or something else preventing you from sleeping.