Benadryl? Why?

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Benadryl? Why?

Post  lorente on Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:43 am

I was a member of a FB migraine page for a brief time recently, and I noticed that almost everyone takes Benadryl (in addition to other meds) when a M strikes. I had never heard of Benadryl for Ms before. I asked twice, but no one ever answered. Does anyone here take Benadryl at the outset of a M? Why? What does it do? Does it help you?

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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  girlnamedgoo2 on Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:58 am

My last ER visit Benedryl was the first thing the doc gave me. It must not be new because my mom says she can remember them giving it to her on ER visits too. The only thing it accomplished was making me VERY groggy, and I still had a migraine. It is an antihistamine, like claritin or zyrtec, which also produces CNS depression (sleepy, dizzy, lightheaded). It will not treat the cause of a migraine but may give relief of symptoms for some people I guess.

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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  Kem10 on Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:00 am

I used to take Benedryl when a migraine was starting. Not sure if it has other benefits for a migraine but it does help with nausea. Ginger does work better for nausea though. Also my son has meniere's disease and Benedryl definitely helps with both the dizziness and nausea.
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  micheletroyer on Thu Dec 11, 2014 12:03 pm

My neuro said the main purpose is to help put me to sleep and get rid of the migraine that way.  I take Benadryl 3-4x per day, along with my other M meds, and it does seem to help.  At any rate, it's cheap enough to give it a try.
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  Migrainegirl on Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:09 pm

I take it because the pain med makes my nose seriously itchy!
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  ConcordGrape on Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:41 pm

I first had Benadryl during a ER visit as well. I actually was really angry because the nurse gave it to me via IV and I started twitching in response, feeing extremely restless and uncomfortable AND had a raging migraine. The nurse just said, "You've never had this before?" NO! Thanks for asking...

But after that, I started taking it as a last-resort when triptans and other meds were not working and I was desperate.

Desperation is the operative word here. I hated it, I felt like a mindless zombie, and of course, lost the entire day b/c of it. I prefer to take it at night when I have a bad M and cannot sleep, but even so, I'll wake up feeling kind of hungover. The last time I took it, I actually had a somewhat dissociative experience. As I was falling asleep, I felt the pain hovering above my body, very very weird.
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  lorente on Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:07 pm

Thanks for all the replies, everyone. I didn't realize it was so widely used for Ms. ConcordGrape: I also have bad reactions to antihistamines. When I have sinus problems, for instance, I have to take only the non-drowsy versions of sinus meds because they make my heart race and feel like my body is trying to crawl out of my skin, like a very serious anxiety attack.

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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  Seaine on Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:15 pm

I have never taken Benadryl for a migraine but I guess it might be useful if my other meds weren't working and I just wanted to sleep for 12 hours...
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  Kem10 on Sat Dec 13, 2014 4:35 pm

Benedryl is one of those things I add when I've taken my Sumitriptin and Fiornal and used peppermint and still the migraine is miserable. At those times I look in the medicine cabinet and kitchen cupboards to see what else is in there that might just possibly help.
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  Cindy*W on Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:59 pm

I have always been given Vistaril with a pain shot.  When they don't have vistaril, they use Benadryl.  My Doc told me that it helps with nausea, makes you sleepy, which is a benefit when having a migraine, and helps the pain med work better.  I looked that up online and it is true.  I have been getting pain shots for the last 20 years and don't remember ever getting one without the Vistaril or Benadryl added.  I take pill form Vistaril at night when I can't sleep and it works great.  Also, I take Vistaril or Benadryl because all the other anti nauseants (Phenergan, Companzine, Reglan,etc.) give me Akathesia which is awful! The poster that got agitated with Benadryl may have been having some Akathesia to some degree. Mine is severe.  When I show up at the ER with it I feel like I am going crazy!  If that ever happens to you, ask for Cogentin.  It works within 30 minutes. They usually tell people to take Benadryl for Akathesia but it doesn't work for me at all.
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  ConcordGrape on Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:55 pm

Omg Cindy! I never knew what it was called but YES I definitely get akathesia and I can't believe it has a NAME!!!

One of my old neuros used to prescribe me compazine and reglan and I swear I only took each of those once because the side effects were insane. I was in college at the time, and on finals week I had such a bad M, took compazine + sumatriptan + ibuprofen to knock it out. All I ended up with was terrible akathesia and side effects worse than the M. After the exam, I stayed in bed praying I would fall asleep and it would all be over soon.

I am going to commit congentin to memory, thank you!
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  Cindy*W on Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:08 am

ConcordGrape,

 Isn't it like the worst feeling ever?  I don't like to take any meds that I haven't tried before because I am so afraid of this happening again.

They gave me Ativan once and that caused it as well.  Yes, remember Cogentin.  I have it written down in my phone memos and in the notebook I carry with me everywhere just in case. Generally a Doc will just try Benadryl to counteract but that doesn't do squat for me.

Last time it happened was because some idiot at the ER gave me Phenergan when I specifically listed it in allergies and before I even got back home, I knew what was happening and had hubby turn around and go back.  I get uncontrollable twitching in my limbs, can't stand still and have weird thoughts that I cannot control. Such as, I kept thinking on the way back to the ER that I just had to get out of the car.  I was thinking that I would just jump out.  You just feel crazy.  I remember a nurse at ER telling me to sit down and quit moving around but it is nearly impossible.  They also gave me several Xanax but I am not sure I really needed them.  They probably wanted to knock me out so I would stay still.  I didn't even remember getting home that night!  Hopefully neither of us will ever have it again.  At least you know what to ask for now.

Cindy
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  Seaine on Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:24 am

Interesting... compazine and phenergan both give me akathesia and dystonia. They did give me Benadryl to make it stop and it did work.
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  Mini on Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:58 pm

It seems to me that Benadryl is mainly prescribed to keep us quiet, in other words they use it as a sedative.

I have a friend who is absolutely convinced that Benadryl is a painkiller, just because her (not very good) Dr has suggested it, for her headaches. She never questions him, or asked for more help with her h/a.

I tried Benadrly once, just to see what happens and the only result was, that I've wasted a day, because I was so sleepy to function. I hated the feeling.
In meantime my head pain stopped after I took my usual dose of Imitrex.
I never took Benadryl again.

BTW I also use fresh ginger root tea for any nausea.
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  Sara79 on Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:57 am

I usually have it given to me with any IV med, mostly because I've got weirdly sensitive skin, veins, body-basically almost everything given IV will irritate my vein, it got bad enough once that you could trace my veins from the back of my hand up to nearly my armpit.

Sharing something I've seen working in a hospital. Many narcotic seeking pts will request/demand benedryl, through the IV as close to the vein and as fast as they can convince the nurse to give it. The one nurse I asked about it said that it gives a buzz if given too quickly. I've never felt anything like a buzz myself, but I've had pts ask me if I could get them their narcotic or IV meds, which I'm legally unable to...I can only give breathing related medications.

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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  Seaine on Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:18 am

I can attest to that - when I was given Benadryl for my dystonic reaction to compazine, after the first dose the nurse asked if it was completely better. I said no, it was better but not completely so she gave me a second dose. After the second dose I was completely high. It was ridiculous. I don't even remember what I said to my family members. They took me to a restaurant after and I just wanted to walk around drunkenly and then sleep with my head on the table.
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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  lorente on Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:23 pm

Interesting, Seaine. Both of my children had severe allergies when they were growing up. The first line of defense was always Benadryl, and it had to be the liquid form because it works more quickly than the pills. I used to notice that my son always seemed high with just a child's dose. When they were toddlers and until they were about 5 or so, one dose would make them hyperactive rather than sleepy. Once, at a restaurant, my son started having an allergic reaction to something in the food, so I gave him Benadryl, and he spent the rest of the meal drawing psychedelic pictures on the place mat. Then he too would fall asleep at the table.

I haven't yet tried Benadryl for a migraine. I keep forgetting to buy it, and frankly, I'm not looking forward to side effects. I should probably get some tomorrow since I had migs Friday and Saturday.

ETA: Just looked up contraindications. I can't take Benadryl because I have glaucoma (which, btw, is a type that is affiliated with migraines). It may increase ocular pressure, so that's out for me.

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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  Sara79 on Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:14 am

My brother reacts similarly to benedryl...it's like a combo of a triple espresso and LSD. I get the typical, fall asleep reaction. Mom learned about my brother on a family car trip. The farmers in the rural area around my grandparents still burn the fields when rainfall will allow, and we visited the we they all were. We both got sneezy/wheezy, so she gave us each an age/size appropriate dose to get us home...the seat belt was all that kept me upright, and it was the only thing keeping my brother in the car.

We also learned shortly after that time that the food coloring used in the US at that time to make orange soda and Doritos orange can aggravate hyperactivity/ADD/ADHD. My brother's a grown man with a son, and still has to avoid it, because it still sets off his shortened attention (never officially diagnosed, but he has so many of the symptoms that its the easiest way to explain it)

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Re: Benadryl? Why?

Post  sailingmuffin on Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:34 am

Hi All,

At one of the headache clinics, they would give it for nausea and for migraine. When I asked about it, the dr said that it seemed to help some people with the migraine, but it was hard to get the same relief with an oral dose and it made some medications work faster or better. It has always helped me. I usually take in combination with my pain meds. I also get it in IV form when I have a Depakan IV. It does reduse nausea from the Depakan. Yes, it makes me sleepy, but that is ok-particularly since I tend to have trouble sleeping with migraine.

I think histamine plays some role in migraine and that may be the reason it works for some people.

Pain free days,
sailingm
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