Examples of sedating antihistamines
Diphenhydramine was the first antihistamine approved by the FDA (in the 1940s) and is widely used in OTC sleeping pills.
Many generic sleep aids consist solely of one active ingredient – diphenhydramine.
Like all sleep medications, antihistamines artificially modify a person’s sleep patterns.
They sometimes leave people groggy the next day, and the subjective quality of sleep is sometimes less than natural sleep.
Doctors frequently recommend antihistamines over common prescription sleep aids when the patient has insomnia because of drug and alcohol withdrawal.
This strategy is thought to reduce the risk of cross dependence.
Common side effects of pyribenzamine use are dry mouth, nausea, gastrointestinal irritation, and dizziness.
Clemastine is indicated for the treatment of allergy symptoms, including rhinitis and pruritus (itching or hives).
Triprolidine is used in Europe and has a shorter half-life than some antihistamines, but there it is not often used in the US for insomnia.It is one of the oldest antihistamines available (classified as a first-generation antihistamine), but for many patients surpasses the efficacy of even new prescription drugs.Medical professionals seek out diphenhydramine when a substantial histamine release demands a fast, effective reversal, and is therefore often the drug of choice for allergic rhinitis, motion sickness, insect bites and stings, and hives.And like other hypnotics, the long-term effectiveness of antihistamines has not been demonstrated in a manner that would satisfy scientists.
Which doesn’t mean they don’t work, only the official science is still agnostic on the matter.
For people who need to get to sleep, however, the drowsiness is the main benefit of antihistamines.