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Pharmaceuticals/Doxylamine succinate...

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Question
Hi.

I sometimes take doxylamine succinate as an over-the-counter sleeping aid.

Being one of the old first generation antihistamines, I'm not sure if it's okay to mix with alcohol or not. I've never had a problem with antihistamines and alcohol before, and the packaging doesn't mention anything...but I'm just wondering, since it's a sleep medication that is as effective as some barbiturates - if this could be dangerous.

I'm also interested in finding out why/why not.

Thank you

Answer
Doxylamine is an antihistamine, and I'm surprised that the package doesn't mention alcohol. No, it is not as dangerous as barbiturates, however, any antihistamine can be potentiated with alcohol use. This means it can cause the antihistamine to be 2-3 or more times stronger in your central nervous system. And, if you mix it with other drugs it can be harmful. That is the main reason  that Nyquil no longer contains alcohol. At one time I remember Nyquil contained doxylamine and 25 percent alcohol. It is a wonder if was even legal!

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Patricia Morrow

Expertise

I would like to bring a nurse's perspective to this area. If someone has a question about a medication, and feel more comfortable directing it to a nurse than a doctor or pharmacist, then I'll try my best to help. PLEASE NOTE: I DON'T USUALLY PROVIDE ANSWERS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT TIL SAT NIGHT AS THIS IS THE JEWISH SABBATH.

Experience

Graduate in 1976 from nursing school. Taken extra courses in pharmacology due to great interest in this field. Actually considered going to pharmacy school for a number of years.

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Have volunteered with AllExperts in this field before, a few years ago.

Education/Credentials
Graduated nursing school, have taken extra CEU (continuing education units) in pharmacology due to interest in subject.

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only from volunteering with AllExperts before.

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