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Pharmacy/nighttime pain


  I have arthritis and during the night the pain and aches keep me awake.  
  I bought a cheap over the counter medicine called "Pain Relief PM" which is Acetaminophren 500mg and Diphenhydramine hci 25mg.  I took it for 5 days and I could sleep.  Then I stopped because I don't want to get addicted.  But now the pain is back and I can't sleep again.  Can you tell me if it is bad to take this on a regular basis or is it OK way to get some sleep?


I wouldn't recommend taking Diphenhydramine long term, but you will probably find Acetaminophen alone will give you similar pain relief and can be taken regularly providing the dose is not excessive.

If you don't have any pre-existing liver or kidney problems, then you will be OK to take up to 4000mg (eight x 500mg tablets) each day. Though if you are relatively pain free during the day, I would suggest only taking doses of up to 1000mg (two "maximum strength" tablets at teatime and just before bed.

I hope this helps.


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Nigel Simmons


I am happy to answer general questions on medicines and hospital care. If possible, please use approved / chemical names rather than brands which are not internationally recognised. Like all health professionals I am bound by a duty of care which prevents me giving detailed information about medication or treatment of people other than the questioner. I will endeavour to help wherever possible or point towards more appropriate advice. If however your question crosses too far into patient confidentiality, I hope you will understand why I cannot answer your question. Consider.. would you want me to discuss your care with a friend or relative without your knowledge?


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