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What are your thoughts on a pediatrician giving benadryl for sleep only?

Our son, 5yrs 5mos, sleeps about 6 hours a night on a good night and you can knock off at least 45 minutes of that from waking up in a pool of sweat from nightmares, which he alerts us to with blood curdling screams. We're supposed to do Benadryl now before bed each night for 3 weeks, then return w/ a progress report. If nothing has improved we're doing a scan of his brain for some more insight.

I guess it makes me a bit uneasy... how is this really supposed to help? Is this common place in pediatrics? Any comments greatly welcomed


Asked by hibbingmom at 5:33 PM on Apr. 26, 2010 in Kids' Health

Level 35 (71,876 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (22)
  • ITs benadryl - not crack. :P Try it a night or two. See if it helps him sleep. We are not talking about a parent wanting to go booze it up so they want to drug their kid. You child is having a real problem. He needs sleep so his brain can work and grow properly. If it doesn't work after two nights, call your doctor back and ask for other options. Benadryl is low risk, safe medicine and it the medicine that is in most over the counter sleep aids, so its not like you using for an "off-label" use.

    Answer by karamille at 9:46 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • Unless my child has allergies, I would not drug him to get some shut eye. If something is wrong they need to test for that

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:39 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • Well, think of it in terms of giving a sleeping pill. Which they do from time to time with children for different reasons. He is not saying to use this long term, and he is not saying to do this for your sleep benefit. I think he is trying to rule some things out of possibility. Know what I mean, depending on your sons reaction to the Benadryl, it may guide him to an answer about what is going on.

    I would follow the Dr's guidelines and remember its not long term and there is a reason.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:41 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • I'm a nurse in a daycare and I have heard of this practice before. I don't fully support it, but I can understand how parents need to try the "least invasive" thing before going in for a lot of expensive and possibly unnecessary procedures. The main ingredient, diphenhyrdramine is the main ingredient in Nytol and Tylenol PM, so it's not totally "crazy".

    Answer by kjrn79 at 5:45 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • I wouldn't do benedryl. I would think about therapy or something that might help with the nightmares like karate, yoga, meditation, music therapy, ect.


    Answer by Gailll at 5:49 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • I take benedryl every night to sleep. There are other options. My son takes clonidine (blood pressure med) & melatonin every night so that he will sleep through the night. lack of sleep can lead to a host of other problems.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 5:50 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • My pediatrician suggested this to me when my daughter went through night terrors and sleep walking after my hubby deployed. But I could not bring myself to do it. I would rather her sleep near or with me so that I can keep an eye on her and comfort her when she needs it rather than drug her up. I am sure there are far more serious cases that she could have gone through when I may have considered it a bit more though.

    Answer by Ctink8189 at 5:55 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • I've never heard of it but in is understandable. Do some more research on it...youre bound to find some information on the internet or get a second opion from another pediatrician.

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 6:09 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • Not sure I see the pros and cons I guess if the doctor suggested it, it must be okay but I would be weary !!!!!!! Good luck poor guy !!!!!

    Answer by ramajil at 6:25 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • NO WAY!!!!! melatonin is the sleep hormone that your body produces naturally. it's available OTC and much safer. you would think your ped. would know this!


    Answer by bestmommyeber at 6:51 PM on Apr. 26, 2010