Both Benadryl diphenhydramine and clonazepam have CNS central nervous system depressant effects and are generally not recommended to be used together. Taking both together can have additive effects which could lead to excess sedation and respiratory depression. The risk is greatly increased if you have a sleep related breathing disorder such as sleep apnea or COPD. Having said that, the chance of fatal respiratory depression on the combination of Benadryl and clonazepam at usual doses is low in normal, healthy individuals. While the exact incidence of severe episodes of respiratory depression is unknown, the reported cases typically involved individuals who had underlying conditions, were on additional sedating medications or were taking excessive doses. In terms of the individual medications, collected data shows that benzodiazepines such as clonazepam, as a class of medications, cause dose-dependent respiratory depression i. However, at usual, hypnotic doses, respiration is typically not affected in normal, healthy individuals.
Some people, especially the elderly, may also experience impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with these medications. Also avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how the medications affect you. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
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Fewer things are more frustrating than an out-of-whack sleep cycle. Other sleep aids, such as melatonin, have little to no drowsiness effect. We asked experts to give us the breakdown. Antihistamine also known as diphenhydramine is the secret ingredient in numerous OTC products commonly used for insomnia, including Benadryl, said Alex Dimitriu, a California-based dual board-certified psychiatrist and sleep medicine specialist. It works by blocking histamine, a chemical produced by the central nervous system that not only produces allergy symptoms, but plays a role in wakefulness hence the insta-drowsy feeling after you pop a Benadryl. This is because antihistamine also blocks acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in your brain that plays a role in REM sleep the phase of sleep involving dreams. And in the process, this increases your phases of light sleep at the expense of deeper sleep, leading to greater likelihood of next-day sedation.