Doxylamine is a medication used in the short-term treatment of insomnia. Also used in combination with decongestants and other medications against sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion caused by cold or flu.
Categorized as an antihistamine drug, it blocks the action of histamine, a substance in the body that induces immune response.
Because it is a non-prescription medicine, it is common to use it without any prior information about its possible side effects.
That way, before taking doxylamine, find out more about its possible risks, contraindications, dosages, interactions and possible combinations:
What is doxylamine succinate?
Doxylamine is a medication used to manage and treat náusea, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion (caused by the common cold), allergic rhinitis, and insomnia. It is in the first-generation histamine receptor H1 antagonist class of medications.
As a member of the first-generation class of antihistamines, doxylamine exerts its effects by competitively antagonizing the binding of free histamine at the H1-receptor binding sites. It antagonizes the effects of histamine in the uterus, gastrointestinal tract, large blood vessels, and bronchial muscles.
Doxylamine binds non-selectively to H1-receptors, both centrally and peripherally, contributing to the sedative effects that also make it an effective sleeping aid.
What does doxylamine succinate do to the body?
Antihistamines, or anti-allergic drugs, of which doxylamine succinate is a part, are the most common drugs used to treat hives, because histamine is the main substance that causes most of the symptoms.
The mechanism of action of these drugs happens by blocking the action of histamine, an amine that causes dilation of the blood vessels of the skin and formation of the itching lesions, as well as the sensation of heat and blushing. They act to reduce these symptoms through the nerve endings and in the blood vessels.
These antihistamines are classified into two groups:
The “first generation” antihistamines are considered sedatives because they can cause drowsiness. Does doxylamine succinate make you sleepy, prove its category.
Non-classical antihistamines are modern and provide symptom relief by causing little sedation, with minimal effects on psychomotor activity.
How long does it take for Doxylamine to take effect?
As a pill, doxylamine should be taken orally 30 minutes before bedtime, giving it an average amount of time to take effect in the body.
When used to treat cold symptoms, it is usually consumed every 4 to 6 hours. The instructions on the product label will detail more about the indication and form of use.
Even with adequate consumption, side effects can occur. Therefore, avoid overdose and consequently overdose and even greater side effects.
What are the side effects of Doxylamine Succinate?
Side effects from the use of Doxylamine Succinate are common, such as those shown below:
Some unusual side effects may also occur, if you notice any of them, discontinue use and call your doctor immediately:
Because of its list of side effects, many users have preferred natural options against flu symptoms or for improving sleep. Besides the symptoms listed above, there are still precautions and possible negative interactions that should be observed before consumption.
Precautions and contraindications of doxylamine succinate
Like any medication, Doxylamine succinate has contraindications in some cases, such as: Age Restrictions, Breastfeeding, Pregnancy and Medical Conditions:
Age Restrictions: Children under 12 years old should not use doxylamine 25 milligrams (mg). Its dosage directly interferes with its action and potency, so children under 6 years old and the elderly should not use it without the consent of a healthcare professional.
Breastfeeding: According to the National Institutes of Health, occasional small doses while breastfeeding should not cause problems for the baby. However, larger doses or continuous use can cause symptoms such as drowsiness, irritability, and colic in babies who consume the milk. This dosage can even interfere with milk production, weakening the substance.
Pregnancy: According to studies, the use of doxylamine succinate during pregnancy has been concluded as “is safe and well tolerated by pregnant women when used in the recommended dose of up to 4 tablets daily in treating nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.”
Medical Conditions: People with special health conditions should be cautious about using doxylamine, since it can cause problems or worsen their health, as well as a possible drug interaction. These conditions include:
In addition to these cases, there are also possible interactions with allergies:
Doxylamine succinate for allergies: are there any risks?
Like other antihistamines, it also has utility for the management of allergies, so it is safe to use. The difference between doxylamine (a first generation antihistamine) and second generation antihistamines, is that doxylamine binds non-selectively to H1-receptors, therefore, it can also be used as an “off-label” treatment for insomnia.
However, as doxylamine interacts with receptor residues that remain highly conserved across the aminergic receptors, H1 receptor antagonists can produce several off-target effects; these are anticholinergic.
This activity also depresses labyrinthine function, blocks the chemoreceptor trigger zone, and diminishes vestibular stimulation.
Always consult your physician before taking any medication.
Doxylamine Succinate interactions with other medications
Drug interactions should be looked into before any consumption, as they can change the way your medications work or increase the risk of serious side effects.
Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/non-prescription medications and dietary supplements), this will help in researching possible interactions.
Some products that may interact with this medication are:
- Antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream , ointment, spray) or other antihistamines (such as cetirizine , diphenhydramine);
- Other sleeping pills;
- Opioid analgesics or painkillers (such as codeine, hydrocodone);
- Alcohol, marijuana (cannabis);
- Anxiety medications (such as alprazolam , lorazepam , zolpidem);
- Muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol , cyclobenzaprine).
Other interactions are possible, both with medications and dietary supplements. To avoid any risk, look for safe and natural options on our platform. In 3 steps you reach the supplements that will help you with your health goals without any negative interactions!
What is the recommended dosage for doxylamine succinate?
Commonly used by adults for insomnia as well as in pediatric use, its dosage may vary according to age, ethnicity, and other patient characteristics.
For an exact dosage for its use, we recommend that you consult a trusted physician. There are important points to consider before making a recommendation, such as interactions, side effects, duration of use, and purpose.
As a product, it is common to find information on the packaging that emphasizes the use of 1 tablet per dosage, with 25mg of doxylamine. This may vary according to manufacturer or professional indication.
What is similar to doxylamine? (Natural alternatives for doxylamine succinate)
Because of its immense list of side effects, doxylamine has been losing ground to nutraceuticals, which have been gaining strength for their natural and effective composition.
As a fundamental element for the body to perform its main functions, good quality night rest helps muscle growth and protein synthesis.
Sleep also has its importance in resting the mind, maintaining the metabolic, emotional, and psychic balance, and restoring the disposition to do the daily activities.
You can improve your sleep through dietary supplements: Natural sleep solutions with no side effects. We achieve this by excluding any possible negative interactions with medications, allergies, other supplements or diets.
In our 3-step quick test, you get to choose which areas of health you want to improve and have access to the scientific basis of each supplement presented.
For sleep, there are some supplements that cater, such as:
At first glance, it may seem strange that a plant that gives us energy can also help us sleep better, but that is exactly what ashwagandha does. Originating in the high mountains of the Himalayas, it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine and has many benefits.
As the name suggests, Withania Somnifera has real qualities against insomnia that have long been believed to originate from its roots. A recent meta-analysis containing 5 randomized clinical trials with a total of 400 adult patients showed that the root has a low, but significant, potential to improve the overall quality of sleep in these people.
Glycine, a non-essential amino acid, participates actively and subjectively in sleep regulation. It acts in the central and peripheral nervous system, and may have the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter or, in the case of sleep, as an excitatory cofactor of GABA receptors.
Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced in the body by the pineal gland, whose main function is to regulate the circadian rhythm so that it functions properly. In addition, melatonin promotes normal functioning of the body and acts as an antioxidant.
Melatonin production decreases over time due to age or continuous exposure to light and visual stimuli. Therefore, its supplementation can be used to induce more restful sleep, as often used by people with insomnia.
A 2021 meta analysis encompassing 23 randomized clinical trials looked at the efficacy of exogenous melatonin supplementation in adult patients based on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). This study demonstrated that melatonin supplementation was effective in improving sleep in healthy adults and those with metabolic and respiratory diseases, etc.
Effective in cases of mild to moderate insomnia, Valerian works as follows: It works on a calming neurotransmitter called GABA in our body. “Valerian increases the action of this neurotransmitter and therefore depresses the central nervous system, resulting in a sedative effect,” explains Shigueo Yonekura, a neurologist specializing in sleep.
In a literature review several mechanisms to aid sleep were evaluated, among them: melatonin and valerian supplementation. Although the studies are inconclusive, the use of valerian seems to be promising for the treatment of sleep disorders with few adverse effects.
As we can see, there are natural options for sleep, acting against insomnia and helping the quality of rest necessary during this period. Thinking about your health and safety against possible negative interactions, we recommend a quick 3-step test to introduce you to nutraceuticals that can help you with this and other health goals! Access and find out.