Can over-the-counter antihistamines be used to treat anxiety? And are they addictive?

I have to take them when I travel, to prevent motion sickness. I've actually found Actifed to be much more effective than Dramamine at preventing the dizzy spells that plague me when flying and the nausea that plagues me when driving.

I've also discovered that antihistamines in general--when taken in half-doses--seriously take the edge off when I'm freaking out about something, can't sleep, or need to "snap out of it." On average, I probably take them this way about once a month, in place of when I suppose most people would have a glass of wine. Sometimes I'll go months without; sometimes I'll take them 3 or 4 times in a month. Is this bad? And can antihistimines be used in this way, or is it placebo?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is just my experience, but antihistamines did have a very soothing effect. But for some reason I just can't tolerate them any more; antihistamines have been known to make the heart beat faster. Last time I took an antihistimine I actually felt so jittery that I had an anxiety attack. Strange, because it didn't always used to be that way. Talk to your doctor about taking 1/4 of a phenergan (must be prescribed), that might help instead. But yes, I think antihistamines do have a calming effect, unless it makes one jittery (like me).

    Source(s): Yeeeaaars of allergies & antihistamines till a few years ago.
  • Thomas
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Some antipsychotics such as Seroquel can be used in the treatment of PTSD(it's a way off label and fairly new treatment though). The antipsychotics can help some people with their flashbacks. However if your friend has some other anxiety disorder I'm not aware of antipsychotics being used for any other forms of anxiety. Also as other posters have pointed out some antipsychotics can be dangerous. I have PTSD and was given several different of those drugs to try and help my flashbacks and I had horrible side effects.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    antihistamines, like benedryl, cause drowsiness. benedryl isn't addictive or habit-forming.

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