ZzzQuil vs NyQuil for sleeping – Comparison of side effects and uses

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ZzzQuil vs NyQuil for sleeping - Comparison of side effects and uses


It is the brand name of an over-the-counter medication that is used as a sleep aid. Its main active ingredient is diphenhydramine HCl, a first generation antihistamine H1.

This medication works by blocking a certain natural substance, histamine (a neurotransmitter that intervenes in proper digestion, the immune system and the central nervous system) that the human body produces during an allergic reaction.


It is used to relieve occasional insomnia, especially if you have difficulty falling asleep.

In addition, this medication is used alone or with other medications to treat tremors and muscle stiffness caused by Parkinson's disease (a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system), as well as to treat and prevent nausea, vomiting and dizziness caused For dizziness.


For sleep problems, the usual recommended dose is 50 mg at bedtime.

Note: it is not designed for children under 12 years old.

Side effects and precautionsZ

Common side effects may include:

hyperactivity; dizziness; nose or dry mouth; Confusion; sensitivity to light; Stomach ache; irregular heart rate; clumsiness; Difficulty urinating; headaches thick lung secretions; drowsiness; low blood pressure; increased pressure inside the eye; blurry vision; constipation; erectile dysfunction; perspiration.

Less common side effects It can include:

delirium; agitation; feeling unsteady drowsiness; seizures severe drowsiness hallucinations; nervous tremors; coma.

Before using this antihistamine, tell your health care provider if you have:

obstruction of the bladder neck; allergy to any medication; Gastrointestinal obstruction; cardiovascular disease; asthma (a chronic disease that causes the airways to become inflamed); hyperthyroidism glaucoma (a serious condition that damages the optic nerve, which is crucial for good vision); prostate problems; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Drug interactionsmedicines pills medications

You may interact negatively with other medications, especially:

methadone; codeine; potassium iodide; dihydrocodeine; procarbazine; Rasagiline; selegiline; ethanol; transdermal selegiline; hydrocodone; melatonin; thalidomide; isocarboxazid; tranylcypromine; phenelzine; trimethobenzamide; pramlintide; tramadol; promethazine; tamsulosin; Sodium oxybate

Pregnancy and lactation

This medication is not considered safe during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.

In addition, it can pass into breast milk and adversely affect the baby. Tell your doctor that you are breast-feeding a baby before using this medicine.


It is not recommended to mix alcohol with this medicine, since both depress the activity of the central nervous system. In addition, it can cause life-threatening effects, such as – slow breathing and even coma.

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It is a combination of doxylamine, dextromethorphan and acetaminophen, which are used to treat coughs, sneezes, fever, headaches, sore throat and runny nose in children 12 years and older and adults. Sometimes, it is used for insomnia.

Doxylamine is an antihistamine medication that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. This neurotransmitter can produce symptoms of watery eyes, itching, sneezing and runny nose.

Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that affects the cough reflex in the brain. Acetaminophen is a reducer of fever and analgesic.


It is used to treat coughs, headaches, runny nose, body aches, fever, itching, sneezing, and watery eyes caused by the common cold, allergies, or flu.

In addition, many people have resorted to this medication as a sleep aid. The effect of drowsiness after taking a dose usually lasts approximately 4 to 8 hours.

Note: If you experience some sleep difficulties, you may take this medication for a few days at a time or only occasionally. But, this medication is not designed to be taken to sleep every day.


The usual recommended dose is 30 ml every 6 hours.

Note: the system takes about 10 minutes to activate.

Side effects And precautions

Common side effects It can include:

Stomach ache; dry eyes; mild dizziness dry mouth or nose; drowsiness; constipation; mild rash; sleep problems (insomnia); headaches blurred vision; feeling excited or restless (particularly in children); problems to concentrate.

Rare side effects may include:

severe drowsiness; strong heartbeat; restless muscle movements; urinate little or nothing; feeling dizzy slow or shallow breathing; tremor; seizures (convulsions); dark urine; unusual bleeding; hallucinations; uneven heartbeats; clay-colored stools; severe headaches; loss of appetite; Confusion; pale skin; yellowing of the skin or eyes; pain in the upper part of the stomach; bruising easily.

Pregnancy and lactation

The medication is excreted in small amounts in breast milk and can negatively affect the breastfed baby. Tell your doctor that you are breast-feeding a baby before using this medicine.

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Also, avoid this medication if you are pregnant, since prenatal exposure to paracetamol is associated with an increased risk of behavioral problems in children, especially when taken during the third trimester of pregnancy, according to a 2016 study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.


To make sure this antihistamine is safe for you, tell your healthcare professional if you have other medical conditions, especially:

overactive thyroid; liver disease; if you take monoamine oxidase inhibitors; glaucoma; obstruction in your digestive tract; if you take potassium supplements; pheochromocytoma (tumor of the adrenal gland); a history of alcoholism; coronary artery disease; heart disease; Obstruction of the bladder.

Drug interactions

You may interact negatively with other medications, especially:

anticoagulants, such as – warfarin; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) or diclofenac; diuretics; medications used to prevent blood clots, such as dalteparin, tinzaparin, enoxaparin, or fondaparinux.

Alcoholbeer alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this antihistamine since alcohol may increase your risk of liver damage and may increase the risk of other serious side effects.

Bottom line – ZzzQuil vs NyQuil

ZzzQuil (active ingredient – diphenhydramine) is a medicine that is used as a remedy for sleeping and sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, itching, and other symptoms of a cold or allergy.

NyQuil (active ingredients: doxylamine, dextromethorphan and acetaminophen) is a medication used to treat headache, fever, runny nose, sneezing and sore throat caused by allergies, the common cold, flu and the problems to sleep.

In conclusion, both medications are useful for treating allergy symptoms and short-term sleep problems, but both have many side effects.

For example, NyQuil It contains alcohol that will cause liver damage if it becomes a habit. On the other hand, ZzzQuil has the active ingredient diphenhydramine that can take away the valves to the heart if it becomes a habit.

There are also potentially serious side effects that are rare when using these medications, such as: low blood cell counts, anaphylaxis, seizures, and toxic psychosis.


ZzzQuil vs NyQuil For Sleep – Comparison of side effects and uses, Source: https://www.yourhealthremedy.com/health-tips/zzzquil-vs-nyquil/

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