Posted BY: | NwoReport

Benadryl is a common over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine used to treat allergies, the common cold, hay fever, and itchy skin—but its active ingredient, diphenhydramine, is also known to cause drowsiness.

“Diphenhydramine blocks the effects of histamine in your brain and this reduces symptoms. It enters the brain in large quantities and this can make you feel drowsy,” explains the U.K.’s National Health Services (NHS). “Diphenhydramine also blocks the effects of another chemical called acetylcholine,” a neurotransmitter that excites the brain’s nerve cells.

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Because of this, some people use Benadryl as an off-label sleep aid. However, many experts caution against using antihistamines to help you fall asleep, especially on a nightly basis. Read on to learn what happens if you take Benadryl before bed every night—including some serious side effects that could put you in harm’s way.

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