What is doxylamine?

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

Doxylamine is sometimes combined with other medicines to treat sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose caused by allergies or the common cold.

Doxylamine as a single drug (not part of a combination) is used as a short-term treatment for sleep problems (insomnia).

Doxylamine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

Do not take this medication if you are allergic to doxylamine or other antihistamines.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist about taking doxylamine if you have:

  • glaucoma;
  • kidney disease;
  • an enlarged prostate;
  • problems with urination;
  • stomach ulcer or digestive tract obstruction; or
  • bronchitis, emphysema or other chronic lung disease.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

This medication may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 12 years old without the advice of a doctor.

Do not use any other over-the-counter cold, allergy, or sleep medication without first asking your doctor or pharmacist. Antihistamines are contained in many medicines available over the counter. If you take certain products together you may accidentally take too much antihistamine. Read the label of any other medicine you are using to see if it contains an antihistamine such as doxylamine, chlorpheniramine or diphenhydramine.

This medication can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

Avoid becoming overheated or dehydrated during exercise and in hot weather.

Avoid drinking alcohol while you are taking this medication. Alcohol can add to drowsiness caused by an antihistamine.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, loss of coordination, dry mouth, or seizure (convulsions).

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. It is best to take doxylamine only when you can devote several hours to sleep. If it is almost your normal waking hour, skip the missed dose and wait until you are ready for bed again. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat;
  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • severe dizziness, anxiety, restless feeling, or nervousness;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or

Less serious side effects may include:

  • blurred vision;
  • dry mouth;
  • nausea, stomach pain, constipation;
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • problems with memory or concentration;
  • ringing in your ears;
  • restless or excitability (especially in children);

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Cold or allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, other sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can add to sleepiness caused by doxylamine. Tell your doctor if you need to use any of these other medicines while you are taking doxylamine.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • a diuretic (water pill);
  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl) applied to the skin as a spray, cream, lotion, gel, or stick;
  • bronchodilators such as ipratroprium (Atrovent) or tiotropium (Spiriva);
  • medication to treat irritable bowel syndrome;
  • bladder or urinary medications such as oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol) or tolterodine (Detrol);
  • aspirin or salicylates (such as Disalcid, Doan's Pills, Dolobid, Salflex, Tricosal, and others); or
  • other antihistamines, or medicine to treat motion sickness.

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use doxylamine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with doxylamine. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Nytol Maximum Strength, Unisom, doxylamine, and Aldex AN

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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