Document Detail

Diphenhydramine abuse and detoxification: a brief review and case report.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18308811     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Many medicines available over the counter from pharmacies are known to have abuse potential, including diphenhydramine (DPH), an antihistamine with antimuscarinic properties used for the treatment of insomnia. We present a brief review of the literature describing DPH abuse, and report the case of GF, a 56 year old woman who was admitted to an inpatient addictions unit for detoxification from DPH. A literature search revealed five case reports of DPH abuse including a total of six patients, published between 1986 and 2001. All reported cases exhibited features of DSM-IV criteria for substance dependence, and there was an apparent link with antipsychotic usage. GF was treated with antipsychotics, and was using up to thirty 50 mg DPH tablets each day. She described feeling 'good and calm' and 'it stopped the tremors'. GF tolerated a gradual dose reduction schedule, and completed the detoxification programme relatively comfortably. She was discharged from the inpatient detoxification unit as planned, and had not relapsed at six months. The described case report highlights the importance of enquiring about non prescribed medication when taking a drug history. Similarly community pharmacists and GPs should be vigilant to excessive requests for DPH, particularly in patients with a psychotic illness.
A Thomas; D G Nallur; N Jones; P N Deslandes
Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports     Date:  2008-02-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England)     Volume:  23     ISSN:  0269-8811     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)     Publication Date:  2009 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-01-22     Completed Date:  2009-04-03     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8907828     Medline TA:  J Psychopharmacol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  101-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Community Addictions Unit, Cardiff, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Databases, Bibliographic
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Diphenhydramine / metabolism*,  toxicity*
Histamine Antagonists / metabolism*,  toxicity*
Metabolic Detoxication, Drug / physiology*
Middle Aged
Nonprescription Drugs / metabolism,  toxicity
Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
Time Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Histamine Antagonists; 0/Nonprescription Drugs; 58-73-1/Diphenhydramine

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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