Unisom vs Benadryl: Which is Better?

Benadryl vs Unisom

Unisom vs Benadryl Summary:

Unisom and Benadryl both rely on Diphenhydramine, promoting sleep. Unisom, typically more expensive, also offers Doxylamine-based versions. Most users find both effective; some prefer one over the other. Safety-wise, they’re generally okay for short-term use. That said, Unisom has the edge because it also offers a drug-free version with natural ingredients like melatonin and passionflower, making it healthier for daily use.

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About the Products

About Unisom

Unisom is a popular over-the-counter sleep aid that helps promote better sleep. It comes in various formulations, including Unisom SleepTabs and Unisom Simple Slumber, offering different options for individuals with different needs.

Unisom SleepTabs contain an active ingredient called doxylamine succinate, which is a sedating antihistamine known for its sleep-inducing effects. Unisom Simple Slumber, on the other hand, is a drug-free option that combines melatonin with other natural ingredients to support restful sleep.

About Benadryl

Benadryl is an antihistamine medication primarily used for allergy relief. Its active ingredient, diphenhydramine, has sedating properties that can induce drowsiness. Although not specifically marketed as a sleep aid, many people use Benadryl to help with occasional sleeplessness due to its sedative effects.

Unisom vs Benadryl: Ingredients

When comparing the ingredients of Unisom and Benadryl, Unisom SleepTabs contain doxylamine succinate as the main active ingredient, while Unisom Simple Slumber combines melatonin with natural ingredients like vitamin B6 and lemon balm extract.

Benadryl’s active ingredient is diphenhydramine. It’s important to note that both doxylamine succinate and diphenhydramine belong to the same class of sedating antihistamines and have similar effects on sleep.

Unisom vs Benadryl: Safety & Quality

Both Unisom and Benadryl have a long history of use and are generally considered safe when used as directed.

It’s worth noting that sedating antihistamines like doxylamine succinate and diphenhydramine can cause drowsiness and impair cognitive function, so it’s advisable to avoid activities that require alertness after taking these products.

Unisom vs Benadryl: Customer Reviews

Customer reviews for Unisom and Benadryl vary. Some individuals find relief and improved sleep quality with both products, while others may experience side effects or find them less effective.

Users report varied experiences, with an average rating of 5.6 out of 10 on Drugs.com. Positive reviews highlight quick sleep onset, improved sleep duration, and the ability to return to sleep after waking. Negative experiences typically involve next-day grogginess and sluggishness, with effects varying significantly between individuals. Please note, Melatonin and Benadryl have similar prices per count, though individual responses may vary​1​​2​​3​​4​.

Price & Where to Buy

Unisom costs between $10-$15 for SleepTabs, and $10-12$ for Sleep Slumber.

Benadryl costs about $12 per 100 tablets, depending on where you buy it.

Unisom and Benadryl are widely available in pharmacies, grocery stores, and online retailers. Prices may vary depending on the specific formulation and location. It’s advisable to compare prices and check for any ongoing promotions or discounts before making a purchase.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, Unisom offers an advantage over Benadryl due to its versatility and variety of options. With Unisom, individuals can choose between the drug-free version (Unisom Simple Slumber) or the drug version (Unisom SleepTabs) depending on their preferences and needs. This provides more flexibility and tailored support for different sleep concerns.

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  1. Can I take Unisom and Benadryl together?
    • It’s generally not recommended to take Unisom and Benadryl together, as both contain sedating antihistamines (doxylamine succinate and diphenhydramine) that can potentially increase the risk of side effects such as excessive sedation, dizziness, and impaired coordination. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before combining these medications.
  2. Are Unisom and Benadryl habit-forming?
    • Unisom and Benadryl have the potential for dependency or tolerance if used consistently and for extended periods. It’s important to follow the recommended dosage and duration of use as indicated on the packaging or as advised by a healthcare professional. If you find yourself relying on sleep aids regularly, it’s advisable to seek guidance from a healthcare provider to address underlying sleep issues.
  3. Can I use Unisom or Benadryl for long-term sleep problems?
    • Unisom and Benadryl are generally recommended for short-term use to address temporary sleep issues or occasional insomnia. If you are experiencing persistent sleep problems or chronic insomnia, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate treatment options. They can provide guidance on managing sleep concerns in the long term.
  4. Can Unisom or Benadryl be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women?
    • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with their healthcare provider before using Unisom or Benadryl. The safety of these medications during pregnancy or while breastfeeding is not well-established, and individual circumstances may vary. It’s important to prioritize the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby, and a healthcare professional can provide personalized advice based on the specific situation.
  5. Can Unisom or Benadryl be used by children?
    • Unisom and Benadryl are generally not recommended for use in children unless specifically directed by a pediatrician. These medications can have different dosing guidelines and safety considerations for children, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate recommendations and guidance for pediatric sleep concerns.
  6. What should I do if I experience side effects from Unisom or Benadryl?
    • If you experience any concerning or persistent side effects from Unisom or Benadryl, it’s important to discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional. They can evaluate your symptoms, provide appropriate guidance, and suggest alternative options if needed. It’s important to prioritize your safety and well-being when using any medication.


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