for better mental health

Sleeping pills & minor tranquillisers A-Z

Provides detailed information on all sleeping pills & minor tranquillisers currently available in the UK.


Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine sometimes used as a sleeping pill. It's available to buy without a prescription from a doctor. It is also an ingredient in some over-the-counter cold and flu medicines and sleep aids, such as Benylin, Nytol and Boots Sleapeaze.

You can find detailed information about diphenhydramine in the official Patient Information Leaflet (PIL), including what it's for, how to take it, possible side effects and safety information. This leaflet should come with your medication (usually inside the box).

All PILs for drugs containining diphendydramine are available online on the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC).

If a drug can come in different forms (such as tablets or liquid), there may be a separate PIL for each one. You should look at the PIL for the particular form and dose you've been prescribed.

Even though this drug is available without a prescription, it's a good idea to check with the pharmacist that it's suitable for you before buying it.

See our page on what you need to know before taking any medication for a list of issues you might want to go through with them. Most high street pharmacists have a private consulting room you can ask to use if you don't feel comfortable discussing these issues over the counter.

If you have any questions about your medication you can talk to your doctor, someone at your pharmacy or call NHS 111.

What else might I want to know?

We're currently reviewing all of our medication pages. Please tell us what you would like to find on this page in future via th 'Was this page useful?' buttons below.

If you have personal experience of taking this drug and would be interested in producing a blog or vlog about it to appear alongside our information, see our pages on telling your story.

This information was published in April 2017. 

This page is currently under review. All content was accurate when published. 

References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.

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