Citation: Jo. "Can Be a Positive Experience: An Experience with Diphenhydramine, Pseudoephedrine (with CPM), Loratadine & Caffeine (exp25356)". Erowid.org. Mar 1, 2007. erowid.org/exp/25356
I have had several experiences using Diphenhydramine HCl, from Benadryl Allergy tablets. At the time of most of them, I did not plan on submitting a report, and had not thought to keep track of everything I did very well, but I'll attempt to go back and document it all.
My first experiences were very slight ones; I was at university, exams were about to start for the semester, and I had some awful allergies. I wasn't, at first, trying to have a trip or anything like that. I was trying to get rid of some really debilitating allergies. The first thing I bought was actually Claratin (Loratadine [10 mg]). I found that barely helped me. At this point, a friend gave me some Sudafed Sinus & Allergy (Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride [60 mg], Chlorpheniramine Maleate [4 mg]), and I'd taken both of those in one day, just trying to feel better. Nothing was helping. I was in the campus bookstore when I saw some packets of Benadryl Allergy. I'd never taken it before, but I decided to get a couple of one-dose packets, just to see if it helped.
Well, I don't know if it was just the Benadryl, or the fact that I had the other medications still in my system, but a little later I was very out-of-it. I've not really done any drugs other than marijuana, so I have nothing to compare this to, but I felt somewhat like I was floating a little. I ended up going and buying a good deal more Benadryl, and over the next week, kept myself on a slight high most of the time, using that and the Sudafed. I felt a lot better, and while it may not have been the most intelligent thing to do, it pulled me through my exams.
I found, in that time, I'd just drift off, and start paying attention to rather random things. When I was walking, I felt like I was bouncing slightly. At one point, after taking some of both Benadryl and Sudafed, I was walking with some friends to the cafeteria, and had to go up a few steps to get into the building. When I reached the top step, I put my foot down on it, and while I knew I'd stopped moving, at the same time, I felt that I had continued moving, through the step, and was now upside-down.
I stopped taking the Benadryl because I was actually having trouble sleeping. This was, I think, due to the mix of caffeine (something I am constantly ingesting), and Pseudoephedrine from the Sudafed, with the Benadryl. When I tried to sleep, I found that my legs would twitch, but I could almost control it. It was more like I felt this extreme urge to move my legs, constantly. It was very uncomfortable, and when I finally did get to sleep, I'd often wake up shortly after, feeling just as restless. I still had allergies, and took Sudafed to alleviate them I much as I could, but I honestly do not like the way my body reacts to Sudafed at times, so I stopped with that too, and struggled through my last few days on campus unable to breathe very well. I still had some left over Benadryl, Sudafed, and Claratin when I left for home.
At some point during all this, I did actually look up some medical sites, to read up on the drug interactions between the ingredients of these three medications, and had found nothing to suggest that when used together, they should cause any problems. While I fully admit that what I did was probably not a good idea, given how little I knew, I did at least take *some* precautions.
Jump ahead to July 9, 2003. I had, by this point, read rather more about these three drugs, though I had not used any of them again. I had an allergic reaction to something, and was rather uncomfortable, and decided to see if any of these drugs might help me. I believe it was around 10 PM. I took one Sudafed, two Benadryls, and one Claratin. The last I doubt affected me at all, I simply was honestly hoping it might help with my allergic reaction. Remembering the effects I'd seen in the past, I decided to look online, and see if anyone had used these for reasons other than allergies. I started to find stories of hallucinations and the like. I decided to take it bit by bit, and took another two Benadryls. I remember when these kicked in, I had this sensation that my mind was rushing sideways. I have no other way to describe it.
As I first noted, I really wasn't keeping track of when I took things. I ended up staying up until the morning of the 11th, at which point I had to leave, as I was going on a camping trip. From the night of the 9th, to the morning of the 11th, I did not sleep. I took, I believe, 8 Benadryls, 2 Sudafeds, 1 Claratin, and 2 Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride capsules. I also drank a lot of caffeinated drinks, throughout the experience.
I have never stayed up so long, without feeling utterly exhausted. Honestly, it's one of the most amazing things I have ever felt. I spoke to a good friend of mine online for over 24 hours straight, stopping only when he needed to leave for short intervals. I had some mild hallucinations at some points, including things moving when I know they should not have been, flashing lights and swirling patterns on things, and one of my walls bulging out, like a large sphere was coming through it, with green and red swaths of energy-like stuff over it. At one point, I also saw an elephant's face, from the front, coming through the wall.
My arms and legs felt heavy, but I felt quite light-headed, in a rather pleasant way. I found my grasp on time was quite strange. Sometimes, it would feel like almost no time had passed, but actually, it had been several hours. At other points, I was certain a long period of time had passed, but I would find out it had only been 45 minutes or so. I used a computer program for creating songs, which I've never used before, and put together something utterly bizarre and random. At the time, it made sense. Now, it's a rather amusing reminder of the whole experience. Towards the end of the experience, I had an extremely emotional discussion with the friend I had been talking to through much of it, and I do not feel that the drugs I took inhibited my expression or communication in any way. I actually felt quite clear-minded, and the friend I was talking to commented that I actually, if anything, made more sense than usual.
Probably one of the more memorable effects of all this was at one point, earlier in the experience, I was sitting playing an online game with a chat, and I was the person who had most recently entered it. Someone entered the text 'Phil?' I saw it, and thought that perhaps they were asking if I was Phil, since I had just got there. After this, I believe I thought, for a moment, 'But couldn't I be Phil? How do I know I'm not?' Immediately, this thought left, and I began questioning whether I'd ever thought it. So, I may have thought I could be Phil for a moment. Or, perhaps, I just thought that I had thought that I might be Phil. Regardless, it was rather amusing, as I was still aware that my thoughts were abnormal.
Afterward, I was extremely tired, but I believe that would be considered normal, given how long I had been awake. I slept for an hour in the car on the way to where I was going, and then stayed up until around midnight. I had been up well over 60 hours. The next day, after sleeping for 6 or 7 hours, I went to a Renassaince festival with a friend; I felt I was acting a little strangely, somewhat lost in my own thoughts.
This may have been partially due just to exhaustion, and the rather emotional conversation I'd had the day before. In general, I was quite functional, though. My eyes were quite dialated through much of the experience, and at the end, when I had been awake a very long time, I was having a hard time speaking to my parents. I feel as though I was mumbling, and my mother commented that I looked sick. I had no appetite for two days, I could barely eat anything. I did not feel sick though.
After this, I became rather curious as to why so many people seemed to indicate that Benadryl had made them very tired, so I decided to try it by itself, to find out. This was just a couple of nights ago. I had not been drinking as much caffeine as usual. I took 4 Benadryl capsules. (It might be worth noting that the first time, I took solid tablets, and I believe they were slower-acting.) About an hour later, I took two more.
I did begin to feel quite drowsy, like I was being dragged down, and also noticed some slight visual effects-- flashing lights, things moving slightly, etc. I decided to take a Sudafed, on the basis that the way things were going, I was simply going to pass out, and it would not be very enjoyable. I then began drinking caffeinated drinks again. I stayed up several more hours, and began to hallucinate more and more strongly, both with my eyes open and shut.
I was seeing swirly patterns of colors on flat surfaces, and there was a criss-crossed pattern on my wall, that was moving around. I began to lose my sense of what was real and what was not. I thought, for a moment, that the wall really did look like that, and had to really force myself to remember that it was not the case. I could feel myself slipping into something deeper. I felt utterly exhausted though. It was almost like the feeling of being so tired that you're unable to stop yourself from falling asleep, but it felt like something else was going to happen, rather than sleep.
It was a strange feeling, and honestly not very enjoyable. I had to really fight to make sense of anything, including things I was typing, online. (I was talking to the same friend, once again.) Eventually, I went to bed, and fell asleep very quickly. I got up the next day, after about 7 or 8 hours of sleep, and still felt tired. I went back to bed, and slept until 5 PM, over 4 hours later.
From my experiences, I believe that Benadryl can be very enjoyable, but only when used in combination with other things. Also, most people who have had bad experiences seem to have taken large amounts, and in high doses. I had a much better experience by spacing out smaller doses. However, I wouldn't say this is something you can do, and then go back to functioning totally normally right away. I have the benefit of having a free summer, and essentially my own apartment in my parents' house. They do not disturb me, and I have nothing I really need to do. I am planning on experimenting further with this, as the experience I had July 9-11 was extremely enjoyable. If I do, I will keep track of everything I do much more clearly, for my own benefit, and so I can submit it.
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