General Question

janbb's avatar

Flying again tomorrow with cold. Can I take an Ambien if I am on decongestants?

Asked by janbb (59083points) December 28th, 2011

Got through the first flight ok with Advil D and Afrin. Tomorrow I am on an overnight flight and would like to sleep. Thinking about either a Benedryl type decongestant for the night or a daytime one and ½ Ambien. Anyone have experience with either?

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9 Answers

cazzie's avatar

Benedryl -the non-drowsy formula stuff? I would be more apt to take something like Advil PM rather than Ambien. It would only take a quick trip to a druggist to find out. Go to a pharmacy and ask if there are any counter-indications or phone. These are the things they are trained for. I have known pharmacies to pick up on mistakes doctors make. Check with the professionals, not here.

janbb's avatar

Yes, I will do that as well. I called my doctor but they are off for the week. Was just looking for some anecdotal info; I always filter out what doesn’t make sense to me.

cazzie's avatar

Call your local Wallgreens, Boots etc. (I can’t remember, are you in the US or…. Australia?)

You can get some really super cold and flu meds at Walmart in the US. Things that are right out banned without a prescription here in Norway.

There are antihistamines that are stimulants, so I would be very careful with mixing that type of stuff. I know I have to be crazy careful, because of my thyroid disease. I can easily get arrhythmia if I take the wrong stuff.

janbb's avatar

In the US. I talked to a pharmacist on Monday in San Fran and got a good regime for yesterday’s flight; just wanted to refine to include some sleeping. I do think the “daytime” Advil for colds does have some stimulants since I had trouble with falling asleep last night.

cazzie's avatar

The Advil PM has a sleep agent in it and I have used it for migraines. I have not mixed it with any antihistamines though, so I’m not sure about that. Couldn’t you just get one of those cold and flu syrups that contain all that in one?

marinelife's avatar

Benadryl would be a safer option than Ambien.

geeky_mama's avatar

I second @cazzie‘s suggestion of Advil PM. There is a nighttime version of the Advil Cold & Flu that might fit the bill, too. I would avoid Ambien (too many horror stories of people walking, eating, freaking out on Ambien…see some here) because you want to be drowsy, not out of control of your faculties.

janbb's avatar

@geeky_mama Ambien works for me regularly fine on an occasional basis but I was just worried about the combination with a decongestant. However, I do think you guys are right and that a Benedryl tyoe thing is probably safer in this instant.

Made it through the first flight with Advil D and Afrin; your (and the pharmacist’s) suggestions were spot on.

jazmina88's avatar

Benedryl yes, ambien No.
Especially if travelling alone.

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