Is Advil PM Safe to Take Every Night?
If you suffer from chronic pain or occasional insomnia, you might be tempted to take Advil PM every night to help you sleep. But is this safe? In this article, we’ll explore the safety of taking Advil PM regularly, including its potential side effects and how it compares to other over-the-counter sleep aids.
What is Advil PM?
Advil PM is an over-the-counter medication that is marketed as both a pain reliever and a sleep aid. Its active ingredients are ibuprofen (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID) and diphenhydramine (an antihistamine). Ibuprofen works by reducing inflammation and relieving pain, while diphenhydramine induces drowsiness and helps you fall asleep.
Is Advil PM Safe to Take Every Night?
The short answer is no. While Advil PM is safe to take occasionally for pain relief or to help you sleep, it is not meant to be taken every night on a long-term basis. The reason for this is that the diphenhydramine in Advil PM can be habit-forming if taken regularly, which can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop taking it.
Additionally, the ibuprofen in Advil PM can cause stomach irritation and increase the risk of ulcers and bleeding if taken too frequently or in high doses. This is especially true if you have a history of gastrointestinal problems, such as acid reflux or gastritis.
What are the Side Effects of Advil PM?
Like all medications, Advil PM can cause side effects, even when taken as directed. The most common side effects of Advil PM include:
- Dry mouth, nose, and throat
- Stomach pain
- Difficulty urinating
More serious side effects are rare but can occur, especially if you take too much Advil PM or if you have certain medical conditions that increase your risk of side effects. These include:
- Allergic reactions, such as hives, rash, or difficulty breathing
- Heart attack or stroke
- High blood pressure
- Kidney damage or failure
- Liver damage or failure
How Does Advil PM Compare to Other Sleep Aids?
There are many over-the-counter sleep aids available, and each has its own benefits and risks. Here’s how Advil PM compares to some of the most popular sleep aids:
|Sleep Aid||Active Ingredients||How it Works||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Advil PM||Ibuprofen and Diphenhydramine||Ibuprofen relieves pain, while diphenhydramine induces drowsiness||Effective for pain relief and sleep||Diphenhydramine can be habit-forming|
|Melatonin||Melatonin||Hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles||Naturally occurring in the body, few side effects||May not be effective for severe insomnia|
|Benzodiazepines||Diazepam, Clonazepam, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, and others||Depress the central nervous system to promote sleep and relaxation||Effective for severe insomnia||High risk of dependence and addiction, can cause memory problems and other side effects|
|Zolpidem (Ambien)||Zolpidem||Binds to certain receptors in the brain to promote sleep||Effective for short-term use, few side effects||Can cause dependence and addiction, may cause bizarre behavior, such as sleepwalking|
Can You Become Addicted to Advil PM?
Yes, it is possible to become addicted to Advil PM if you take it regularly for an extended period of time. The diphenhydramine in Advil PM can be habit-forming and lead to dependence, especially if you take it in higher doses than recommended or for longer than recommended.
If you find that you are having trouble sleeping without Advil PM or that you are taking it more often than recommended, it is important to talk to your doctor. They can help you develop a plan to taper off the medication safely and address any underlying medical or psychological issues that may be contributing to your insomnia.
What are the Alternatives to Advil PM?
If you are looking for an alternative to Advil PM for pain relief or sleep, there are many options available. Some of the most common alternatives include:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin for pain relief
- Melatonin or valerian root for sleep
- Prescription sleep aids, such as zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta), or ramelteon (Rozerem)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), which is a type of talk therapy that focuses on changing sleep habits and behaviors
If you are unsure of which treatment is right for you, it is important to talk to your doctor. They can help you determine the underlying cause of your pain or sleep difficulties and recommend the most appropriate treatment based on your specific needs.
While Advil PM can be a helpful medication for occasional pain relief and sleep, it is not meant to be taken every night on a long-term basis. The diphenhydramine in Advil PM can be habit-forming and lead to dependence, and the ibuprofen can cause stomach problems if taken too frequently or in high doses. If you are having trouble sleeping or experiencing chronic pain, it is important to talk to your doctor about the most appropriate treatment options for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it safe to take Advil PM while pregnant or breastfeeding?
No, it is not recommended to take Advil PM while pregnant or breastfeeding, as it can harm the developing fetus or pass through breast milk to the baby.
- Is it safe to take Advil PM with other medications?
It depends on the other medications you are taking. Some medications can interact with Advil PM and cause serious side effects or reduce the effectiveness of the medication. Be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Advil PM with other medications.
- Can I take Advil PM if I have a history of heart problems?
It is not recommended to take Advil PM if you have a history of heart problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or a previous heart attack or stroke. The medication can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, or high blood pressure.
- What should I do if I accidentally take too much Advil PM?
If you accidentally take too much Advil PM or experience symptoms of an overdose, such as confusion, hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, or difficulty breathing, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
- Can Advil PM be addictive?
Yes, it is possible to become addicted to Advil PM if you take it regularly for an extended period of time. The diphenhydramine in Advil PM can be habit-forming and lead to dependence.
“Advil PM.” Drugs.com, 2021, https://www.drugs.com/otc/114204/advil-pm.html.
“Is It Safe to Take Advil PM Every Night?” Verywell Health, 2021, https://www.verywellhealth.com/is-it-safe-to-take-advil-pm-every-night-4777457.
“Sleep and Insomnia Medications.” WebMD, 2021, https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/sleep-insomnia-medications.