A Brief Introduction to ZzzQuil
ZzzQuil is a very popular brand for sleeplessness and insomnia products. They are over-the-counter medications and supplements, which means you won’t need a prescription to get them.
They come in a few different forms which we will get into in just a bit. First though, ZzzQuil products are made by Vick’s which is run by the massive conglomerate Procter & Gamble.
Procter and Gamble holds an A+ rating form the Better Business Bureau and have their headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.
ZzzQuil makes some of Vicks’ flagship products so let’s delve deeper into what they are all about. We will start off by taking a look at two of the ZzzQuil products available today.
ZzzQuil Warming Berry Liquid
This is one of the most popular ZzzQuil products. It is a liquid taken orally and is non-habit forming. The active ingredient is:
- Diphenhydramine – The Baylor College of Medicine classifies it as an antihistamine and acknowledges that it can be used as a sleeping aid. There are 50 mg of diphenhydramine in this product. (swapped the two sentences)
- Alcohol – Alcohol is an inactive ingredient in this formula. In this case, it is used as a solvent. ZzzQuil also makes a similar formula without alcohol.
A single pack of the warming berry liquid is going for about $7.97. This is the price for a 12 fluid ounce bottle.
This product is intended for use by adults only. You should take only one dosage (30ml) per day to help you sleep.
Pure Zzz’s De-Stress & Sleep Melatonin Tablets
This product is different in that it comes in tablet form, helps manage stress (in addition to being a sleep aid), and features different ingredients. These tablets apparently cause no grogginess the next day and help you maintain a normal sleep cycle by aiding in relaxation and naturally supporting your body’s circadian rhythm. It is considered a dietary supplement because it does not contain any medications. The ingredients include:
This product is available for the price of $10.99 for a bottle of 488 tablets on popular retail sites.
The user is to take 1-2 tablets a half an hour before they go to sleep.
The Science Behind These ZzzQuil Products
The main ingredient in ZzzQuil’s warming berry liquid is Diphenydramine. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine and is usually recommended to help with allergies. According to a Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, diphenhydramine is among the list of medications misused by people presenting to the emergency department for drug treatment.
The interesting thing to note is antihistamines have also been scientifically proven to cause drowsiness. It is this “side effect” that actually makes ZzzQuil’s warming berry liquid an effective sleeping aid.
Ingredients such as lemon balm in Zzzs De-Stress and Sleep Melatonin tablets are proven to help with stress, relaxation, and sleep but their efficacy can often be greater when combined with other calming herbs due to what is known as a synergist effect. Because of this, we give the manufacturer a thumbs up for taking synergy into account when formulating this product with multiple herbs that work together to promote restful sleep in a drug-free, non-habit forming product. Check out the other herbs included here.
De-Stress and Sleep Melatonin tablets’ star ingredient is the melatonin, which is probably the most widely used and most well-known sleep supplement.
It is thought that melatonin works by binding to melatonin receptors in the hypothalamus.
It has been shown to cut down on the time it takes to fall asleep and helps regulate the body’s sleep/wake cycles. It is generally considered a safer alternative to sleeping medications due to fewer side effects.
Customer Questions and Answers
- Does not require a prescription
- Works effectively
- Generally positive reviews
- Non-drug and alcohol-free formulas available
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about how long you can take ZzzQuil and at what dosage.
- The use of antihistamines for sleeping can lead to sleep walking and other sleep problems
- The liquid form contains artificial colors and flavorings
- The liquid form can also cause grogginess in the morning
There are certain side effects and interactions that you should absolutely be aware of before taking any of ZzzQuil's products. They include:
- Dry mouth and blurred vision, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- Daytime sleepiness
- Urinary retention
*the non-drug ZzzQuil products such as De-Stress and Sleep Melatonin tables are associated with a lower risk of side effects
- You should not take with alcohol.
- You should not take with any other sedatives.
- You should not take with any other product containing Diphenhydramine.
- You should not take melatonin containing products if you have an autoimmune disease.
- Additional medications, supplements, or disease states may interact with the ingredients in ZzzQuil products (including the herbal products), so always check with your doctor before starting a new medication or supplement.
Not everyone can take ZzzQuil. People should not give ZzzQuil to children under the age of 12 years. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child.
Pregnant women should also seek medical advice before using this medication.
Those who have an allergic reaction to ZzzQuil or medicines containing diphenhydramine should avoid taking it.
We recommend checking to see what the refund policy is wherever to decide to purchase your ZzzQuil products, as they are sold on many different online platforms and physical stores; policies may vary accordingly.
There are many customer reviews on sites that sell ZzzQuil.
Reviews are generally positive for ZzzQuil products. Some people say they work wonders, while others report that they did nothing for them. Some complain that the liquid syrup tastes bad while others praise the De-stress and Sleep Melatonin tablets for helping them get the best sleep of their lives.
And there are many people who say ZzzQuil worked, but they also had a hangover effect.
As far as sleeping aids go there are many options available to you besides the ZzzQuil line of products. Here are just a few examples:
|Excedrin PM||This product comes at a price of $12.99 for a pack of 100 caplets.||It contains acetaminophen and diphenhydramine and has a good customer rating.|
|Earth to Humans All-Natural Sleep Support||This sleeping aid comes in liquid form and costs $23.74.||It contains theanine and melatonin as well as chamomile and lavender.|
|Basic Care Sleep Aid||Another top-rated sleeping aid that costs $6.75 for 96 tablets and features a formula that includes Doxylamine succinate.||Doxylamine succinate is considered a stronger antihistamine than diphenhydramine.|
The Bottom Line on ZzzQuil
Overall ZzzQuil seems like a pretty good brand if you are in need of a sleeping aid and don’t mind taking an antihistamine to help you sleep.
The truth is that a lot of people shy away from antihistamine sleep aids because there is concern over the long-term effects of drugs in this class, particularly in light of this recent research.
But if you are going to go that route, ZzzQuil is one of the most trusted over-the-counter sleeping aids available.
The bottom line is that it works for helping people sleep. We don’t like some of the side effects it may cause like headaches, daytime sleepiness, and dry mouth – but those can be overlooked when weighed against the negative effects of extreme sleeplessness.
And you can always choose one of the non-drug options such as the De-Stress and Sleep Melatonin tablets.
Furthermore, the side effects that come from antihistamines don’t affect the young as much as they do the elderly. Keep in mind that ZzzQuil should not be used if you are suffering from long term insomnia.
If this is the case you should talk to your physician as opposed to taking an over-the-counter medication.
Your experience of ZzzQuil
Have you tried ZzzQuil? Did it work for you, or give any side effects? Please share your experience in the comments below.
Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
2) ZzzQuil OTC Sleep-Aid
3) Sateia MJ, Buysse DJ, Krystal AD, Neubauer DN, and Held JL. "Clinical Practice Guideline for the Pharmacologic Treatment of Chronic Insomnia in Adults: An American Academy of Sleep Medicine Clinical Practice Guideline." Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2017;13(2):307-349.
4) DailyMed - ZZZQUIL NIGHTTIME SLEEP-AID- diphenhydramine hydrochloride capsule, gelatin-coated
5) J Psychopharmacol. 2009 Jan;23(1):101-5. doi: 10.1177/0269881107083809. Epub 2008 Feb 28. Diphenhydramine abuse and detoxification: a brief review and case report. 6) JOURNAL OF CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY. Volume 20, Number 6, 2010 ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Pp. 521–524 DOI: 10.1089/cap.2010.0031 The Importance of Taking a History of Over-the-Counter Medication Use: A Brief Review and Case Illustration of "PRN" Antihistamine Dependence in a Hospitalized Adolescent