ZzzQuil FAQ

Answers to your frequently asked questions about ZzzQuil

Q: How does ZzzQuil help you fall asleep?

A: ZzzQuil helps you fall asleep by introducing the ingredient Diphenhydramine HCL into your system. Diphenhydramine HCL is an antihistamine that has been shown to make you feel sleepy and help you relax with no lasting side effects. Unlike a more powerful prescription sleep aid, ZzzQuil is gentle and won’t force you to fall asleep; it will only help calm, soothe and guide you into sleep.

Q: What exactly is Diphenhydramine HCL?

A: Diphenhydramine HCL is a common antihistamine. Originally used to treat symptoms of allergies, such as mild rashes, itching, watery eyes, running nose and sneezing, it was soon discovered that Diphenhydramine HCL could help people fall and stay asleep. We’ve formulated our ZzzQuil products around this ingredient to give you the best sleep possible.

Q: What are the common side effects of ZzzQuil?

A: Most side effects of ZzzQuil are mild and will go away on their own. They include headaches, nausea and sleeplessness. While serious symptoms are extremely rare and usually the result of an overdose, if you experience seizures, extreme confusion or hallucinations, discontinue use and get help immediately. Click HERE for a complete list of possible side effects.

Q: Can I use allergy medications in place of ZzzQuil to help fall asleep?

A: Our Vicks ZzzQuil products have been carefully crafted to give you the best sleep possible. Unlike the Diphenhydramine HCL used to decrease symptoms of allergies, the only purpose of our Diphenhydramine HCL formula is for better sleep. Just like we don’t recommend using ZzzQuil to treat symptoms of allergies, we recommend that you do not use allergy medications for anything other than treating allergies, as it increases the risk of side effects and decreases the chance of successful results.

Q: How is your ZzzQuil line different from PURE Zzzs?

A: Our ZzzQuil line uses the active ingredient Diphenhydramine HCL. Our PURE Zzzs line uses the active ingredient melatonin, which is a hormone that occurs naturally in your body. While each have been shown to be safe and effective, you should choose the product that works best for you and your body. Click HERE to learn more about our PURE Zzzs line.

Q: Why do I have strange dreams on ZzzQuil?

A: Both ZzzQuil and PURE Zzzs help your body move from light sleep into the REM sleep cycle, which is your deepest and most restorative sleep, and also where you dream. The longer you stay in the REM sleep cycle, the more you’ll dream, and the more you’ll remember those dreams. However, while your dreams will likely be more vivid, you should not have terrifying dreams on ZzzQuil. If you do experience unwanted, frightening dreams, try practicing calming techniques before bed (link to “how to sleep better”). If you still experience unpleasant dreams, discontinue ZzzQuil use and talk to your health care provider about a sleep aid that will work for you.

Q: How much ZzzQuil should I be taking?

A: For our liquid products, adults and children over 12 years of age should take a single dose of 30 mL (measured in our provided cup) before bed. You should not have more than one dose in 24 hours. For our liquicaps, adults and children over 12 years of age should take two capules at bedtime and take only one dose in 24 hours. Children under 12 should not use any ZzzQuil product, but our PURE Zzzs Kidz product may be right for them. Click HERE to learn more (link the children melatonin page).

Q: Why do you have alcohol in your liquid sleep aids?

A: Some ingredients in our sleep aids don’t dissolve in water, but do dissolve in alcohol, so we formulate our products with it to keep the liquid smooth and consistent. The alcohol also helps keep the ZzzQuil formula stable, so it can last longer in your cabinet. There is minimal alcohol content in our ZzzQuil, so it’s safe for children over 12 to take, but if you would like an alcohol-free sleep aid, both our ZzzQuil Alcohol Free Of Liquid and ZzzQuil Liquicaps [link] is are great options.

Q: How are your ZzzQuil Liquicaps different from your ZzzQuil liquid?

A: Both our ZzzQuil Liquicaps and our ZzzQuil liquids use the same active ingredient with different formulas, so you can choose how to take your sleep aid. They have exactly the same effect; we formulate them both ways so you can choose which one suits your taste and texture preference.

Q: Is ZzzQuil safe for children?

A: Yes, ZzzQuil is safe for children over 12 years of age. For children under 12 years of age, check with your health care provider or try our melatonin-based PURE Zzzs Kidz Melatonin Gummies.

Q: Is ZzzQuil safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding?

A: You should not take ZzzQuil while pregnant or breastfeeding without first talking to your health care provider. While no serious side effects have been shown, there have been no long-term studies on the potential impact.

Q: Is there anyone else who shouldn’t take ZzzQuil?

A: Children under 12 should not take ZzzQuil unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider because the medication may be too powerful for them. The very elderly or those with neurologic disorders also should not take ZzzQuil because they are at a higher risk for confusion or other unwanted neurologic side effects.

Q: How do I maximize the effects of ZzzQuil?

A: Unlike powerful prescription medications, ZzzQuil will only help you get to sleep, it won’t force you to. To maximize your chance of getting a great night’s sleep with ZzzQuil, practice good sleep hygiene by removing all screens from your bedroom, getting light-blocking curtains, and turning on soothing ambient noise, like a fan or relaxing music. If you often feel stressed or anxious while falling asleep, try meditation techniques to help your ZzzQuil give you the most calming effect possible.