Dimenhydrinate and caffeine
Type of Spiritual Experience
Before you read the following description of a ‘recreational user’, it may be helpful to know that the effects of dimenhydrinate are very similar to those of diphenhydramine. The main differences are a lower potency, and a longer latency. Dimenhydrinate must dissociate into diphenhydramine in the body before it is active, so it produces effects more slowly than diphenhydramine. The drug typically takes a minimum of 4 hours to fully take effect.
Theophylline was added in order to counteract drowsiness. Theophylline is very closely related to caffeine and theobromine, mild central nervous system stimulants. So you don’t need coffee with this drug to stay awake. Now read on…………..
A description of the experience
Childhood Revisited - Dimenhydrinate & Caffeine by Xherrus EROWID [edited for brevity]
Recently a large pharmaceutical company in Australia, Pan Pharmaceuticals, had to recall a large number of products due to concerns about consumer safety. Among these products was a motion sickness remedy named 'Travacalm,' which many consumers were complaining about due to side effects of hallucinations and delerium. Having heard that such a product was being taken off the market for such a reason, and having read about the psychoactive effects of Dimenhydrinate, I decided to try the drug out.
It was a Sunday evening in the privacy of my own home. I took notes during the experience. It got off to a slow start, but I could never have imagined how deep it would be.
~ 6:00 PM: took 3 Dramamine tablets each containing 50mg Dimenhydrinate, and one 100mg Caffeine pill and sat down to do Math while waiting for any effects.
~ 6:20: small effect of altered perception, nothing strong enough to be definite
6:26: no real effect, may take more in a few minutes
6:31: little effects that disappear before I can determine what they are... will wait another 10 minutes before taking more
I was just about to take more when a friend called, I told him what I was up to and he said that one of these days I could kill myself on this crazy pharmaceutical stuff... I answered that I had done my research and had decided it was safe enough to try.
6:54: dropped 3 more Dramamine tablets, since no real effects by now. Sat down to study more Math.
7:01: a bit drowsy, took another 100mg Caffeine pill
7:16: took two more Dramamine tablets, hardly any effect up to now
At this point I wrote: 'Something coming up. Will drop more, I trust my interior monologue's judgment.' I was getting irritated at the lack of effects after over an hour, and decided to finish the packet.
7:22: Took two more Dramamine tablets, finishing the packet and making a total of 10 tablets taken by now.
I went inside to go to the toilet, looked in the mirror and analysed what small effects there were - I wrote on my notepad: 'Felt like how animals must feel, thinking it is a different creature [in the mirror] and reacting accordingly. Hard to think straight, a bit more drowsiness.' I felt a bit separate from my reflection... almost like it was another person. But these were only small effects at the time, perhaps even created by my attempt to analyse them.
7:30: 1 more 100mg Caffeine pill.
7:53: No visual effect... leads me to wonder what everyone who tried it was talking about [I had read reports on the internet of LSD-like visual hallucinations and such]... will wait and see anyway. Noticed more drowsiness, don't want to fall asleep and waste the 'trip' ……………………..After this I went inside to get some food, and started noticing some effects which I described:... got occasional stabbing chest pains but always for only a few seconds at most.' ……..I had decided that I must not have taken enough, because I was only noticing small effects after an hour and a half. From this point, though, the effects started to properly kick in.
8:30: …………….I was looking at my hands when sitting at my desk and I noticed 'feels like fingers, hands in different positions from what I can see... crazy.'. …………….
8:52: I wrote more about the crazy bodily effects I was feeling at this time. The best way to describe it would be that I felt like I had another body inside (or outside) of my physical body, but this was the body that received sensations. …. I was feeling like some parts of my body were bigger or smaller than usual. … and at one point I imagined myself having a small head on a very broad body. I also felt limbs making motions that I was not in control of. Looking back on this scares the hell out of me... but at the time I took the effects as they came and was actually curious and not afraid. ………………Sitting at my desk I imagined myself to be some long-necked creature... my sense perception was distorted and although I knew that I was a human with normal body, I could just perceive myself differently and have the feeling of having different characteristics. …... I think I was very confused by now, getting up and moving around my room sometimes for no reason, having crazy thoughts, or a completely blank mind.
9:11: 20 minutes felt like at least an hour. 'Underestimated DMH,' I wrote, because by then I saw how intense it could be. I think I definitely underestimated the time required for it to take effect.
Now the most profound part of my night took place. I found myself sitting on a rug on my bedroom floor, driven there by whatever delusion I may have had, staring at the rug. I wrote about how I was feeling then: 'Evokes childlike states of mind.' Memories of the rug from my childhood came into my mind, because it had been in all the houses I had lived in and it was in my room now. I saw it where it was in the house I first remembered and was taken back into the child-like state of mind I had then - I was not only remembering this place in my childhood, I was feeling the feelings and thinking the thoughts I had then. In that mindset, I was inquisitive, constantly taking in information and learning about the world, forming associations.
I linked the colours green and brown on the rug to my mother and father. This was a very old, old memory of a childhood thought that welled up in my mind, that might have been lost forever. I knew deep inside that I had really made this association of colours when I was very young and was taken back to that state of mind.
I explored other parts of my childhood too, places I had lived and their atmospheres. I went back into my memories deeper than I had ever thought I could go. When I saw a place like an old bedroom of mine, it wasn't only a flash of the memory, like a photograph. I could actually feel what it was like to be back in that place, and most amazing of all, I could actually feel how mysterious and wonderful it felt to me as a child back then.
The delusions were frequent now, and they happened more when I was closing my eyes, because the caffeine was wearing off and I was becoming drowsy. When I had my eyes closed, I found myself in completely different situations and engaging in different activities - sometimes menial tasks like housework, sometimes talking to people at school. …………………I was very drowsy by now, dozing off and waking up every so often on my bed. I went back to my childhood again. I vividly remembered scenes from my old primary school that I thought were completely lost - the memories were welling up. Sometimes I was almost choked with tears - writing this makes me like that now. I had the chance to re-live the memories of childhood dreams that came to me,……... This part of the experience was awesome. I was actually reliving my childhood, I felt like I was there. Words cannot describe it.
When I opened my eyes and looked around, objects kept jerking and quivering. I had disturbances in the corners of my vision - like little bugs and spiders crawling in the darkness. Eventually I fell asleep.
I had trouble integrating this experience into my life. Reliving memories that I thought I would have forgotten forever was beautiful but confronting at the same time… looking back on how confused I was and the insane hallucinations and delusions I had makes me afraid. I am not likely to want to try Dimenhydrinate again …, because it was not really pleasant and did not seem like a good choice at all for a recreational drug; just because of how much it f***ks with your mind - it seems like anything can happen on DMH. You might have an intensely profound experience, but reading of all the reports of people who had a terrifying or unpleasant time, and experiencing all the fucked-up effects of the drug too, convinces me that it would be just as easy to have an experience that could unbalance you. The 'stabbing chest pains' were worrying and I had a nasty hangover the next day.