General Information

Benadryl is a well-known antihistamine and has the medical name diphenhydramine.

Generally, Benadryl is prescribed for treatment of allergy symptoms as well as cold and hay fever, including sneezing, runny nose, itchiness of eyes, throat and nose.

Benadryl is available in tablets, gel-caps, as well as liquid form and a topical version of diphenhydramine that can be directly applied on your skin.

Creams, sprays and gels are used to reduce itchiness caused by bee stings, insect bites, severe sunburn, poison ivy and/or poison oak, as well as other types of skin irritations.

In addition, some recent studies have revealed that diphenhydramine ointment can be applied to reduce joint, bone or muscle pain caused by osteoporosis and/or osteoarthritis.

Precautions prior to taking Benadryl

Benadryl can be purchased without a prescription, however there are certain safety concerns that you should consider prior to taking Benadryl.

One of Benadryl side effects may include drowsiness, that’s why this medication is sold in a form of sleep aid, but under different brand names.

However, keep in mind that Benadryl cannot be used as a sleep aid for children, as it may result in opposite effects and become a stimulant.

In addition, Benadryl once combined with other antihistamines, may worsen the drowsiness.

Make sure you avoid any alcohol during the treatment with Benadryl, because drowsiness and other side effects may worsen as well.

Elderly patients should consult with a doctor prior to embarking on Benadryl treatment.

Make sure you discuss with your pharmacist prior to starting Benadryl or any other diphenhydramine treatment, if you have any of the conditions provided below:

  • Emphysema
  • Asthma
  • Eye issues
  • Chronic bronchitis or other acute lung issues
  • Heart disease
  • Problems with urination
  • Seizures
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Hyperactive thyroid

Is it safe to take Benadryl by pregnant patients?

Even though there is a number of evidence confirming that Benadryl as well as other diphenhydramine medications are safe to take while pregnant, it is still a prerequisite that you discuss it with your healthcare provider prior to taking Benadryl during pregnancy.

In addition, abstain from taking Benadryl if you are breastfeeding at the moment of expected treatment.

Consult with your doctor to receive a qualified support. In addition, if your child is less than 6 years old, confirm with a doctor that it is safe to start Benadryl treatment for your child.

Can Benadryl be prescribed for Dogs?

Benadryl as well as other representatives of diphenhydramine meds are known to be applied for pets like cats, dogs and others.

For dogs, Benadryl can be used in cases of insect stings, motion-associated sickness, adverse reactions to vaccinations and other types of allergic reactions.

However, you should also know that certain

Benadryl as well as diphenhydramine products may contain other substances, like acetaminophen (also known as Tylenol) or alcohol, and that is not safe for dogs as well as other pets.

Hereby, make sure that any sort of Benadryl or diphenhydramine treatment is done under close monitoring and observation of your veterinarian.

Possible Side Effects from Benadryl

Please observe your health conditions throughout the entire Benadryl treatment period and report any anomalies without hesitation to your healthcare provider.

The following list contains the most common side effects that may be caused by Benadryl treatment:

  • Dryness of mouth;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Dizziness;
  • Dryness of throat and nose;
  • Acute Headaches;
  • Repeated Nausea;
  • Compression sensations in the chest area;
  • Feeling jittery (mostly among children);
  • Constipation;
  • Weakness;
  • Appetite loss.

Benadryl as well as other diphenhydramine medications may also result in some acute side effects. Hereby, if you happen to observe any of the following, get in touch with your doctor right away and seek for medical assistance:

  • Dryness of mouth;
  • Vision alterations;
  • Urination problems;
  • Issues with breathing;

General Benadryl Interactions

It is always best that you consult with your doctor or pharmacist regarding any drugs you are taking at the moment, before deciding on inclusion of prescription drugs, vitamins, OTC drugs, diet supplements, herbal meds or recreational medications.

Certain substances by interacting with Benadryl, may result in issues. Those substances are:

  • Medications containing diphenhydramine, like gels, creams and others;
    Alcohol and alcoholic drinks;
  • Diazepam (aka Valium) – a type of benzodiazepine applied for anxiety, seizures, and similar conditions treatment;
  • Diversified sedatives, muscle relaxants, sleeping pills, tranquilizers and types of meds, which are deemed as CNS (Central Nervous System) depressants;
  • Allergy meds;
  • Anxiety meds, like lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and temazepam (Restoril);
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) applied for depression treatment;
  • Pain-killing medications released with prescription.

Benadryl Dosage and Storage

Every Benadryl tablet and liquid capsule consists of 25 milligrams of diphenhydramine.

Benadryl for children is produced in a liquid form and is taken in a dose of 12.5 mg per teaspoon.

If you are taking Benadryl in a capsule form, do not open the capsule and swallow it whole. The liquid form of Benadryl should be taken only with measuring cup that is provided inside the medication box.

Keep Benadryl away from children at all times to avoid any accidents.

In case, if you miss a dose of Benadryl, do not take a double dose to compensate a missed dose, just take it as soon as you notice it.

If you discover a missed dose within a short period before the next dose, do not take Benadryl and wait for the next dose.

Follow the prescribed intake schedule and avoid taking more than 6 Benadryl doses within 24 hours.
Standard Benadryl dosage is:

  • Adults and children older than 12 years old should take 1-2 tablets/capsules every 4-6 hours as required;
  • Children 6-11 years old, are required to take 1 tablet or capsule for every 4-6 hours as required, or 1-2 teaspoons of Benadryl liquid every 4-6 hours;
  • Children younger than 6 years old, are required to consult the child’s specialist before taking Benadryl.

Overdose of Benadryl

Overdose of Benadryl should be taken seriously and reported right away to avoid any harmful consequences.

The following symptoms are:

    • Excitability;
    • Blurry Vision;
    • Repeated Seizures;
    • General Confusion;
    • Inability to urinate properly;

FAQs related to Benadryl

Q: Is it safe to take 2 Benadryl tablets every night to assist with sleeping?

A: Benadryl is safe as a sleeping aid, provided that the patient is able to tolerate its side effects. Benadryl does not cause addiction, but contains a number of side effects, like drowsiness during awakening; dryness in mouth, eyes and/or urinary retention and others. If the patient cannot tolerate the said side effect, an alternative medication is advised to be chosen. People suffering from prostate enlargement, asthma or glaucoma should not take Benadryl.

Q: I regularly take 2 Benadryl tablets every night to aid with falling asleep. How dangerous it can be, once mixed with some beer?

A: The main issue with mixing Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and alcohol, is that it may cause an additional sedation effect. Each person has different tolerability of sedation. Hence, it is best to avoid this combination in case if you plan to operate machinery or drive afterwards. In such situations it is best that you find alternative products that do not have similar side effects.

Q: My child regularly takes Benadryl to fall asleep easily. He’s been observed having some skin issues that look more like a reaction to medication than like a normal acne. Could Benadryl be the cause of it?

A: Benadryl is applied for treatment of allergy symptoms, like runny nose, frequent sneezing, and sinus pressure. The list of side effects that may be caused by Benadryl does not include skin conditions.

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