Benadryl

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Generic Name: Benadryl Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Benadryl® (Diphenhydramine) used for?

Benadryl® contains Diphenhydramine. Benadryl® is used to treat sneezing; runny nose; itching, watery eyes; hives; rashes; itching; and other symptoms of allergies and the common cold.

It is also used to suppress coughs, to treat motion sickness, to induce sleep, and to treat mild forms of Parkinson’s disease.

How should I take Benadryl® (Diphenhydramine)?

  • Benadryl® can be taken with or without food. Take each dose with a full glass of water.
  • For motion sickness, a dose is usually taken 30 minutes before motion, then with meals and at bedtime for the duration of exposure.
  • As a sleep aid, Benadryl® should be taken approximately 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • It is recommended to measure the liquid forms of Benadryl® with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular tablespoon to get a correct dose. In case you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

How do I store Benadryl® (Diphenhydramine)?

Benadryl® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Benadryl® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Benadryl® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Benadryl® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Benadryl® (Diphenhydramine)?

Before taking Benadryl®, consult with your doctor if you have:

  • Glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye;
  • A stomach ulcer;
  • An enlarged prostate, bladder problems or difficulty urinating;
  • An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism);
  • Hypertension or any type of heart problems;
  • Asthma.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Benadryl® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. Benadryl® is pregnancy risk category B, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk;
  • B=No risk in some studies;
  • C=There may be some risk;
  • D=Positive evidence of risk;
  • X=Contraindicated;
  • N=Unknown.

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Benadryl® (Diphenhydramine)?

Side effects include:

  • Sedation;
  • Sleepiness;
  • Dizziness;
  • Disturbed coordination;
  • Epigastric distress;
  • Thickening of bronchial secretions.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Benadryl® (Diphenhydramine)?

Benadryl® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Certain drugs interact with Benadryl® and may cause problems, including:

  • Other medications that contain diphenhydramine, including creams, and gels.
  • Medications are used to treat anxiety, seizures, and other conditions such as Diazepam (Valium), a benzodiazepine, alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), and temazepam (Restoril).
  • Sedatives, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, and other drugs that are central nervous system depressants.
  • Allergy medications.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) used to treat depression.
  • Prescription pain medications.

Does food or alcohol interact with Benadryl® (Diphenhydramine)?

Benadryl® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Benadryl® (Diphenhydramine)?

Benadryl® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye;
  • A stomach ulcer;
  • An enlarged prostate, bladder problems or difficulty urinating;
  • An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism);
  • Hypertension or any type of heart problems;
  • Asthma.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Benadryl® for an adult?

Allergic Reaction

  • 25-50 mg orally, 3-4 times a day; not to exceed 300 mg/day.
  • 10-50 mg (no more than 100 mg) by intramuscular or intravenous injection, 6-4 times a day; not to exceed 400 mg/day.

Cough

25 mg orally every 4 hours as needed, not to exceed 150 mg per day.

Insomnia

50 mg orally 30 minutes before bedtime.

Motion Sickness

  • Treatment or prophylaxis: 25-50 mg orally 3-4 times a day.
  • Alternatively, 10-50 mg/dose for treatment; may use up to 100 mg if needed; not to exceed 400 mg.

Parkinsonism

25 mg orally 3 times a day initially, then 50 mg orally 4 times a day; not to exceed 300 mg/day

Alternatively, 10-50 mg by intravenous injection, at a rate not to exceed 25 mg/min; not to exceed 400 mg/day; may also administer 100 mg by intramuscular injection required

What is the dose of Benadryl® (Diphenhydramine) for a child?

Allergic Reaction

2-6 years: 6.25 mg orally, 6-4 times a day; not to exceed 37.5 mg/day.

6-12 years: 12.5-25 mg orally, 6-4 times a day; not to exceed 150 mg/day.

>12 years: 25-50 mg orally, 6-4 times a day; not to exceed 300 mg/day.

Occasional Insomnia

< 12 years (off-label): 1 mg/kg; not to exceed 50 mg; 30 min before bedtime.

>12 years: 50 mg orally 30 minutes before bedtime.

Cough

<12 years: Safety and efficacy not established.

>12 years: 25-50 mg orally, 6-4 times a day; not to exceed 300 mg/day.

Motion Sickness

Administer 30 min before motion

12.5-25 mg orally, 3-4 times a day, or 150 mg/m²; not to exceed 300 mg/day.

How is Benadryl® (Diphenhydramine) available?

Benadryl® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet 25mg.
  • Liquid gel 25mg.
  • Liquid 12.5 mg.
  • Chewable 12.5mg.
  • Oral solution (Phenylephrine HCl 5 mg/ Diphenhydramine HCl 12.5 mg).

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services (115) or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Benadryl®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

 

Sources

Review Date: October 12, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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