Benadryl is a trademarked medication authorized for addressing symptoms associated with various conditions, including allergies and common colds. It is offered in multiple oral and topical formulations and is classified under the antihistamines drug category.
FDA approval for Benadryl extends to its efficacy in alleviating symptoms associated with hay fever (seasonal allergies), other allergic reactions, the common cold, and itching caused by insect bites, hives, and other sources in adults and specific pediatric populations.
The appropriate dosage of Benadryl varies based on several factors, encompassing:
- The specific condition being treated with Benadryl.
- Your age.
- The particular form of Benadryl you are utilizing.
In general, it is advisable to use the minimum effective dosage to achieve the desired results. The subsequent details outline commonly used or recommended dosages. If you have uncertainties about the appropriate dosage for your situation, it is advisable to consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Dosage for hay fever or allergies
Standard adult dosage ranges from 25 to 50 milligrams (mg) of Benadryl, administered every 4 to 6 hours.
Dosage for symptoms of the common cold (such as runny nose or sneezing)
Dosage for symptoms of the common cold (such as runny nose or sneezing)
Common adult dosage ranges from 25 to 50 milligrams (mg) of Benadryl, to be taken at intervals of every 4 to 6 hours.
Dosage for pain and itchy skin from hives, insect bites, and other causes
Typical adult dosage involves applying Benadryl cream, gel, or spray to the affected area up to three to four times daily.
Carnauba Wax: Imparts a shiny appearance to the tablets.
Croscarmellose Sodium NF: Aids in the disintegration of the tablet within the stomach.
D&C Red No. 27 Aluminum Lake: Adds an appealing color to the tablets.
Dibasic Calcium Phosphate: Contributes to the structural integrity of the tablet.
Hypromellose: Functions to mask any unpleasant bitter taste.
Magnesium Stearate: Forms a coating to prevent ingredients from adhering to each other and external surfaces.
Microcrystalline Cellulose NF (Avicel PH-102): Assists in maintaining the cohesion of the tablet.
Polyethylene Glycol: Supports the flexibility and structure of the tablet coating.
Polysorbate 80: Facilitates the uniform incorporation of coating ingredients.
Titanium Dioxide: Produces a vivid white coating on the tablets.
Read Also: Which Medicine is Best for Bilirubin?
Pros and Cons of benadryl
Pros of Benadryl
- Effective Antihistamine
- Various Formulations
- Topical Relief
- Over-the-Counter Availability
Cons of Benadryl
- Sedation and Drowsiness
- Not Recommended for Long-Term Use
- Less Preferred for Respiratory Allergies
Differences Between benadryl and prednisone
Commonly used to relieve symptoms of allergies, hay fever, insect bites, and as a sleep aid. It is also available in topical formulations for skin-related issues.
Used to treat a variety of conditions, including allergic reactions, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders, and certain types of cancers. It is often prescribed for short-term use due to the risk of side effects with prolonged use
Alternative to benadryl
This is a second-generation antihistamine, similar to loratadine (Claritin) and fexofenadine (Allegra). These alternatives are less likely to cause sedation compared to Benadryl and are often preferred for managing allergies.
Children’s BENADRYL Ingredients
Anhydrous Citric Acid: Enhances product stability and flavor.
Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium: Thickens to enhance product consistency.
Edetate Disodium: Contributes to product stability.
D&C Red No. 33, FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Red No. 40: Adds kid-friendly colors to the product.
Flavors (Bubble Gum, Cherry): Improves the overall flavor of the product.
Glycerin: Functions as a sweetener and aids in dissolving the active ingredient in medicine.
Monoammonium Glycyrrhizinate MM 100P: Enhances flavor by mitigating bitterness.
Poloxamer 407 NF: Thickens to improve product consistency.
Purified Water: Serves as a base for the product.
Saccharin Sodium: Adds sweetness to improve taste.
Sodium Chloride USP: Contributes to product stability and enhances flavor.
Sodium Citrate, Sodium Citrate Dihydrate: Assist in maintaining product stability.
Sodium Benzoate: Aids in preserving product stability.
Sorbitol Solution: Provides hydration and sweetness, improving flavor.
Sucralose: Adds sweetness and helps block bitterness of the active ingredient for improved flavor.
Sucrose: Contributes sweetness to enhance the overall flavor.
Benadryl side effects
Benadryl may elicit both mild and serious side effects. The following is a list of key side effects associated with Benadryl, though it does not encompass all potential reactions. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more comprehensive information or guidance on managing specific side effects.
More Common Side Effects
- Dry mouth
- Body weakness
These common side effects may diminish within a few days or weeks. If they persist or intensify, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare provider.
Serious Side Effects
Seek immediate medical attention or call 911 if you experience serious side effects, as they may be indicative of a medical emergency. These include:
- Decreased memory
- Impaired thinking
- Fast heart rate
Long-Term Side Effects
Over-the-counter Benadryl is designed for short-term use, and limited scientific research exists on its long-term effects. Possible side effects with prolonged use may include:
- Blurred vision
- Memory problems and dementia (particularly in older adults)
- Dependence, leading to the body requiring the drug for normal functioning
Consult your doctor if you frequently experience allergy symptoms, as there may be safer and more effective alternatives to Benadryl for long-term use.
Benadryl and certain antihistamines may contribute to decreased memory, confusion, and impaired thinking, particularly in older adults. Long-term use may elevate the risk of dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, especially in those over 65. To mitigate this risk, use the lowest effective Benadryl dose for the shortest duration. Discuss alternative options with your healthcare provider if long-term antihistamine use is necessary.
While not a common side effect, hallucinations can occur with very high doses of Benadryl. Cease usage if hallucinations occur and seek medical attention if necessary.
Restless Legs Syndrome
Some antihistamines, including Benadryl, may worsen restless legs syndrome. Consult your healthcare provider for alternative medication options if you have this condition.
Depression is not a typical side effect of Benadryl. If depressive symptoms arise during use, consult your doctor for evaluation and consider alternative medications.
Weight gain may occur in some individuals using diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in Benadryl. Discuss any undesired weight gain with your healthcare provider to explore alternative options.
Benadryl can lead to constipation, especially with regular use. Discuss any constipation issues with your doctor for alternative medication options.
Benadryl may impair driving ability due to excessive sleepiness. Refrain from driving or using dangerous equipment if drowsiness occurs after taking Benadryl.
Side Effects in Children
Side effects in children are generally similar to those in adults, but unexpected reactions such as restlessness, irritability, difficulty sleeping, muscle spasms, or seizures may occur with oral forms of Benadryl. In newborns, oral Benadryl can pose serious risks, including trouble breathing, seizures, and sudden infant death syndrome. Oral OTC Benadryl products are only approved for children aged 6 years and older due to the potential for dangerous side effects in younger children.
Benadryl is an over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine widely used to alleviate symptoms associated with hay fever, allergies, the common cold, and itching resulting from insect bites, hives, and other causes. Below are descriptions of some common uses of Benadryl, but not all are officially recommended by the FDA or medical experts.
Benadryl for Allergies
Benadryl is an approved OTC treatment for hay fever and respiratory allergies, addressing symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and throat. While effective, it's not typically the first choice due to potential side effects such as sleepiness. Second-generation antihistamines like cetirizine (Zyrtec), desloratadine (Clarinex), and others are generally preferred.
Benadryl for Sleep
Although OTC Benadryl products aren't approved for sleep improvement, diphenhydramine (the primary ingredient) is found in other sleep aid products like Unisom, Sominex, and ZzzQuil. These are approved for occasional use, but not recommended for ongoing insomnia.
Benadryl for Hives, Itching, and Rash
Topical Benadryl products are approved for treating hives, itchy skin, and rashes, including Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream and others. However, oral Benadryl is not approved for this purpose, and newer antihistamines are often preferred due to fewer side effects.
Benadryl for Anxiety
Benadryl is not intended for treating anxiety, although its sedative effects might temporarily alleviate anxiety symptoms. It is not a recommended choice for anxiety treatment.
Benadryl for Poison Ivy
Topical Benadryl products are approved for treating pain and itching caused by poison ivy.
Benadryl for Nausea or Motion Sickness
While not approved for motion sickness, Benadryl is sometimes used for this purpose, although it can induce sleepiness. Alternative medications are considered for those wishing to remain awake during travel.
Benadryl for Bee Stings and Bug Bites
Topical Benadryl products are approved for treating pain and itching caused by insect bites and stings.
Benadryl for Cough
Oral Benadryl is approved for some common cold symptoms, excluding cough. Studies suggest it may slightly reduce symptoms in adults, but its effectiveness in children is inconclusive.
Benadryl for Migraine
OTC Benadryl is not approved for treating migraines, and its use is not recommended by the American Headache Society.
Benadryl for Colds
Oral Benadryl is approved for some common cold symptoms, but its impact on children is uncertain.
Benadryl for Eczema
OTC Benadryl products are not approved for treating eczema, and use for this purpose is discouraged by the American Academy of Dermatology.
Benadryl for Heat Rash
OTC Benadryl products are not approved or effective for treating heat rash, which usually resolves on its own.
Benadryl for Sinus Pain
Although OTC Benadryl products aren't approved for sinus pain, certain oral formulations containing decongestants may help reduce congestion and sinus pressure.
Benadryl for Swelling
For severe swelling, diphenhydramine may be considered, but for milder cases, newer antihistamines are preferred.
Benadryl for Sunburn
Topical Benadryl products are approved for treating pain and itching caused by sunburn.
Benadryl serves as a versatile over-the-counter antihistamine, widely employed for managing a range of symptoms associated with allergies, hay fever, insect bites, and more. While it proves effective for various conditions, it is important to note that not all its uses are officially recommended by regulatory bodies or medical experts.
The medication's efficacy in treating allergies, though established, may be accompanied by side effects, such as sleepiness, prompting consideration of alternative, second-generation antihistamines. Benadryl's role in sleep improvement is not officially sanctioned, yet its active ingredient, diphenhydramine, is found in approved sleep aid products for occasional use.