Benadryl is a medication that is classified as an antihistamine. It uses diphenhydramine as the main ingredient. This works by blocking histamines that the body produces.
It is used in the treatment of sneezing, runny noses, itchy eyes, hives, rashes and many other allergy and cold symptoms.
It is also used to reduce coughing, in the treatment of carsickness, to help with sleep pattern maintenance and even in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in the early, mild stages.
Benadryl has been shown to increase lethargy and cause a dizzy feeling. This can impair your focus when driving or operating heavy machinery. Avoid doing these.
Do not drink alcohol while taking Benadryl. It can increase your chances of dizziness and possible injury due to your impaired focus.
Never take Benadryl if you have also been on an MAO inhibitor (MonoAmine Oxidase inhibitor) in the last 2 weeks. This could lead to a very severe reaction.
If you have glaucoma, eye pressure problems, stomach ulcers, prostate problems, bladder issues, urinary problems, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, heart problems or asthma, tell your doctor immediately.
The consequence of having these issues is a lowered dose of Benadryl, and the need for more frequent medical checkups and treatment.
Benadryl has been classified as safe for unborn children. You can take it while pregnant without worry, but talk to your doctor about it first.
If you are nursing a newborn, do not take this medicine. Infants and young children are very sensitive to the effects, and this could lead to side effects.
The likelihood of experiencing side effects is increased if you are over the age of 60. Your doctor may try to avoid this by prescribing a lower dosage.
When taking this medicine, take it exactly as you have been instructed to by your doctor. If you aren’t sure about the advice you have been given, don’t hesitate to ask again.
Drink each dose down with a glass of water. Meals have no effect on the impact that Benadryl has on the body so it can be taken with or without meals.
When used in the treatment of motion sickness, the dose must be taken at least half an hour before your journey begins. As long as you are exposed, take it during meals.
When taking this medication for sleep aid, take it about half an hour before your bedtime. When using the liquid form of the medicine, measure the doses with a pharmaceutical measuring spoon or cup.
Never take the medication in larger doses than you have been told to. The maximum dose you should be taking within 24 hours is 300mg. No more.
Missed doses and overdoses
If you miss a dose of Benadryl, take it as soon as you know. If you are about to take your next dose, ignore the one you missed. Never take an extra dose to make up for it.
If you overdose on this medicine, call your local poison helpline immediately. Also, seek emergency medical assistance as soon as you can.
Overdose symptoms include sleepiness, confusion, fever, flushing, tremors, insomnia, hallucinating and even seizures.
Common side effects include:
More severe side effects include:
Call your doctor immediately if you experience these side effects.
Stop taking this medicine immediately if you feel an allergic reaction occurring.
Do not take it if you have had an MAO inhibitor in the last 2 weeks.