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Benadryl

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/10/2017
Benadryl Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 03/10/2017

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine used to treat allergies, hives, insomnia, motion sickness, and mild cases of Parkinsonism. Benadryl is available in generic form and over-the-counter (OTC). Common side effects of Benadryl include:

  • drowsiness,
  • fatigue,
  • tiredness,
  • sleepiness,
  • dizziness,
  • disturbed coordination,
  • constipation,
  • dry mouth/nose/throat,
  • difficulty urinating or an enlarged prostate,
  • upset stomach,
  • blurred vision,
  • double vision,
  • tremor,
  • loss of appetite,
  • headache, or
  • nausea.

A typical dose of Benadryl is 25-50 mg every 4-6 hours. Benadryl may interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), other over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, or insomnia medications, anxiety or sleep medicines, antidepressants, or any other medications that make you feel drowsy, sleepy, or relaxed. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Benadryl has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women. Benadryl is secreted in breast milk. Because of the risk of stimulation and seizures in infants, especially newborns and premature infants, antihistamines should not be used by nursing mothers.

Our Benadryl Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Benadryl Consumer Information

Stop taking diphenhydramine and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take diphenhydramine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • sleepiness, fatigue, or dizziness;
  • headache;
  • dry mouth; or
  • difficulty urinating or an enlarged prostate.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)

Benadryl Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

When using this product:

  • marked drowsiness may occur
  • avoid alcoholic drinks
  • alcohol, sedatives, and tranquilizers may increase drowsiness
  • excitability may occur, especially in children
  • be careful when driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)

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