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Benadryl vs. Atarax

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Are Benadryl and Atarax the Same Thing?

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and Atarax (hydroxyzine hydrochloride) are antihistamines used to treat symptoms of itching due to allergies.

Benadryl is also used to treat insomnia, motion sickness, and mild cases of Parkinsonism.

Atarax is also used for symptomatic relief of anxiety and tension associated with psychoneurosis and as an adjunct in organic disease states in which anxiety is manifested.

Benadryl is available in generic form and over-the-counter (OTC) while Atarax is available by prescription.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Benadryl?

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.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Atarax?

Common side effects of Atarax include:

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Atarax including mental/mood changes (such as restlessness, confusion, hallucinations), shaking (tremor), difficulty urinating, or fast/irregular heartbeat. Hydroxyzine is available in generic form.

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine used to treat allergies, hives, insomnia, motion sickness, and mild cases of Parkinsonism.

What is Atarax?

What is Atarax?

Atarax (hydroxyzine hydrochloride) is an antihistamine with anticholinergic (drying) and sedative properties used for symptomatic relief of anxiety and tension associated with psychoneurosis and as an adjunct in organic disease states in which anxiety is manifested.

What Drugs Interact With Benadryl?

Benadryl may interact with other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety).

Benadryl may also interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

What Drugs Interact With Atarax?

Atarax may interact with other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety).

How Should Benadryl Be Taken?

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.

How Should Atarax Be Taken?

For symptomatic relief of anxiety and tension associated with psychoneurosis and as an adjunct in organic disease states in which anxiety is manifested the adult dose of Atarax is 50-100 mg four times/day. Hydroxyzine Hydrochloride is administered orally in the form of tablets. Hydroxyzine Hydrochloride should be used with caution if used in combination with CNS depressants. Therefore, when central nervous system depressants are administered concomitantly with hydroxyzine their dosage should be reduced. During pregnancy, Atarax should be used only if prescribed. It is unknown if Atarax passes into breast milk. Breastfeeding while using Atarax is not recommended.

Reviewed on 2/13/2018

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

SOURCE:

RxList. Benadryl Medication Guide.

https://www.rxlist.com/benadryl-drug.htm#medguide

RxList. Atarax Side Effects Drug Center.

https://www.rxlist.com/atarax-side-effects-drug-center.htm

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