What is Benadryl?
Benadryl is the Diphenhydramine trade name (DPH) is an antihistamine prescribed by doctors to treat allergies. Doctors also use it to treat the symptoms of insomnia, nausea, common cold. Benadryl is available in both oral and injection form. It is an over-the-counter medication for motion sickness. You can avail of this medication with or without a prescription from a doctor. Benadryl works by blocking the release of a particular chemical (histamine) formed by the body during an allergic reaction.
What to know before taking Benadryl?
You should avoid taking Benadryl if you are allergic to it or any of its components. To ensure Benadryl is safe for you, you should tell your doctor if you have or ever had the following medical conditions:
- Blockage in your digestive system
- Problem in gallbladder
- Urination problem
- Colostomy or ileostomy
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Asthma or other severe breathing problem
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Cough with mucus
- Heart disease
- Low blood pressure
Lactating mothers should not use Benadryl as it may pass to breast milk and harm the nursing baby. Expecting mothers should consult their doctor before taking this medication. You must tell your doctor if you are taking any potassium supplements.
How to take Benadryl?
You should take the medication exactly as prescribed by the doctor. You take care of all the directions on the prescription label and medicine label. Please don’t take it more often than prescribed. The doctors do not recommend Benadryl for children below two years of age. Misuse of Benadryl among young children can be fatal.
You should consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve even after seven days of treatment or you still have a cough, fever, headache, or skin rashes. It can cause some allergic reactions to the skin; tell your doctor if you experience the same. You can take Benadryl as a sleeping medication or medicine for motion sickness. Keep the drug out of children’s reach and store it at room temperature away from heat and moisture. After completion of treatment, you should dispose of all the leftover medicines properly. You can dispose of medication with the help of a pharmacist nearby you, or you can dispose of it by flushing it down in the toilet.
Dosages of Benadryl vary from patient to patient; therefore, the doctor can prescribe the dosages of this medication depending upon several factors such as:
- Age and weight of the patient
- The seriousness of the condition
- Other medical conditions of the patient
- Other medicines used by the patient
The following are the average dose of Benadryl that can be prescribed by the doctor.
In oral form
For adults and children (12 years or above)
25 mg to 50 mg, once or twice a day, as prescribed by the doctor. He may increase or decrease the dosage of Benadryl if he thinks fit.
For children (6 to 12 years)
12.5 mg to 25 mg, once or twice a day, as prescribed by the doctor. He may increase or decrease the dosage of Benadryl if he thinks fit.
For children (below six years)
The doctor will prescribe the dosage for this age group.
In the form of an injection
For adults (18 years or above)
10 mg to 50 mg through IV in a day, He may increase or decrease Benadryl’sBenadryl’s dosage if he thinks fit. Doctors can prescribe the dose of Benadryl upto 100 mg if they feel appropriate. The maximum amount of this medication in a day can be 400 mg.
For children (below 18 years of age)
The average dose of Benadryl is dependent upon the weight of the child. The doctor can prescribe this medication as 5 mg/ kg twice or thrice a day. He may increase or decrease the dosage of Benadryl if he thinks fit. The maximum dose of Benadryl for this age group can be 25 mg in a day.
There are no specific Benadryl overdose symptoms, but if you ever feel uneasy while taking this medication, you can consult your doctor and seek a medical assistant. You can also call the poison helpline number at 1-800-222-1222.
What to avoid while using Benadryl?
It would be best to avoid alcohol and other alcoholic drinks as the interaction between them can be dangerous. Benadryl may impair your reactions and thinking ability; therefore, you should try not to involve in activities that demand attention and alertness. Before taking Benadryl, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other over-the-counter medications that you are taking.
Benadryl side effects
Some of the common side effects of using Benadryl are as follows:
- Dizziness and drowsiness
- Loss of coordination
- Dry mouth, nose, or throat
- Upset stomach
- Blurred vision dry eyes
- Day time drowsiness
The list as mentioned above of symptoms is inclusive. It is okay to experience mild side effect symptoms, but if these symptoms bother you so much, you should consult your doctor.
You should stop using this medication and consult your doctor if you are experiencing the following problems:
- Pounding heartbeats
- Fluttering in chest
- Little or painful urination
- Tightness in jaw or neck
- Uncontrollable movement of the tongue
- Any allergic reaction to Benadryl
What drugs can interact with Benadryl?
If your doctor is treating you with Benadryl, he must be knowing all the possible interactions with other drugs. It is your responsibility to tell the doctor about all the over the counter medicines you take or taken in the past few days. Some of the following medications which can interact with Benadryl are:
- Vitamin supplements
- Over the counter medications
- Anti-anxiety tablets
- Mental illness medications
- Sleeping pills
- Narcotic drugs
- Medicines for seizures
- Opioid medications
- Potassium supplements
The list mentioned above of drugs that can interact with Benadryl is inclusive.