Compare Benadryl vs. Advil Cold and Sinus

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Benadryl
(Diphenhydramine)

Advil Cold And Sinus
(Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine)

Treats allergy symptoms and helps you sleep. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is great for allergies, but curl up on the couch after taking it and get ready for a nap.Relieves sinus pain and congestion. Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) is a good combination medicine to relieve pain and congestion, but it's more medicine than you need if you only have one symptom.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.5767790262172285Benadryl
Reviews for Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
85%
of people say Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is worth it
57%
say it works well
8%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine)
75%
10% vs. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
34%
23% vs. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
6%
+2% vs. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
Side effects
BenadrylAdvil Cold and Sinus

We haven’t found good data for Benadryl side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Benadryl »

We haven’t found good data for Advil Cold and Sinus side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Advil Cold and Sinus »
How it works
BenadrylAdvil Cold and Sinus
Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) is a combination medicine that relieves cold symptoms and sinus pressure. Ibuprofen (an NSAID) relieves pain and reduces fever. Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) clears your sinuses.
Type of medication
BenadrylAdvil Cold and Sinus
Antihistamine
1st generation
Prescription or OTC
Pain reliever
NSAID
DecongestantOver-the-counter
Available as
BenadrylAdvil Cold and Sinus
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
BenadrylAdvil Cold and Sinus
Risk factors for serious side effects
BenadrylAdvil Cold and Sinus
  • Using other drugs with the same ingredients
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Children age 6 years and younger
  • Enlarged prostate
  • History of bladder problems
  • Glaucoma
  • Nursing mothers
Detailed Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) risks & warnings »
  • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
  • Age 60 years or older
  • Taking aspirin, NSAIDs, or blood thinners
  • Drinking more than 3 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Women of childbearing age
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Heart failure
  • Liver disease
  • Taking high blood pressure medications
  • Age 65 years or older
  • History of heart problems
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Taking with aspirin
Detailed Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
BenadrylAdvil Cold and Sinus
BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

See the FDA package insert
NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

See the FDA package insert
Alcohol
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
No specific alcohol-related info.
Food
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
  • Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) contains ibuprofen, an NSAID that can lower kidney function or cause damage. Taking the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time lowers your risk. Your doctor should check your kidney function if you take Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) for any amount of time.
Sex
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
Sleep
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
  • People age 65 years and older have a higher risk of side effects from taking antihistamine medications like Benadryl (Diphenhydramine). Watch for changes in vision, severe dry mouth, trouble urinating, or constipation. The drowsiness caused by Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) can make you "unsteady" on your feet, leading to a higher chance of falls.
No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
BenadrylAdvil Cold and Sinus
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is often better than other antihistamines at treating allergy symptoms and hives.
  • It can provide quick relief of allergy symptoms for both kids and adults.
  • It makes you sleepy, so it'll help if your allergies are bothering you at night.
  • The effects wear off in 4 to 6 hours, so side effects don't last that long.
  • It comes as a tablet, capsule, liquid, and quick dissolving tablet.
  • Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) is a combination medicine that relieves cold symptoms. It's good to use if you have congestion, sore throat, headache, or fever.
  • Ibuprofen (a pain reliever) is more effective than acetaminophen at lowering fever and relieving sinus pain.
  • Pseudoephedrine (a decongestant) clears nose congestion to help you breathe better.
Downsides and risks
BenadrylAdvil Cold and Sinus
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you more tired than Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.
  • You shouldn't drive after taking Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) until you know how it affects you.
  • Talk to a pediatrician before giving Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) to a child.
  • It can increase the risk of falls, so elderly people shouldn't use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine).
  • Don't use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) if you are breastfeeding.
  • If you don't need both of the medications in this combination, you'd be taking extra medicine and can have extra side effects for no reason.
  • The pain reliever (ibuprofen) can interact with other medications and make health problems like stomach bleeding and ulcers worse.
  • It's not safe to take ibuprofen if you're pregnant since it increases the risk of heart defects in babies.
  • Pseudoephedrine, the decongestant in Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine), can make your heart race or make you feel anxious and restless.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BenadrylAdvil Cold and Sinus
  • Take it as needed every 4 to 6 hours.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) can make you dehydrated, so avoid this side effect by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
  • If you need to use it for more than a few weeks, talk with your doctor. A different medication might work better for you long-term.
  • If you only have itchy or watery eyes, try using just an antihistamine eye drop.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes.
  • You need to show an ID to buy Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) in the drugstore because it contains pseudoephedrine.
  • Don't take it if you have an allergy to aspirin since ibuprofen can cause a similar reaction.
  • Take it after eating to avoid getting an upset stomach.
  • Can cause an irregular or fast heartbeat, and can raise your blood pressure.
  • Be careful taking Advil Cold And Sinus (Ibuprofen / Pseudoephedrine) if you have a history of bleeding problems or ulcers since it can make them worse.
  • Talk to your doctor if symptoms don't get better in 1 week.
Learn more
More about BenadrylSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Advil Cold and SinusSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert