Compare Benadryl vs. Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu

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

Benadryl
(Diphenhydramine)

Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
(Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine)

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 cold and flu symptoms, and helps you sleep. Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) is good for multiple cold symptoms at night, but it's more medicine than you need if you only have one symptom.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.5767790262172285Benadryl
Reviews for Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
85%
of people (All ages) say Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is worth it
57%
say it works well
8%
say it's a big hassle
267 reviews
Have you used Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu

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

FDA side effect reports for Benadryl »

We haven’t found good data for Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu »
How it works
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) is a combination medicine that treats cold and flu symptoms. Acetaminophen relieves pain and reduces fever. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. Phenylephrine is a decongestant that clears your sinuses. Doxylamine is an antihistamine that relieves a runny nose and makes you very sleepy.
Type of medication
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
Antihistamine
1st generation
Prescription or OTC
Pain reliever
Acetaminophen (APAP)
Antihistamine
Ethanolamine derivative
Cough suppressantDecongestantOver-the-counter
Available as
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
Risk factors for serious side effects
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
  • 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 »
  • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
  • History of liver disease
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking MAO inhibitors
  • History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • History of smoking
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking with other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Glaucoma
  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
Detailed Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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

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.

Alcohol
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
No alcohol related info.
Kidneys and liver
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • To avoid hurting your liver, you have to keep track of the total amount of acetaminophen (APAP) you're taking since it's a very common ingredient in pain and cold/flu combination medicines.
Pain
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
No pain related info.
  • The pain reliever (acetaminophen) is easier on your stomach and has fewer drug interactions than other pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • To avoid hurting your liver, you have to keep track of the total amount of acetaminophen (APAP) you're taking since it's a very common ingredient in pain and cold/flu combination medicines.
Sleep
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you more tired than Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
  • 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.
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) is a combination medicine that relieves multiple cold symptoms. It's good to use if you have a stuffy nose, a cough, fever, and pain.
  • The decongestant (phenylephrine) has fewer side effects than other decongestants like pseudoephedrine. It doesn't raise your blood pressure and heart rate as much, or cause as much trouble falling asleep.
  • The cough suppressant (dextromethorphan) works well and has very few side effects.
  • The pain reliever (acetaminophen) is easier on your stomach and has fewer drug interactions than other pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • The antihistamine (doxylamine) can help you sleep.
Downsides and risks
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
  • 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 really need all of the medications in this combination, you're taking extra medicine and might have extra side effects for no reason.
  • Phenylephrine doesn't last as long as other decongestants like pseudoephedrine.
  • You shouldn't use it if you have high blood pressure.
  • To avoid hurting your liver, you have to keep track of the total amount of acetaminophen (APAP) you're taking since it's a very common ingredient in pain and cold/flu combination medicines.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BenadrylAlka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu
  • 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.
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) starts working in about 30 minutes.
  • Doxylamine (the antihistamine ingredient) can make you tired, so take it close to bedtime.
  • Contains acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol or APAP. Taking too much can cause liver failure and death. Don't take more than what's recommended on the package or with other Tylenol-containing products.
  • Let your doctor know if your symptoms don't improve in a few days, or if you have a really bad sore throat with a fever, headache, nausea, or vomiting.
Learn more
More about BenadrylSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And FluSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it