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

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

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.

5.6/ 7 average rating with 294 reviewsforBenadryl
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.

Upsides
  • 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
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
294 
86%
think this treatment is worth it
59%
think this treatment works well
8%
think this treatment is a hassle

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Side effects
The Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Doxylamine / Dextromethorphan / Phenylephrine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and warnings
  • Overdose

    Using other drugs with the same ingredients

  • Increased side effects

    Age 65 years or older

  • Driving impairment

    Taking with alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Hyperactivity

    Children age 6 years and younger

  • Trouble urinating

    Enlarged prostate

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Vision changes

    Glaucoma

  • Breastfeeding

    Nursing mothers

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Liver damage

    Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • High blood pressure

    History of high blood pressure

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Chronic cough from an infection

    History of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Driving impairment

    Taking with alcohol

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Antihistamine side effects

    Age 65 years or older

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Serotonin syndrome

    Using other medications that affect serotonin

See more detailed risks and warnings