Compare Benadryl vs. Dimetapp Cold and Allergy

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

Benadryl
(Diphenhydramine)

Dimetapp Cold And Allergy
(Phenylephrine / Brompheniramine)

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 congestion and allergy symptoms for kids. Dimetapp Cold And Allergy (Phenylephrine / Brompheniramine) is good for multiple nasal symptoms, but it can make you really drowsy.
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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

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Side effects
BenadrylDimetapp Cold and Allergy

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

FDA side effect reports for Benadryl »

We haven’t found good data for Dimetapp Cold and Allergy side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Dimetapp Cold and Allergy »
How it works
BenadrylDimetapp Cold and Allergy
Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.Dimetapp Cold And Allergy (Phenylephrine / Brompheniramine) is a combination medicine that relieves allergy and cold symptoms. Brompheniramine (an antihistamine) prevents allergy symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes or skin. Phenylephrine (a decongestant) clears your sinuses.
Type of medication
BenadrylDimetapp Cold and Allergy
Antihistamine
1st generation
Prescription or OTC
DecongestantAntihistamine
1st generation
Over-the-counter
Available as
BenadrylDimetapp Cold and Allergy
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
BenadrylDimetapp Cold and Allergy
Risk factors for serious side effects
BenadrylDimetapp Cold and Allergy
  • 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 »
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking with other medicines that make you less alert
  • Women of childbearing age
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking MAO inhibitors
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Glaucoma
  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH)
Detailed Dimetapp Cold And Allergy (Phenylephrine / Brompheniramine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
BenadrylDimetapp Cold and Allergy
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.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
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.
  • Brompheniramine (the antihistamine) can cause dizziness, drowsiness, dry eyes/mouth, and constipation.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
BenadrylDimetapp Cold and Allergy
  • 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.
  • Dimetapp Cold And Allergy (Phenylephrine / Brompheniramine) is a combination medicine with a decongestant and an antihistamine that's helpful in treating nasal symptoms related to cold and allergy.
  • Brompheniramine (the antihistamine) is useful for itchy eyes, runny nose, or constant sneezing.
  • Phenylephrine (the decongestant) is good for relieving congestion.
Downsides and risks
BenadrylDimetapp Cold and Allergy
  • 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 both of the medications in this combination, you'd be taking extra medicine and might have extra side effects for no reason.
  • Brompheniramine (the antihistamine) can cause dizziness, drowsiness, dry eyes/mouth, and constipation.
  • Phenylephrine (the decongestant) doesn't last as long as other oral decongestants like pseudoephedrine, but can cause jitteriness.
  • The two medications in this medicine can somewhat work against each other, with one making you sleepy and the other making you jittery.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BenadrylDimetapp Cold and Allergy
  • 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.
  • Only use the provided dosage cup to measure the medicine. Don't use a spoon.
  • Follow the age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Don't take more than what's recommended on the package.
  • Talk to a doctor if the symptoms don't get better in 1 week.
Learn more
More about BenadrylSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about Dimetapp Cold and AllergySide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert