Compare Benadryl vs. Nasacort AQ

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

Benadryl
(diphenhydramine)

Nasacort Aq
(triamcinolone)

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 allergy symptoms. Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is the only medication in its class available over the counter for treating stuffy and runny nose due to allergies. You have to use it every day for it to work.
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Coupons for Benadryl
Best available price for 30 (25mg) capsules of diphenhydramine
Coupons for Nasacort AQ
Best available price for 1 (15g of 0.1%) tube of ointment of triamcinolone
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.63Benadryl
Reviews for Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
86%
of people (All ages) say Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is worth it
59%
say it works well
8%
say it's a big hassle
294 reviews
Have you used Benadryl (diphenhydramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Nasacort Aq (triamcinolone)
67%
-19% worse vs. Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
39%
-20% worse vs. Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
10%
-2% worse vs. Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
328 reviews
Have you used Nasacort Aq (triamcinolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
BenadrylNasacort AQ

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

FDA side effect reports for Benadryl »
  • Sore throat 1%
  • Nosebleed 3%
  • Flu syndrome 2%
  • Bronchitis 2%
  • Indigestion 2%
  • Tooth disorder 2%
  • Headache 2%
  • Throat pain 2%
  • Common cold 1%
More Nasacort AQ side effects »
How it works
BenadrylNasacort AQ
Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is a nasal steroid. It works directly in your nose to help reduce swelling and inflammation from allergies.
Type of medication
BenadrylNasacort AQ
Prescription or OTC
Prescription or OTC
Available as
BenadrylNasacort AQ
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Nasal spray
Used for
BenadrylNasacort AQ
Risk factors for serious side effects
BenadrylNasacort AQ
  • 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
Detailed Benadryl (diphenhydramine) risks & warnings »
  • Long-term use
  • Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses
  • Exposure to immunizable diseases (chickenpox and measles)
  • Exposure to tuberculosis
Detailed Nasacort Aq (triamcinolone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
BenadrylNasacort AQ
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
No alcohol related info.
Sleep
BenadrylNasacort AQ
  • 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
BenadrylNasacort AQ
  • 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.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • First-choice medication for treating runny and stuffy noses caused by allergies. It works by reducing inflammation in the nose.
  • Because it's used directly where the inflammation is happening, it has fewer side effects than oral steroids do and has a lower chance of causing withdrawal symptoms once the medication is stopped.
Downsides and risks
BenadrylNasacort AQ
  • 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.
  • Can't be used on as-needed basis. Must be taken every day.
  • Doesn't have a counter on it, so it can be hard to remember how many sprays are left.
  • Since the medicine in Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) is a steroid, it can slow down your healing process if you've hurt your nose or had nose surgery.
  • Needs to be primed before use and re-primed if not used for more than 2 weeks.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BenadrylNasacort AQ
  • 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.
  • Use Nasacort Aq (Triamcinolone) once a day, following age-specific recommendations on how many sprays to use. Don't take more than prescribed.
  • Blow your nose before using.
  • Can cause thrush (a fungal infection) inside the nose and throat.
  • Can also cause nosebleeds, a sore throat, and headaches.
  • Needs to be used regularly during allergy season for it to work. It can take 1 to 2 weeks for the medicine to start working fully.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist on how to use the nasal spray the right way.
  • Shake well before using it. Before the first use, prime the bottle by spraying it until you see a fine mist.
Learn more
More about BenadrylSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Benadryl (diphenhydramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about Nasacort AQSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Nasacort Aq (triamcinolone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it