Compare Benadryl vs. Nasonex

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

Benadryl
(Diphenhydramine)

Nasonex
(Mometasone)

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. Nasonex (Mometasone) is a good first-choice treatment for stuffy and runny noses caused by allergies.
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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 Nasonex (Mometasone)
68%
17% vs. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
38%
19% vs. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
8%
Same vs. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)
Side effects
BenadrylNasonex

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

FDA side effect reports for Benadryl »
  • Nosebleed 8%
  • Headache 4%
  • Viral infection 3%
  • Menstrual cramps 2%
  • Sinus inflammation 2%
  • Musculoskeletal pain 2%
  • Sore throat 2%
  • Coughing 1%
  • Vomiting 1%
More Nasonex side effects »
How it works
BenadrylNasonex
Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.Nasonex (Mometasone) is a topical steroid. It works directly where it's applied to help reduce swelling and inflammation in your nose.
Type of medication
BenadrylNasonex
Antihistamine
1st generation
Prescription or OTC
Anti-inflammatory
Corticosteroid
Prescription only
Available as
BenadrylNasonex
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Nasal spray
Used for (click to learn more)
BenadrylNasonex
Risk factors for serious side effects
BenadrylNasonex
  • 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 »
  • Long-term use
  • Long-term use
  • Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses
  • Long-term use
  • Exposure to immunizable diseases (chickenpox and measles)
  • Exposure to tuberculosis
  • Long-term use
  • Taking more than recommended dose
Detailed Nasonex (Mometasone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
BenadrylNasonex
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
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

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.

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.
No specific sleep-related info.
Weight
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
BenadrylNasonex
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Can be used as needed to help control symptoms in people age 13 years or older.
  • Available as a generic, which is cheaper.
Downsides and risks
BenadrylNasonex
  • 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.
  • Needs to be primed 10 times before it can be used, or re-primed if not used for more than 2 weeks.
  • Doesn't have a counter on it, so it can be hard to remember how many sprays are left (each bottle has 120 sprays).
  • Since the medicine in Nasonex (Mometasone) is a steroid, it can slow down your healing process if you've hurt your nose or had nose surgery.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
BenadrylNasonex
  • 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 Nasonex (Mometasone) 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 your 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
More about NasonexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert