Compare Benadryl vs. Nyquil Cold And Flu

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

Benadryl
(diphenhydramine)

Nyquil Cold And Flu
(acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / doxylamine)

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. Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine) is a useful combination medicine that relieves cold and flu symptoms and will help you sleep. Make sure you really need all of its ingredients.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.63Benadryl
Reviews for Benadryl
86%
of people (All ages) say Benadryl 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 Nyquil Cold And Flu
83%
+3% better vs. Benadryl
42%
+17% better vs. Benadryl
7%
-1% worse vs. Benadryl
1188 reviews
Have you used Nyquil Cold And Flu (acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / doxylamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
BenadrylNyquil 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 Nyquil Cold And Flu side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Nyquil Cold And Flu »
How it works
BenadrylNyquil 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.Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine) is a combination medicine that treats cold and flu symptoms. Acetaminophen relieves pain and reduces fever. Dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant. Doxylamine is an antihistamine that relieves a runny nose and makes you very sleepy.
Type of medication
BenadrylNyquil Cold And Flu
Prescription or OTCOver-the-counter
Available as
BenadrylNyquil Cold And Flu
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
BenadrylNyquil Cold And Flu
Risk factors for serious side effects
BenadrylNyquil 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
Detailed Benadryl (diphenhydramine) risks & warnings »
  • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Taking with other Tylenol-containing medicines
  • History of liver disease
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Taking with alcohol
Detailed Nyquil Cold And Flu (acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / doxylamine) 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
BenadrylNyquil Cold And Flu
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
  • Avoid using alcohol and other drugs that make you drowsy.
Kidneys and liver
BenadrylNyquil 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
BenadrylNyquil 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.
Sleep
BenadrylNyquil Cold And Flu
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you more tired than Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
BenadrylNyquil 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.
  • Nyquil Cold And Flu (Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Doxylamine) is a combination medicine that relieves multiple cold symptoms. It's good to use if you have watery eyes, a cough, fever, and pain.
  • The cough medicine (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) will help you sleep.
Downsides and risks
BenadrylNyquil 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.
  • 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
BenadrylNyquil 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.
  • Doxylamine (the antihistamine ingredient) can make you tired, so take it close to bedtime.
  • Follow age-specific dosing instructions on how much to take. Don't take more than recommended on the package.
  • 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.
  • Avoid using alcohol and other drugs that make you drowsy.
  • 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 Nyquil Cold And FluSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Nyquil Cold And Flu (acetaminophen / dextromethorphan / doxylamine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it