Compare Cortisone vs. Benadryl

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

cortisone

Benadryl
(diphenhydramine)

Coming soon.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.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Cortisone?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Benadryl
86%
-36% worse vs. Cortisone
59%
-9% worse vs. Cortisone
8%
+8% better vs. Cortisone
294 reviews
Have you used Benadryl (diphenhydramine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
CortisoneBenadryl

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

FDA side effect reports for Cortisone »

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

FDA side effect reports for Benadryl »
How it works
CortisoneBenadryl
Coming soon.Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.
Type of medication
CortisoneBenadryl
Prescription or OTC
Available as
CortisoneBenadryl
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for
CortisoneBenadryl
  • Acute Lymphoid Leukemia Adrenal Insufficiency Allergic Disorder Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia Collagen Disease Disorder Of Endocrine System Disorder Of Eye Disorder Of Gastrointestinal Tract Disorder Of Hematopoietic Structure Disorder Of Respiratory System Disorder Of Skin Hodgkins Disease Hypercalcemia Of Malignancy Inflammatory Disorder Of Musculoskeletal System Mycosis Fungoides Neoplastic Disease Nephrotic Syndrome Non Hodgkins Lymphoma Trichinosis Tuberculosis Of Meninges Adjunct
Risk factors for serious side effects
CortisoneBenadryl
    Coming soon.
    • 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 »
    Pregnancy

    Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

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

    Alcohol
    CortisoneBenadryl
    No alcohol related info.
    • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
    Sleep
    CortisoneBenadryl
    No sleep related info.
    • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
    • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you more tired than Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.
    Upsides and benefits
    CortisoneBenadryl
    Coming soon
    • 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.
    Downsides and risks
    CortisoneBenadryl
    Coming soon
    • 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.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    CortisoneBenadryl
    Coming soon
    • 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.
    Learn more
    More about CortisoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Cortisone?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about BenadrylSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Benadryl (diphenhydramine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it