Scroll horizontally → to see comparisons



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.
How it works
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
Coming soon.
1st generation
Prescription or OTC
Available as
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Used for (click to learn more)
  • 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 Hodgkin's disease Hypercalcemia of malignancy Inflammatory disorder of musculoskeletal system Mycosis fungoides Neoplastic disease Nephrotic syndrome Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Trichinosis Tuberculosis of meninges; Adjunct
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
of people
say cortisone is worth it
say it works well
say it’s a big hassle
of people
say Benadryl is worth it
say it works well
say it’s a big hassle
Side effects

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 »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Coming soon.
Pregnancy category

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.

See the FDA package insert
DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

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
BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)
No specific alcohol-related info.
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
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.
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
No specific sleep-related info.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
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
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
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
More about BenadrylSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Compare other medications ›