Compare Flonase vs. Benadryl

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

Flonase (Fluticasone)

Prescription or OTC

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)

Prescription or OTC
Relieves allergy symptoms.

Flonase (Fluticasone) is a good first-choice medicine for treating a runny or stuffy nose caused by allergies, and it's cheaper than some alternatives.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 890 reviewsforFlonase
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.

4.1/ 5 average rating with 294 reviewsforBenadryl
Upsides
  • 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 medication.
  • 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
  • Flonase (Fluticasone) doesn't have a counter on it, so it can be hard to remember how many sprays are left (each bottle has 120 sprays).
  • Needs to be primed (pressed/pumped until a fine spray appears) up to six times prior to using it for the first time, or if you haven't used it in 2 weeks.
  • Since the medicine in Flonase (Fluticasone) is a steroid, it can slow down your healing process if you've hurt your nose or had nose surgery.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Nasal spray
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
890 reviews so far
72%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
7%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Flonase (Fluticasone)?

Leave a review
294 reviews so far
86%
saidit'sworth it
59%
saiditworked well
8%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Flonase (Fluticasone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Adrenal suppression
    • Switching from oral or injectable steroids to inhaled, especially if used long term
    • Using other inhaled steroids with Flonase (Fluticasone)
  • Allergic reactions
  • Decrease in growth in children and teenagers
    • Long-term use
    • Taking more than recommended dose
  • Adrenal suppression
    • Switching from oral or injectable steroids to inhaled, especially if used long term
    • Using other inhaled steroids with Flonase (Fluticasone)
  • Thrush in the nose and throat
    • Long-term use
  • Reduced immune system
    • Exposure to immunizable diseases (chickenpox and measles)
    • Exposure to tuberculosis
  • Decreased wound healing
    • Surgery or trauma to the nose or sinuses
  • Changes in the nasal septum
    • Long-term use
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Overdose
    • Using other drugs with the same ingredients
  • Increased side effects
    • Age 65 years or older
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Hyperactivity
    • Children age 6 years and younger
  • Trouble urinating
    • Enlarged prostate
    • History of bladder problems
  • Vision changes
    • Glaucoma
  • Breastfeeding
    • Nursing mothers
See more detailed risks and warnings
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Disclaimer: We don't provide medical advice. If you think you might have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.