Compare Benadryl vs. Valium

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

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Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)

Prescription or OTC

Valium (diazepam)

Prescription only
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
Helps you relax.

Valium (diazepam) is effective for occasional or short-term use for anxiety and muscle spasm. Compared to similar drugs, Valium (diazepam) acts very quickly but can have interactions with other medicines.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 976 reviewsforValium
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Valium (diazepam) effectively relieves anxiety and muscle spasms.
  • Valium (diazepam) has less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other similar drugs.
  • Works very quickly.
  • Available in generic.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Use of Valium (diazepam) can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Valium (diazepam) can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment.
  • Most people find that their body will get used to Valium (diazepam) levels and they may need higher doses over time to achieve the same effect.
  • People with severe liver problems should not take Valium (diazepam). Several drugs can also interfere with how Valium (diazepam) works.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
294 reviews so far
86%
saidit'sworth it
59%
saiditworked well
8%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)?

Leave a review
976 reviews so far
70%
saidit'sworth it
53%
saiditworked well
15%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Valium (diazepam)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Valium (diazepam) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Decreased breathing from use with opioids
    • Taking Valium (diazepam) with opioids, drugs or alcohol
    • Using Valium (diazepam) for a longer duration and at high doses
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • History of substance abuse
    • Taking with alcohol or drugs
    • Taking long-term
    • Taking a higher dose
    • Stopping Valium (diazepam) suddenly
  • Driving impairment
    • Alcohol use with Valium (diazepam)
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Drug interactions
    • Current liver problems
    • Taking Tagamet, ketoconazole, Prozac, Prilosec
See more detailed risks and warnings