Benadryl

(Diphenhydramine)

4.1/ 5 average rating with 294 reviewsforBenadryl
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Treats allergy symptoms and helps you sleep.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is great for allergies, but curl up on the couch after taking it and get ready for a nap.

Quick facts about Benadryl
  • Drug class: Respiratory
  • Rx status: Prescription or OTC
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (diphenhydramine)

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.
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What to expect from Benadryl, on one page

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People’s experience with Benadryl

294reviews so far. What do you think?

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.
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What to expect from Benadryl, on one page

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How it works

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine. It blocks histamine, a chemical that causes congestion, itching, and other allergic reactions. It also makes you sleepy.

Quick facts about Benadryl
  • Drug class: Respiratory
  • Rx status: Prescription or OTC
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (diphenhydramine)

Dosage forms

  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
People’s experience with Benadryl

294reviews so far. What do you think?

What to expect when you take Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) for Allergies

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  • Effectiveness
  • Full effects
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  • Possible side effects
  • Drowsiness
  • Next-day sleepiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty urinating
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Side effect rates for Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)

0 reports
These are side effects of Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.
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Risks and Warnings for Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Using other drugs with the same ingredients

    There are a variety of over-the-counter medications with the same ingredients as Benadryl (Diphenhydramine). It's not safe to use more than one medication containing diphenhydramine (the ingredient in Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)) at the same time. Read package labels carefully to make sure you take the right dose of these medications.

Common concerns from people taking Benadryl (Diphenhydramine)

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Pregnancy

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

Tip: Always talk with your doctor before you take any medication while pregnant.
FDA pregnancy category for Benadryl
BProbably safe
Alcohol
  • Don't take it with alcohol or other drugs that make you sleepy.
Sleep
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you tired, so take it before you go to sleep.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) makes you more tired than Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec.
  • Worth it
    Some hassle
    Reviewed Benadrylon 9/5/2017About drowsiness.
    23
    Woman
    Less than a week
    Insomnia
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Benadrylon 7/15/2017Take one during the day, but if you're ready to go to bed take two, it will work better and help you sleep.
    16
    Man
    A couple weeks
    Itchy skin
  • Worth it
    Low hassle
    Reviewed Benadrylon 8/17/2016Be cautious it can cause drowsiness
    22
    Woman
    Itchy skin