Benadryl is a very common over-the-counter used to relieve symptoms of allergic rhinitis and the common cold, like runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes.
It is also used to relieve irritation or itching of the skin caused by insect bites, hives, eczema, sunburn, and other diseases like motion sickness and insomnia.
Although it is an effective drug, the risk associated with exemplary over-the-counter medications such as Benadryl is that you can easily continue taking it to relieve symptoms without noticing that you are exceeding the recommended dosage.
In this article, we will discuss the appropriate doses of the medicine and the risks of taking too much as well.
What is Benadryl?
Benadryl is a very known trade brand name. it contains diphenhydramine hydrochloride. It is an over-the-counter antihistamine that helps to relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies, colds, and itchy skin due to insect bites or allergic reactions.
Benadryl is available in many different forms which include:
- Oral (which is taken by mouth): tablets, chewable tablets, capsules with liquid filling, liquid gels, and liquid solution.
- Topical (which is used to apply on skin ): creams, gels, and sprays.
- Adults and children aged 12 years or older, can take one to two tablets or capsules orally every four to six hours or as directed by a doctor. You can be taken with or without food.
- Always follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
- If you are taking this medicine by prescription, the prescribing doctor will tell you how much medicine should be used. Do not use more than specified.
When taking or using Benadryl, you may consider the following safety and efficacy recommendations:
- Always check the expiration date. If the manufacturing date of the medicine has expired, safely dispose of it and buy a new package.
- Store Benadryl at room temperature (68-77F)
- Check all other medications that you or your child are taking to make sure that they also do not contain diphenhydramine or phenylephrine. Both are usually found in combination medications for colds, flu, or allergies. Pay special attention to local itching medications that may contain diphenhydramine. These drugs, including topical diphenhydramine, should never be used together with Benadryl.
- Do not take it with alcohol or sedatives.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult a doctor before taking Benadryl.
- People suffering from glaucoma, breathing problems due to emphysema or chronic bronchitis, or difficulty urinating due to prostate enlargement should consult a doctor before taking Benadryl.
- Although Benadryl is approved for children aged 6 years and older, allergy to Benadryl should not be used as a sleeping pill in children under 12 years of age.
- For motion sickness, take Benadryl 30 minutes before traveling If you are going on a long trip, take the following doses every six to eight hours.
- For each dose, write down the time in a diary or schedule to make sure that the next dose is not administered too early.
- Benadryl is a sedative, so do not work with mechanisms, and do not drive if you feel tired, dizzy, or distracted. It is a good idea to eliminate obstacles and dangers at home before taking diphenhydramine.
Most side effects do not require any kind of medical attention and disappear as your body adapts to the medication. Consult with your doctor if they persist or if you are worried about them
The following are the common side effects:
- Stomach pain/epigastric pain
- Impaired coordination
- Thickened respiratory tract secretions
- Allergic reaction
- Adults and adolescents (12 years or older): 25-50 mg every four to six hours.
- Pediatric patients (6-11 years of age): 25 mg every four to six hours.
- Renally impaired patients:
- Creatinine clearance 10-30 mL/min: No adjustment
- Dialysis: No adjustment and no supplement
- Other Cautions: Consult your doctor before taking this medicine if you have one of the following health conditions:
- Ocular hypertension or glaucoma
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Asthma or COPD
- GI obstruction or peptic ulcer disease
- Enlarged prostate
- Bladder neck obstruction
What is The Correct Intake of Benadryl?
The correct intake of Benadryl depends on various factors. Among these factors is the condition you are treating, your age, and the form of Benadryl you are using. Your doctor will advise you to take the lowest effective dose of Benadryl for as short a time as possible by best practice recommendations.
Following are the warnings you must consider :
- You should not use Benadryl to make children sleepy.
- When taking Benadryl, be careful when driving a car, operating machinery, or performing other dangerous activities. Diphenhydramine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid all these actions.
- Use alcohol with caution. Alcohol can increase drowsiness and dizziness when taking this medicine.
- Do not give this medicine to a child who is under 2 years of age. Always consult a doctor before giving cough or cold medicine to your child. Death can occur as a result of improper use of cough and cold medications in very young children.
It is not safe to take more than the recommended dose of over-the-counter medications, such as Benadryl. Taking too much Benadryl can cause serious problems, which include hallucinations, abnormal heart rhythms, seizures, and even death. Always carefully read the over-the-counter medications’ labels and ensure that you are taking the recommended daily dose.