Benadryl is an allergy and itch relief medication prescribed for adults and children.
How It Works
The active ingredient in Benadryl is an antihistamine called diphenhydramine. Antihistamines block the immune system from producing a substance called histamines. Immune system uses histamines to fight off foreign bodies (allergens, viruses, pollen, etc) that enter the body, resulting in issues such as inflammation and hives. By blocking the production of histamines, Benadryl can relieve symptoms of common allergies.
Benadryl is used to treat allergic reactions, hay fever and symptoms of cold. It is also used to reduce the itchiness, swelling and inflammation caused by poison ivy, poison oak, insect bites, poison sumac, minor cuts or burns. Injections of Benadryl are also used to treat severe allergic reactions, motion sickness and occasionally symptoms of mild Parkinson’s disease.
Because Benadryl can reduce symptoms such as nasal congestions, it is also prescribed to treat insomnia. People who snore, which can be caused by nasal obstructions, may also be advised to use antihistamines like Benadryl to clear up the nasal passageways to relieve snoring.
Benadryl can be applied topically onto skin, taken orally or injected depending on the condition that requires treatment.
Dosage of Benadryl varies depending on the form of the medication being used. A doctor may prescribe a set dosage of Benadryl when taken orally or injected.
Benadryl topical cream should be applied evenly onto the skin to treat skin inflammation, swelling or itching. Use a small amount and rub gently, or do as instructed by a physician.
Your doctor will prescribe a suitable dosage of Benadryl oral tablets depending on your condition, severity and response to treatment. Follow the doctor’s instructions exactly as prescribed when taking Benadryl orally.
If Benadryl is prescribed to be taken according to a dosage schedule, follow the schedule exactly as instructed. Do not miss doses or take more of the drug than advised. Taking higher doses of Benadryl in any form can result in unintended side effects.
Benadryl may cause one or more of the following side effects:
Thickening of bronchial secretions
Side effects may vary depending on the form of Benadryl you are taking.
Side effects should disappear in a day or two. If they do not, or worsens over time, immediately seek medical care.
Do not take Benadryl if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the medication.
Do not use Benadryl if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) in the past 14 days. Benadryl is known to dangerously react with MAOIs. Examples of MAOIs that are harmful to use with Benadryl include tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), and isocarboxazid (Marplan).
Benadryl may not be safe to use if you suffer from any of these conditions: glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye, stomach ulcers, enlarged prostate, bladder problems or urinating difficulties, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, any type of heart problems, and asthma.
Benadryl oral tablets or capsules can be taken with or without food. Take the pills with a glass of water to make swallowing easy.