Goodbye, Benadryl – it is time for you to retire

This has become, by far, the most-discussed and most-hated post that I’ve ever written. In retrospect I should have been much more explicit: I’m talking here about using Benadryl as an antihistamine to treat allergic disease. A follow-up post includes about 10 links to well-supported, recent guidelines that support my contention that Benadryl is not a good choice to treat allergic disease. Newer agents are faster, more effective, and safer. 


The Pediatric Insider

© 2019 Roy Benaroch, MD

Sometimes, old ideas and time-tested treatments remain the best. Newer doesn’t always mean better. Except, in the case of tried-and-true Benadryl. It is time for that old drug to be retired, sent off to pasture, and never used again. Goodbye, Benadryl. Fare thee well, adieu, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) was introduced in 1946. The top single that year was Perry Como’s “Prisoner of Love,” and, with all due respect, neither has aged well. Back in 1946, medicines like Benadryl didn’t have to pass the stringent safety and efficacy standards now required. And there’s zero chance, today, it would every have been approved for over-the-counter sale – and even if it made it as a prescription medicine, it would be plastered with warning labels.

tl;dr: Newer & better alternatives to treating any allergic disease are cetirizine (Zyrtec), loratadine (Claritin), and fexofenadine (Allegra). These are all safer, faster, and more effective. There is no situation where Benadryl is a better choice as an oral medication. No one should be using Benadryl for anything.


Benadryl isn’t safe

Benadryl causes significant sedation. One study in a driving simulator showed an ordinary adult dose of Benadryl caused worse driving than a blood alcohol level of 0.1% (that’s fairly drunk, probably between buzzed-drunk and frat-party drunk). Ordinary doses of Benadryl can also commonly cause urinary retention, dizziness, trouble with coordination, dry mouth, blurry vision, and constipation.

But more importantly, in an overdose Benadryl becomes very dangerous. It has caused respiratory depression, coma, heart arrythmias, and death in children and adults, and in doses that aren’t super-high. This is not safe stuff to have in the house with an exploring toddler, or in a teenager who might help themselves to whatever is in the medicine cabinet.


Newer alternatives are much safer

In the 1980’s, newer-generation antihistamines were introduced. At first, they required a prescription and were crazy-expensive; now, the best of these are cheap, generic, and easily available OTC.

These medicines were developed to address the serious safety concerns of Benadryl and other older antihistamines. They do not cross the “blood brain barrier”, cause minimal if any sedation, and don’t cause nearly as many of the other side effects. And, bonus, they’re not very dangerous even in massive overdoses. A recent review quoted that there has never been a death even in instances of up to 30 times the recommended dosing.


Newer alternatives are more effective, act more quickly, and last longer

In a serious allergic reaction, we want a treatment that’s quick and effective. Keep in mind that in the case of anaphylaxis, the most serious allergic reaction, antihistamines are NOT the correct, first-line treatment. Anyone experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, which can include a loss of consciousness, trouble breathing, and widespread hives and flushing, should immediate and without hesitation be given epinephrine by injection. Epinephrine should never be delayed while looking for or preparing an antihistamine. Antihistamines do not save lives. Epinephrine does. Keep your eye on the ball.

But for more-mild allergic reactions, like simple hives, an antihistamine is a good idea. And some docs still prefer Benadryl, since it’s been around forever. But the newer drugs are much more effective. They begin working more quickly, they are more effective at controlling symptoms, and they last much longer – so symptoms are less likely to return. And, bonus, since side effects are minimal, doctors can safely prescribe regimens even up to four times the labeled doses for specific indications (this has been studied extensively). For routine use, follow the label instructions – talk to your doctor if that’s not working, or if you think a higher dose is needed.


Benadryl and its generics (diphenhydramine and many combo meds) are still very popular sellers, and many docs and nurses still recommended it. This is just out of habit and inertia – there is no good reason, under any circumstances, where Benadryl is the right choice when an oral antihistamine is needed. It’s not 1946. It’s time for Benadryl to be permanently taken off the market and relegated to the history books.

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65 Comments on “Goodbye, Benadryl – it is time for you to retire”

  1. Sallie Says:

    So what are the better antihistamine choices??


  2. Dr. Roy Says:

    Cetirizine (Zyrtec), loratidine (Claritin), fexofenidine (Allegra.)


  3. Desiree Says:

    Thank you! I was under the impression that Claritin and Zyrtec took almost 24 hrs to “build up” in the system, so I had been buying Benadryl for short term allergic reaction (visiting dog or cat) for my kids. I will throw that bottle out ASAP! Are both Claritin & Zyrtec equal?


  4. Dr. Roy Says:

    One study found that for some measures of treatment of allergic rhinitis, cetirizine (Zyrtec) was superior to loratidine (Claritin): Zyrtec is probably a little more sedating than loratidine, but both are far less sedating than Benadryl.


  5. Desiree Says:

    One other question – so my daughter is allergic to dogs, I typically start her on Zyrtec a few days before I know we’re going to dog’s house, is this really necessary and does it help build up the allergy ‘suppression’?


  6. Dr. Roy Says:

    Desiree, if it’s a super-severe reaction (these are very rare), better to avoid dogs entirely. But if milder reaction (most are), then it makes good sense to pre-treat with an antihistamine like Zyrtec, then go see the dogs. There’s not much benefit in doing this days in advance, though that won’t hurt. You could give Zyrtec 1 hour before visit, should work just as well.


  7. Rachel Says:

    What about Tylenol PM that has the diphenhydramine? Is it safe to use that?


  8. Dr. Roy Says:

    I was writing about using Benadryl as an antihistamine. There are safer and more effective choices.

    The diphenhydramine in Tylenol PM is there as a sedative, not an antihistamine. Is it the most effective, safest sedative? Nope. But it is cheap and OTC-available, so many companies keep using it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mary Flavan MD Says:

    As a person/physician with abrupt and sometimes completely unexpected food allergies/ sensitivities, I have been prescribed and tried the antihistamines you discussed. For me, Benadryl is by far the most effective medication. (Incidentally, Seldane caused me to have loss of immediate and recent memory after two weeks of ingestion; it gave my brother ventricular tachycardia.) When Benadryl is taken regularly, up to 50 mg every 8 hours, but at least 75 mg/day, the sedating side effect is absent (just as it fails for insomnia, if used regularly).

    Because various unidentified (unidentifiable?) allergens cause me severe asthma as swell as SVPs, I usually take a morning dose (25-50), occasionally a mid-day dose and always a 50 mg bedtime dose.

    Because the rigid avoidance of the identified food allergies and numerous sensitivities resulted in marked improvement, I gradually reduced Benadryl to 25 mg/ day, over 8 months. This was a near-fatal course, with a 4:30 AM respiratory failure event. Taking 50 mg Benadryl every night has again done away with any and all 4 AM exacerbations.

    Incidentally, the recent addition of Nacala has done away with any sense of having reactions as I no longer wheeze (eosinophils have dropped from 26% to 1%). PFTs remain impaired (50-60%), unless I am on prednisone (100-110%). Also, I have so far declined ablation procedures for the SVTs, as they are always easily responsive to carotid pressure, as instructed effectively by about the 15th +- ER MD, the only one who performed it successfully after about 10 years of ER visits. I was advised that an ablation procedure carried a 10% risk of MI and/or need for a pacemaker, probably somewhat age-related…?

    I responded to the original article as I find this medication to be so effective and well-tolerated, both for me and for many of my patients who have adjusted well to regular use; the OTCs are unaffordable to many of them and most insurance plans prefer and even pay for Benadryl. I agree completely that infrequent use is best tried with the newer and much less-sedating alternatives.

    In a review of the literature many years ago, but long after it was available, I found only one report of significant abuse: a man was taking more than 2000mg/day, and the observing MD thought he seemed a bit sluggish…

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Emily Engel Says:

    It’s great for patients with occasional insomnia. I mean sure or you can point out the potential risks and side effects but it’s safer than Ambien and a lot of patience get good benefit from it. This is a bizarrely harsh article against a convenient, cheap, and relatively benign drug these days.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. kidnp Says:

    I just completed PALS, and Benadryl was recommended before going to EPI-pen, for mild symptoms. I have been taking and prescribing Benadryl for 24 years. I see no reason to stop now, just bc ONE doc reported on its supposed side effects. Show me a multi-center, double-blind study, with a large“N”, and I might consider changing my prescriptive habits.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. MARCIA CATT Says:

    It is cheap, safe, and generally effective for allergies,coughing, extrapyramidal effects, vomiting and sleep difficulties. Why are we trashing this Swiss Army Knife of the medical world?????

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Andrew Mackey MD Says:

    I understand patients continuing to reach for it, but don’t understand my colleagues?? Though it’s use IV for dystonic reactions may be a reason to keep it around in a few settings. And we have known it is a terrible sleeper since at least the70s!!


  14. Caleb King Says:

    Hello, Benadryl – please don’t take early retirement. Generic diphenhydramine is a great medicine for the family tool chest! I wouldn’t take it for a daytime antihistamine, but it has lots of other uses. It is much more predictable as a mild hypnotic for kids, e.g., time zone travel changes, than bigger guns, works well for motion sickness, works fine for colds with runny noses at night or whenever sedation is not an issue, helps a bee sting, or poison ivy (in addition to topical steroids), even itchy mosquito bites. As for safety, I wouldn’t recommend it for adults who are going to drive, as was pointed out, but in Garry M. Walsh, in Side Effects of Drugs Annual, 2010, a review of over 25,000 overdose cases showed no fatality and very few serious events even in 926 reported toddlers taking a lot. Sounds better than Tylenol, which is found in most homes. All this for the cost of 2 cents per tablet, and they are easy to divide in half by hand, or cut smaller if needed.
    Caleb King, MD, PhD

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Peter Pogacar, MD Says:

    Benadryl is super safe and excellent choice for extrapyramidal symptoms. And of course, at night the sedation can be a HUGE benefit for parents of toddlers and school age kids. What is the author talking about. Benadryl still has a place in treating children 100%.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Stun Dexim Says:

    I agree with kidnp.


  17. Van G. Coble Dph Says:

    Diphenhydramine is inexpensive, but does have to be taken multiple times daily. For patients with runny noses or sinus drainage it is a better choice than the second generation antihistamine since it has anticholinergic activity. For blocking the histamine receptor site there are better antihistamines. Using it for sleep should be discouraged and in my opinion it should never be taken with APAP for night time pain, particularly by the elderly. Personally, none of the second generation antihistamine perform as well as chlorpheniramine or diphenhydramine. It is unfortunate that diphenhydramine is about only the first generation antihistamine readily available.


  18. Mariana Says:

    I understand the point of your article that Benadryl is used much more often than it should. However, I don’t think it should be tossed away altogether.
    It’s true that for the general anti-allergic effect I tend to prefer other newer anti-histamines, but I still find Benadryl pretty useful for dystonic reactions and nausea. And sometimes, when other other options are limited due to side effect profile, the sedation aspect also comes in handy.


  19. Dwight McGraw Says:

    Apparently this article was written by a left wing democrat. Total nonsense and shame on you. Dwight RPh

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Paul Parnass Says:

    You are quick to dismiss any therapeutic value to diphenhydramine but cite no references to support these conclusions. Moreover the drug has been useful occasionally as a less addictive alternative for insomnia and it should remain on the market as a choice to treat allergic symptoms for those that have not found fexophenadine or loratadine effective to control their allergy symptoms. Cetirizine can be just as sedating as benadryl. I do not think it is in the patients’ best interests to remove this drug from the market and further arbitrarily limit their choices in treating allergic symptoms.

    Paul D Parnass, R Ph, JD

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pharmacist me Says:

    Glad to see most responses a bit critical. I was confused after reading this article. Unless I missed some new research in the past couple of years, my understanding has always been that Benadryl is a more quickly acting and stronger antihistamine. I recommend it when patients are having a profound allergic reaction that does not require medical attention. I warn them of drowsiness but they’re most just looking for relief. This is what every professor taught us in pharmacy school, which was only a few years ago for me. What changed? I will start recommending Zyrtec if is honestly MORE effective and FASTER acting than Benadryl for say… a swollen hand from bee sting. Seasonal allergies = Zyrtec. Of course. But let’s not retire our Benadryl! It still has its place right?

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Dr. John Bailey Says:

    Very Very myopic narrative. Benadryl has a myriad of uses and not just for allergies. Those suffering with Tardive Dyskensia would beg to differ with you, sir.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Dr. Hastings Says:

    I’ll have to respectfully disagree with the author. Diphenhydramine fills a void left by newer antihistamines. Claritin is almost akin to a placebo for the majority of my patients who have tried it. Zyrtec is not as sedating but still it’s an issue. I have seen no statements by national organizations about removing diphenhydramine…

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Lindsey Weak Says:

    Where are the references to back up the claims of this article?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Rosalyn DuBois Says:

    Personally, I have had absolutely no relief from allergies with Zyrtec, Claritin or Allegra. Benedryl taken at night has been efficacious with the added benefit of inducing sleep.
    NO medication should be left in a place where children could get into it and ingest it! No brainer!
    Caladryl lotion (calamine and benedryl) has also helped my family with reactions from insect bites.
    I don’t agree with your “New and Improved” assessment, If you think about Big Band music from 1946, it is difficult to equal the danceability and enjoyability with some of today’s music.
    It is important that we as providers and patients have a choice and not use scare tactics to make people throw away their diphenhydramine!


  26. Arnold Licht Says:

    The only problem is that the highly touted new antihistamines are not very effective antihistamines. I guess all anticholinergic drugs should be taken off the market if Dr Roy’s reasoning is to be followed. If overdosing is his main concern certainly all Tylenol OTCs should be removed as well.
    It is a silly argument to get rid of an effective drug because some people will have side effects and are potentially lethal if overdosed. I think that could apply to ⅔ of all the meds that are out there.


  27. Benadryl has other uses than treatment of allergies. It can be used as a local anesthetic for persons allergic to “caines”. It can be used to reverse dyskinesia caused by phenothiazines. In fact the anesthesiologists had it ready during my colonoscopy and recent spine surgery. Also used topically for aphthous ulcers (mixed with liquid antacid).


  28. Robert Flores Says:

    The less sedating an antihistamine, the weaker it is.
    Fexofenadine has no sedation at all. It is approved by FAA for airline pilots and by NASA for astronauts. It is the weakest.
    Loratadine has minimal but measurable cognitive impairment, usually not noticed by most patients. Better than fexofenadine.
    Cetirizine is even more effective, but usually causes some sedation.
    Diphenhydramine is more sedating but most effective.
    I often dose long acting antihistamines, such as loratadine, in the morning and add diphenhydramine at night when a stronger antihistamine is needed as allergies are always worse at night.
    I disagree dihenhydramine should be retired.
    It is cheap, safe and effective in usual doses.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Gillian Cropp Says:

    Easy to take antihistamine with few side effects. personally I take it for a good night’s sleep (25 – 50 mg) No side effects and no residual drowsiness the next day. Keep this cheap tablet around for those who cannot afford the second generation expensive drugs, G.F.Cropp Clinical Pharmacologist


  30. Mike Says:

    Dr. Roy, it is time for you to retire. Benadryl is an excellent medication, safe and effective. This article is ridiculous.


  31. Liz Chu NP-C Says:

    In urgent care, I frequently recommend children’s Benadryl for cough at nap and bedtime, and Benadryl for PND (drying properties) @hs in addition to am 2nd generation antihistamine. When I encounter anaphylactic reaction, epinephrine followed c Benadryl


  32. Samantha Says:

    This article seems full of inaccuracies. Readers should evaluate the research for themselves before “any excessive”action. We should also choose our words very carefully, as it relates to any medication. Too much of any good thing, becomes a bad thing. Frankly, I’m a little surprised at this article and the fact that it was allowed to be published, without really citing any real sources. It really sound like a drug company ad.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Theresa Dippolito PAHM, MSN, CRNP Says:

    Benadryl still has a place for treatment of allergic reactions not requiring epinephrin and allergic reactions that do not respond as well or as quickly to the newer antihistamines.
    I have patients complain equally about Zyrtec and Claritin side effects … strange dreams and fatigue. Less so with Allegra. But neither stops allergic reactions as quickly as Benadryl.
    I rarely prescribe it but I do at times recommend it. I treat adults. I have never had a patient who had a problem with using this drug appropriately. I have no conflicts of interest.


  34. ECK Says:

    I’ve practiced pediatrics for 30 years. For most conditions where OTC antihistamines are recommended by pediatricians, in this day and age, Benadryl really is a poor choice. For most of our patients there are medications and strategies for reducing allergen exposure which are far more effective and have far fewer side effects than using Benadryl. And by the way, I’d like to know: Who is giving their kids Benadryl to help them sleep? I hope the answer is “No one.” And for most adults (especially those of you who work, drive, and parent), why would you take Benadryl except in the most extraordinary circumstances? (See Mary Flavan MD’s response above — of course, Benadryl should still be available for her and those with unusually severe and difficult-to-manage symptoms. But for the rest of us and our children, I completely agree with @pediatricinsider.)


  35. Dr Ilan Shapiro Says:

    🙂 Just loved it! (The article, not the benadryl)


  36. DrStuppy Says:

    I admit that as a pediatrician I recommended benadryl for hives (epinephrine is 1st choice for anaphylaxis) for many years because I learned that it was the fastest acting antihistamine to use in an emergency in training over 20 yrs ago. I was under the impression that the newer antihistamines took longer to take effect, so we would tolerate the higher side effect level for the faster relief. Once I learned that the newer antihistamines take effect just as fast, there’s no question that for most people, the newer antihistamines are better. They last longer, so you can avoid the need for as many repeat doses… who wants to wake up in 4 hours to re-dose the benadryl? As a pediatrician I’ve seen too many kids get very hyper on benadryl, which has lead to injury from running around and often it causes sleeplessness – for both the child and their parent. If older kids or adults take it, it can make them too tired, which affects learning at school or work performance. Adults are at risk of falling asleep driving. I do see some comments above that discuss the safe daily use. That is a different situation. Yes, the tired/wired side effect goes away with routine use, but again, if a once a day medicine works just as well, most of us would prefer that over taking a medicine 3-4 times a day. As for those who complained about cost, Costco has a year’s supply (365 generic tablets) for $13.99. Their generic diphenhydramine at first looks less expensive (600 tablets for $6.89), but that’s only a 2 month supply at maximum dose. This can be given 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hrs, so if you use the minimum dose of 1 tab every 6 hrs, it lasts 150 days, or about 5 months, so even at minimum dosing, it is more than the cost of diphenhydramine. Other stores will vary of course, but have similar price differences. For the liquid versions, Walmart has a cetirizine bottle that holds 24 5ml doses for $6.94. Children 2-6 yrs take 2.5ml daily (so this would last 48 days). Children over 6 through adults can take 5-10 ml daily, so this bottle would last 12-24 days for them. Walmart’s diphenhydramine bottle holds 48 5ml doses for $5.18, but those 48 doses can be used up really fast. One day’s dose would be 5ml of the cetirizine, but a day’s dose of the diphenhydramine is 5-10 ml every 4-6 hrs, so ranging from 20ml to 60ml. That one bottle may only last a day, but the cetirizine bottle lasts much longer. If you pay cash, the best bet is the cetirizine by far!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. William Mitchell Says:

    Get over it! Great quick onset antihistamine.


  38. Bryan Levey Says:

    Bologny. The non drowsy ones cause drowsiness in some people (zyrtec), don’t reach peak effectiveness in days, and hives break right through them. **I see this all the time!**
    You don’t take benadryl (or any other sedative) then drive, and warnings about drowsiness are right on the container. We keep using benadryl because what you wrote absolutely doesn’t bear out clinically.


  39. Camille Newton Says:

    Couldn’t agree more – and this doesn’t even mention that long term use of anticholinergic drugs such as Benadryl significantly increase the risk for Dementia.


  40. Dr. Roy Says:

    Wow! Let me first say, thanks to everyone for their interest and comments. I appreciate your time swinging by my sleepy little blog to share your thoughts, including those of you who disagree with me.

    I had no idea this short essay would stimulate so much conversation. Many of you have raised good questions.

    I am going to follow-up in the next day or two with a detailed, well-referenced post on Benadryl’s advantages and disadvantages. I’ll look for recent literature and whatever authoritative guidelines are available. I’ll be curious to see just whose minds may be changed by the actual published evidence — yours? mine? We shall see.

    Meanwhile, for many of you who are new here, please click around and see what other posts might interest you. And if you have new topics to suggest, I’m all ears!

    Liked by 3 people

  41. Dr. Roy Says:

    An allergist friend just sent me this news article from a few weeks ago:

    “‘It dumbfounds us that people still want to use it,’ said Dr. David Fischer, a clinical allergist in Barrie, Ont., and an author of the CSACI position statement.”


  42. Meredith C Walgren, MD, PhD Says:

    Short of epinephrine, Diphenhydramine remains a life-saving medication for some people. While it certainly has its side effects and risks for certain populations, a blanket condemnation of its prescription is downright malpractice.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Varada Divgi Says:

    Finally the common drug that is not safe but used as water will be gone! It’s high time!
    Thanks for the article.


  44. Mary Scott Says:

    I agree with you! Since diphenhydramine has been on the Beer’s list for several years, it is not recommended for patients over 65 yrs. As a consultant pharmacist, I’ve always recommended dc’ing it. It was always amazing to me the number of patients entering skilled nursing facilities with a dx of dementia, who recovered some level of cognition after the discontinuation. I NEVER recommend Tylenol PM for elderly patients.


  45. DMCT Says:

    Benadryl has always helped me immensely. Especially with pet allergies. Will be missed ; (


  46. Antonio Figueroa Says:

    Very irresponsable comment, ClaritinZyrtec, etc don’t work in the acute phase of allergy, if you don’t believe me, try it!

    Liked by 1 person

  47. JGB Says:

    Benadryl is a poor choice as a daily use antihistamine. Often, with severe reactions, using drugs from different antihistamine families can prove beneficial. When other less sedating options are ineffective, Benadryl can be very effective for hives or disabling hay fever from extreme exposures and can help the very uncomfortable individual sleep. I never mix Benadryl and Zyrtec because both can be extremely sedating.

    As for the frequent antihistamine user, Benadryl has no place except in mast cell disease. Allegra/fexofenadine and xyzol/levoceterizine are non-sedating and effective and should be first line recommendations. Generic Allegra OTC 60 mg for 12 hrs and 180 mg for 24 hrs are far more effective than Claritin/loratadine in wheel testing comparisons and are cheaper than Xyzol. Despite what has been said above, the comparative sedation effects have nothing to do with strength, but with blood brain barrier pharmacology. Zyrtec is the most effective of the less sedating antihistamines by wheal testing, but is the most sedating to the point that I warn people about driving on it and document the discussion.

    Lastly, for nasal and eye symptoms, nasal steroids are cheaper and more effect with fewer side effects than them all.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. George Says:

    I think that the author of this article needs to narrow the scope of their approbation for Benadryl. Naturally using sedating drugs in elderly patients is generally a bad idea. I work in an environment where I use primarily IV medications ( I’m an anesthesiologist). Consequently sedating effect of Benadryl are irrelevant to me. What is advantageous about Benadryl, is that it exists an IV formulation. It is a superb anti-histamine when administered during acute anaphylactic or anaphylactoid reactions through an IV Route. Although cetirizine and other newer antihistamines are not sedating, they’re also oral formulation only. What the author of this article should’ve stated was: let’s all avoid giving sedating medications to elderly people who already have polypharmacy.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Derek Farley, D.O. Says:

    I call bullshit on this. I’ve clinically seen better response with Benadryl vs the “nonsedating” (which are actually slightly sedating, especially at higher doses advocated by the author). I speak of ER and urgent care, immediate use antihistamines. Longer term, yes Claritin, Zyrtec, and Alegra would be preferable and I prescribe accordingly. Benadryl has been around so long because it works.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Maurice Laperriere Says:

    The most biased and unproven theory I ever saw. I am an ER physician and Benadryl is first class, safe, can be used IV, IM or PO, cheap and quick acting. Drowsiness? Right. Then in nursing home it beats the Benzos.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Andy Tsoi Says:

    All “antihistamines”, “tranquilizers” and “downers” are molecularly relatives of good ol’Banadryl. Whichever drug used, “it” will do all the above, I.e slow down the entire nervous system. None will “know” which kind of nerves to go work on. Each drug’s selective “effectiveness” is therefore a combination of manufacturers’ claims plus user’s individual genetics.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. M Laperriere Says:

    I can’t figure out the meaning of this post of yours. “ does not which nerve to go to???”
    Please elaborate on your post. I cannot even tell if you’re promoting Benadryl or taking the same stance as Dr Roy.
    First, one should always use the generic name and never the Brand name. This is just a matter of ethic.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Diane Michele Moseley Says:

    WHY LEAVE out the CHEAP and spot on
    effective Chlor-Tab one 4mg tab h….s works well and short half life =safe………pushing expensive alternatives is not fair…but YES Benadryl has a way too long effect and SIDE-EFFECTS!

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Karen Heberling Says:

    I hope everyone is aware that using benadryl in combination with alcohol is sometimes (and NOT rarely) deadly.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Denise Says:

    Who can tell me what Sominex is? Tylenol PM? Aleve PM? Motrin PM?


  56. Denise Gonzalez MD Says:

    If you use Caladryl or Benadryl Bug Itch spray….over time you become sensitized if you have any degree of atopy….so when you take a Diphenhydramine tablet…Voila! Anaphylaxis!


  57. Steven Moss Says:

    What works faster than liquid Benadryl?


  58. Steven Moss Says:

    I meant to add, in a Mom’s purse.


  59. Pat Redmond Says:

    I have found that , for me, none of the newer antihistamines are as effective for seasonal allergies, pet-related allergies, or anything, really.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Mike Says:

    Benadryl and aspirin: two meds in survival pack.
    Both cheep and multi purposed.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Randy Rile Says:

    I would not mind seeing it pulled from the market. I see way too many elderly patients taking it thinking it is safe as a sleeping aid. I cringe when I hear about an Alzheimer patient taking it. And it’s cousin, orphenadrine, purportedly developed by the same scientist, is touted as a muscle relaxer and used with impunity in our emergency rooms to zonk patients, is nothing more than another version of diphenhydramine. Look at the chemical structures and compare the two if you will! If a physician would spend fifteen minutes perusing the Beers criteria, and takie it to heart, many falls and fractures could potentially be avoided in our beloved elderly population. First do no harm.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. Dr O Says:

    OMG I am a senior ie old pre Y2K pediatrician and I am amazed that people still are using Benadryl po. Grant it IM may still have a role but even then it should be limited. If we can learn to use cell phones emojis and EHR surely we can use up to date antihistamines.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Mark Einbecker Says:

    What about all the sleep aid OTC meds all of which use benadryl.?


  64. Dr. Roy Says:

    Welp, everyone has had their fun. This thread is now being spammed by 10+ Viagra and similar ads daily, and I can’t keep up with the spam comments, so I’m shutting it down. Feel free to comment on the companion post,


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