1. About diphenhydramine

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine medication that relieves the signs of allergic reactions. It is generally known as a drowsy (sedating) antihistamine and is extra more likely to make you are feeling sleepy than different antihistamines. It is used for:

short-term sleep issues (insomnia), together with when a cough or chilly, or itching, is protecting you awake at evening – model names embrace Nytol Unique, Nytol One-a-Evening and Sleepeaze cough and chilly signs – model names embrace Benylin Chesty Coughs and Covonia Evening Time Method hay fever – model names embrace Histergan eczema, hives (urticaria), insect bites and stings – model names embrace Histergan

You should buy diphenhydramine from pharmacies and supermarkets. Diphenhydramine can be accessible on prescription.

It comes as tablets, capsules and a liquid that you just swallow. For pores and skin allergic reactions like hives or bites and stings it is also accessible as a cream. The cream is far much less more likely to make you are feeling sleepy than the tablets, capsules or liquid.

You can even purchase it combined with different medicines, resembling levomenthol, paracetamol, pholcodine and pseudoephedrine, to deal with cough and chilly signs.

2. Key info

  • Keep away from ingesting alcohol whereas taking diphenhydramine. Alcohol will increase the chance of unwanted side effects.
  • That will help you sleep, you may often take your medication 20 minutes earlier than you go to mattress. It usually takes about half-hour to work.
  • Frequent unwanted side effects embrace feeling sleepy, dizzy or unsteady in your ft. You might also have issue concentrating and a dry mouth.
  • Diphenhydramine can be referred to as by the model names Histergan, Nytol Unique, Nytol One-A-Evening and Sleepeaze.
  • When it is combined with different medicines, model names embrace Benylin Chesty Coughs, Benylin Youngsters’s Evening Coughs, Covonia Evening Time Method, Panadol Evening Ache and Unicough.

3. Who can and can’t take diphenhydramine

Diphenhydramine will be taken by most adults and younger folks aged 16 years and above. You possibly can generally give diphenhydramine to youngsters, relying on their age and their signs. Ask your pharmacist for recommendation.

Diphenhydramine just isn’t appropriate for some folks. Inform your physician or pharmacist in the event you:

  • have had an allergic response to diphenhydramine or another medicines prior to now
  • have lung issues, resembling bronchial asthma or COPD, or an sickness that creates plenty of phlegm
  • have an eye fixed drawback referred to as major angle closure glaucoma
  • have a abdomen ulcer, or a blockage in your abdomen or intestine
  • have kidney or liver issues
  • have issues peeing or emptying your bladder
  • have epilepsy or another well being drawback that causes suits
  • have an intolerance to, or can not soak up, some sugars resembling lactose or sorbitol

are on account of have an allergy check – diphenhydramine can have an effect on your outcomes, so chances are you’ll must cease taking it a couple of days earlier than your check – ask a pharmacist or your physician for recommendation

are unable to have any alcohol – some liquid diphenhydramine merchandise include a small quantity of alcohol, so examine the elements and the packaging rigorously

Giving diphenhydramine to youngsters

For some signs, you can provide diphenhydramine to youngsters over the age of 6 years. Examine together with your pharmacist or physician to ensure whether or not a product is appropriate in your little one.

Warning for kids

Don’t give your little one diphenhydramine to assist them get to sleep. Diphenhydramine is barely appropriate for sleep issues in folks aged 16 years and above.

Youngsters aged 6 years and above can have diphenhydramine for:

  • insect bites and stings – diphenhydramine cream solely
  • eczema – diphenhydramine cream solely
  • cough and chilly signs (this doesn’t apply to all cough and chilly medicines that include diphenhydramine, so examine the directions that include the packaging rigorously)
  • Don’t give youngsters diphenhydramine for hay fever or different allergic reactions till they’re 12 years outdated or above.

4. How and when to take or use diphenhydramine

When you or your little one have been prescribed diphenhydramine, observe your physician’s directions about how and when to take it.

Solely take or use diphenhydramine whenever you want it – for instance in the event you’re unable to sleep since you’re worrying about one thing or your chilly signs are protecting you awake.

When you’ve purchased diphenhydramine or any medication containing diphenhydramine from a pharmacy or grocery store, observe the directions that include the packet, or ask a pharmacist for recommendation.

The directions might be totally different, relying on the kind of diphenhydramine you purchase – and the opposite medicines it is combined with.

How a lot to take or use

When you’re aged over 65, begin with the decrease dose, as chances are you’ll be extra more likely to get unwanted side effects.

The standard dose will depend on the kind of diphenhydramine you are taking, and what you are taking it for:

  • short-term insomnia – diphenhydramine comes as 25mg and 50mg tablets. You may often take 50mg, 20 minutes earlier than you go to mattress.
  • cough and chilly signs – diphenhydramine comes combined with different medicines to deal with the signs of coughs and colds. It comes as tablets, capsules and as a liquid that you just swallow. The standard dose will depend on the kind of medication you are taking. Examine the directions on the packaging rigorously, or ask your physician or pharmacist in the event you’re not sure.
  • hay fever and allergic reactions – diphenhydramine comes as 25mg and 50mg tablets. The standard dose is 25mg or 50mg, taken 3 or 4 instances a day. Attempt to house your doses evenly all through the day.
  • insect bites, stings and eczema – diphenhydramine comes as a cream which you utilize a few times a day. You may solely want a small quantity, sufficient for a skinny layer.

How you can take or use it

  • You possibly can take diphenhydramine tablets, capsules and liquid with or with out meals.
  • All the time take your diphenhydramine tablets or capsules with a drink of water. Swallow them entire. Don’t chew them.
  • Liquid medicines containing diphenhydramine include a plastic syringe or spoon that can assist you measure out the correct dose. When you should not have a syringe or spoon, ask your pharmacist for one. Don’t use a kitchen teaspoon as you’ll not get the correct quantity.
  • With the cream, put a small quantity onto the affected space and easy it in gently. Don’t apply it to massive areas of pores and skin. Preserve the cream away out of your eyes, mouth and nostril. Bear in mind to scrub your palms afterwards – except you are treating your palms.

What if I overlook it?

When you’re taking diphenhydramine that can assist you sleep and also you overlook to take it by bedtime, skip your missed dose and begin once more the subsequent night.

When you’re taking another medication containing diphenhydramine and overlook to take a dose, take your medication whenever you subsequent want it to ease your signs.

By no means take 2 doses on the identical time. By no means take an additional dose to make up for a forgotten one.

When you overlook doses typically, it could assist to set an alarm to remind you. You may additionally ask your pharmacist for recommendation on different methods that can assist you keep in mind to take your medication.

What if I take or use an excessive amount of?

  • An excessive amount of diphenhydramine will be harmful.
  • When you’ve taken an excessive amount of:
  • chances are you’ll really feel very sleepy or sick
  • your eyesight could also be blurry
  • your coronary heart might beat very quick
  • In severe circumstances you may turn into unconscious and may have emergency remedy in hospital.
  • Don’t use diphenhydramine cream concurrently different merchandise containing diphenhydramine. This will result in overdose.

Pressing recommendation: Name your physician right away in the event you take an excessive amount of diphenhydramine

If you want to go to a A&E, don’t drive your self – get another person to drive you or name for an ambulance. Take the diphenhydramine packet or leaflet inside it plus any remaining medication with you.

5. Unintended effects

Like all medicines, diphenhydramine could cause unwanted side effects, though not everybody will get them. Nonetheless, chances are you’ll be extra more likely to get them in the event you’re over 65.

Frequent unwanted side effects

Frequent unwanted side effects occur in additional than 1 in 100 folks. Speak to your physician or pharmacist if these unwanted side effects hassle you or don’t go away:

  • feeling sleepy through the daytime
  • dry mouth
  • feeling dizzy or unsteady in your ft, or having issue concentrating
  • Diphenhydramine cream can generally make rashes worse. It might additionally make your pores and skin delicate to daylight.

Critical unwanted side effects

Inform your physician right away in the event you:

  • have an irregular heartbeat
  • an elevated consciousness of your heartbeat
  • really feel any numbness or pins and needles
  • really feel confused or very stressed

have had a match or seizure – if somebody round you is having a match or seizure, name 999 right away.

Critical allergic response – In uncommon circumstances, it is doable to have a severe allergic response (anaphylaxis) to diphenhydramine.

Rapid motion required:

  • you get a pores and skin rash which will embrace itchy, crimson, swollen, blistered or peeling pores and skin
  • you are wheezing
  • you get tightness within the chest or throat
  • you’ve bother respiratory or speaking
  • your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat begin swelling
  • You may be having a severe allergic response and may have quick remedy in hospital.
  • These should not all of the unwanted side effects of diphenhydramine. For a full record, see the leaflet inside your medication packet.

Info:

  • You possibly can report any suspected aspect impact utilizing the Yellow Card security scheme.
  • Go to Yellow Card for additional data.

6. How to deal with unwanted side effects

What to do about:

feeling sleepy through the daytime – drowsiness often wears off 8 hours after a dose. Don’t drive or use instruments or equipment in the event you’re feeling this manner.

dry mouth – chew sugar-free gum or suck sugar-free sweets.

feeling dizzy or unsteady in your ft, or issue concentrating – if diphenhydramine makes you are feeling this manner, cease what you are doing and sit or lie down till you are feeling higher. If the sensation doesn’t go away or is troubling you, don’t take any extra medication and communicate to a pharmacist or your physician.

7. Being pregnant and breastfeeding

Diphenhydramine just isn’t usually advisable throughout being pregnant. It’s because there may be not sufficient data to make certain it is secure. When you take diphenhydramine in the direction of the tip of your being pregnant, there is a threat your child could also be born with a few of the unwanted side effects.

In case you have insomnia whilst you’re pregnant, your physician or midwife might recommend methods to enhance your sleep routine – like enjoyable, and avoiding naps. If this doesn’t work, your physician might prescribe a distinct antihistamine referred to as promethazine that can assist you sleep.

In case you have a cough or chilly, you may assist to ease your signs by resting, ingesting loads of fluids and taking on a regular basis painkillers resembling paracetamol.

Diphenhydramine and breastfeeding

Diphenhydramine just isn’t usually advisable when breastfeeding, as small quantities of the medication cross into your breast milk. It might additionally cut back the quantity of milk you produce.

Speak to your physician, as different medicines is perhaps higher whilst you’re breastfeeding. It is often secure to take comparable antihistamines referred to as loratadine and cetirizine whilst you’re breastfeeding. When you want a drowsy antihistamine that can assist you sleep, your physician might suggest chlorphenamine.

Nonetheless, communicate to your physician earlier than taking any antihistamine in case your child was untimely, had a low start weight or has well being issues.

Non-urgent recommendation: Inform your physician in the event you’re:

  • attempting to get pregnant
  • pregnant
  • breastfeeding

8. Cautions with different medicines

Some medicines and diphenhydramine intrude with one another and enhance the probabilities of you having unwanted side effects. Examine together with your pharmacist or physician in the event you’re taking: antidepressants, resembling venlafaxine or a monoamine oxidase inhibitor resembling phenelzine metoprolol, a coronary heart medication any medication that makes you drowsy, offers you a dry mouth, or makes it tough so that you can pee – taking diphenhydramine may make these unwanted side effects worse

When you’re taking a cough or chilly treatment or a painkiller containing diphenhydramine, examine rigorously what the opposite elements are. For instance, examine whether or not it comprises paracetamol. Ask your pharmacist for recommendation earlier than you’re taking this medication along with another painkillers or medicines.

Mixing diphenhydramine with natural treatments and dietary supplements

There is perhaps an issue taking some natural treatments and dietary supplements alongside diphenhydramine – particularly ones that trigger unwanted side effects resembling sleepiness, a dry mouth or make it tough to pee.

Necessary: Medication security

Inform your physician or pharmacist in the event you’re taking another medicines, together with natural medicines, nutritional vitamins or dietary supplements.

9. Frequent questions

  1. How does diphenhydramine work?

    Diphenhydramine is a medication referred to as an antihistamine. It's classed as a drowsy (sedating) antihistamine. If you come into contact with one thing you are allergic to, your physique produces a chemical referred to as histamine. This will trigger signs resembling a runny nostril or pores and skin rashes.

    Diphenhydramine blocks the consequences of histamine in your mind and this reduces signs. It enters the mind in massive portions and this will make you are feeling drowsy.

    Diphenhydramine additionally blocks the consequences of one other chemical referred to as acetylcholine. This can assist dry up a cough or runny nostril however can even trigger unwanted side effects resembling a dry mouth and dry nostril.

  2. How lengthy does it take to work?

    When you're taking diphenhydramine for short-term sleep issues, it's going to begin to make you are feeling drowsy round 20 to a half-hour after you're taking it.

    For coughs and colds, your signs will usually begin to enhance inside 20 minutes. The medication ought to work for round 4 to six hours.

  3. How lengthy can I take it for?

    Solely take diphenhydramine for a short while, except your physician says it is OK so that you can take it for longer.

    It's because your physique will get used to diphenhydramine shortly. As soon as your physique's used to this medication, it is unlikely to have the identical impact. When you take diphenhydramine for two weeks or longer, your physique can even turn into depending on it.

    Communicate to your physician or pharmacist earlier than taking diphenhydramine for longer than the medication leaflet recommends. Ask them for recommendation in the event you're not sure how lengthy you must take it for.

  4. Is diphenhydramine addictive?

    Sure, it's addictive. You possibly can turn into depending on diphenhydramine in the event you take it repeatedly for a time frame. For instance, in the event you take it every single day for greater than 2 weeks.

    To keep away from changing into addicted, adults and youngsters ought to solely take diphenhydramine for a really quick time, except your physician advises in any other case.

  5. Can I take a couple of antihistamine at a time?

    In case you have a extreme itchy pores and skin rash, your physician might suggest taking 2 totally different antihistamines on the identical time for a couple of days.

    In addition to taking a non-drowsy antihistamine through the day (resembling fexofenadine, cetirizine or loratadine), your physician might advise that you just take a drowsy antihistamine at evening if itching is making it tough to sleep.

    Don't take one other drowsy antihistamine along with diphenhydramine. It can make you very drained and sleepy. Different drowsy antihistamines embrace chlorphenamine (Piriton), promethazine (Phenergan) and hydroxyzine (Atarax or Ucerax).

  6. What is the distinction between diphenhydramine and different antihistamines?

    Diphenhydramine is named a drowsy, or sedating, antihistamine because it makes you sleepy. Non-drowsy antihistamines are much less more likely to have this impact. These embrace cetirizine, fexofenadine and loratadine.

    Most individuals choose to take a non-drowsy antihistamine because it's much less more likely to intrude with their on a regular basis routine. You may select to take a drowsy antihistamine, nevertheless, in the event you're having issues falling asleep, or if signs like itching or coughing are protecting you awake.

    There may be not sufficient data accessible to say whether or not one antihistamine is best than one other for treating allergic reactions. Chances are you'll must strive a couple of totally different medicines to seek out what works finest for you. Ask your pharmacist or physician for recommendation in the event you're not sure.

  7. How is it totally different to different cough and chilly treatments?

    Diphenhydramine blocks the consequences of a pure chemical referred to as acetylcholine. This can assist dry up a cough or runny nostril however can even trigger unwanted side effects resembling a dry mouth and dry nostril.

    Some cough and chilly treatments declare to suppress your cough or cease you citing phlegm. Though some folks discover them useful, they don't seem to be often advisable. It's because there's little proof that they are any simpler than easy residence treatments – they usually're not appropriate for everybody.

  8. Can I take it with painkillers?

    Sure, you may take diphenhydramine along with painkillers resembling paracetamol or ibuprofen. When you take diphenhydramine with painkillers that include codeine (resembling co-codamol) or different prescription painkillers, chances are you'll really feel very drained and sleepy. Don't drive, journey a motorbike or function equipment or instruments if this occurs to you.

    It is vital to examine the packaging or label of your medication rigorously. It's because some diphenhydramine merchandise already include a painkiller. Don't take additional painkillers if that is so, as there is a threat of overdose.

    Communicate to your pharmacist in the event you're undecided whether or not a medication already comprises a painkiller.

  9. Can I drive or journey a motorbike with it?

    Don't drive an automobile or journey a motorbike if diphenhydramine makes you sleepy through the daytime, offers you blurred imaginative and prescient or makes you are feeling dizzy, clumsy or unable to pay attention or make choices. This can be extra doubtless whenever you first begin taking diphenhydramine however may occur at any time – for instance when beginning one other medication.

    It is an offence to drive a automobile in case your capability to drive safely is affected. It is your duty to determine if it is secure to drive. When you're in any doubt, don't drive. GOV.UK has extra data on the regulation on medicine and driving. Speak to your physician or pharmacist in the event you're not sure whether or not it is secure so that you can drive whereas taking diphenhydramine.

  10. Will it have an effect on my fertility?

    There is not any clear proof to recommend that taking diphenhydramine will cut back fertility in both males or girls. Nonetheless, communicate to a pharmacist or your physician earlier than taking it in the event you're attempting to get pregnant.

  11. Will it have an effect on my contraception?

    Diphenhydramine doesn't have an effect on any kind of contraception together with the mixed capsule and emergency contraception.

  12. Can I drink alcohol with it?

    Don't drink alcohol whilst you're taking diphenhydramine. Alcohol and diphenhydramine collectively could make you sleep very deeply. You won't be able to breathe correctly and you could have issue waking up.

  13. Is there any meals or drink I must keep away from?

    You possibly can eat usually whereas taking diphenhydramine. Nonetheless, keep away from alcohol and drinks that include caffeine, like espresso, cola, or power drinks. Caffeine has the other impact to diphenhydramine in your physique and stops it working.

  14. Does diphenhydramine make you placed on weight?

    There is not any proof that diphenhydramine makes you placed on weight.

  15. Can life-style adjustments assist me sleep higher?

    There are a selection of issues you may attempt to assist your self have a very good evening's sleep: set common instances for going to mattress and waking up loosen up earlier than bedtime – strive taking a heat tub or listening to calming music use thick curtains or blinds, an eye fixed masks and earplugs to cease you being woken up by gentle and noise keep away from caffeine, cigarettes or vapes, alcohol, heavy meals and train for a couple of hours earlier than mattress time don't watch TV or use telephones, tablets or computer systems in mattress, or earlier than mattress time don't nap through the day make a listing of your worries and any concepts for methods to resolve them earlier than you go to mattress – this can assist you overlook about them till the morning

  16. Can life-style adjustments assist with hay fever and different allergic reactions?

    In case you have hay fever, it's going to assist if you don't spend an excessive amount of time outdoors when the pollen depend is excessive.

    Suggestions for whenever you're outdoors
    -Don't minimize grass or stroll on grass.
    -Put on wraparound sun shades to cease pollen entering into your eyes.
    -Put Vaseline round your nostrils to assist entice pollen.
    -Bathe and alter your garments after you have been outdoors to scrub off pollen.

    Suggestions for whenever you're inside
    -Preserve home windows and doorways shut as a lot as doable.
    -Vacuum recurrently and dirt with a humid fabric.
    -Don't maintain recent flowers in the home.
    -Don't smoke or be round smoke because it makes hay fever signs worse.
    -One of the best ways to stop any type of allergic response is to keep away from the substance that you just're allergic to, in the event you can. There are some sensible steps you may observe that can assist you keep away from widespread allergens.

Associated situations

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Hay fever
  • Hives
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Insomnia

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