Benadryl is a drug that is commonly used to relieve allergy symptoms. These can include runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. A topical form is also available to help relieve rashes. Benadryl is available from many companies that create varying capsule sizes and dosages. As a result, you must read the instructions carefully before taking it.
Benadryl dosing is usually divided up into tablets. There are chewable or liquid versions available for children. The dose size is often based on the weight of the patient. It is safe to take this drug without food, but that can result in a stomachache, so it is best to pair your dose with a meal if possible. Benadryl is not intended to be used on a regular basis. Consult your doctor if you plan on taking the drug regularly to determine the safest dosage. Ingestion should be limited to one dose every 4-6 hours.
Common Side Effects of Benadryl
The most common Benadryl side effect is drowsiness. At least 1 percent of all patients taking Benadryl report some level of drowsiness. In most cases, this does not impact the patient's ability to function. It can, however, lead to a lack of focus or other issues that may have an effect on daily activities. Avoid driving or performing work that requires serious concentration until you know how Benadryl affects your body.
Heartburn can also be a quite common side effect of Benadryl, affecting at least 1 in 100 users. This may include indigestion, though most patients do not report any serious complications from it. This can often be eliminated or relieved by pairing your dose of Benadryl with food. Heartburn typically becomes less frequent as you take the medication more frequently.
Benadryl's allergy treatments can lead to dryness of the nose, mouth, and throat. This is due to the impact of the drug on the sinuses and mucus in your system. Data for this side effect is inconsistent, as it does not necessarily happen every time the product is used. Drink plenty of fluids when you are on Benadryl. Staying hydrated will also help your body expel some of the excess mucus that has been contributing to your condition. Sucking on ice chips, candy, or gum can also provide relief for excessive dryness.
Uncommon or Rare Side Effects of Benadryl
Allergic reactions to the medication may occur in some patients. These may include a rash or itchiness. Hives may also be present from an allergic reaction. Some people that from an allergic reaction to Benadry even report experiencing tightening of the chest or difficulty breathing. This is often due to swelling along the face or throat that puts excessive pressure on the airways. If you begin to suffer from any of these symptoms, cease use of the medication immediately and contact your doctor.
Intestinal trouble including nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite may occur in some users. These side effects are more common for those who are taking the drug on a regular basis. Constipation may also result from taking heavy doses of antihistamines. Many users report that these side effects were minor. If you notice a more serious reaction, talk to your doctor about adjusting your dose. .
In cases where fatigue became extreme, patients reported instances of irritability, shakiness, restlessness, or nervousness. Some also reported spinning and other discomfort that led to disorientation. If these types of reactions are common for you, do not try to drive or operate machinery when using Benadryl. In some cases, it is possible to develop a tolerance to Benadryl that will limit this reaction, but this will take time. Talk to your doctor if your reaction is serious or limiting your ability to function. They may be able to pair you with an alternate medication.
Side Effects in Children, Pregnant Women, and Seniors
Very young children and infants should not take Benadryl. They are not yet able to handle the strong reactions and serious side effects that may occur. If your child accidently ingests the product, call a poison control hotline immediately. Similarly, pregnant women should only take Benadryl sparingly and under the supervision of a doctor. Studies have not found any significant damage to the fetus due to Benadryl use. However, they may not pair well with other mediations you may be taking during pregnancy.
There are also no specific concerns for seniors regarding Benadryl usage. Benadryl side effects tend to affect seniors more seriously, so they should consult a doctor before starting a regimen. Some conditions that are more common in seniors, such as ulcers and heart conditions, may be worsened by the drug. Those with liver issues should also consult their doctor to determine the appropriate dose.
Interactions with Other Medicines and Substances
Benadryl should never be taken with alcohol. Benadryl side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness are worsened by this pairing. This may lead to a serious reaction that will require medical attention.
The drug can usually be taken with other types of medication as long as the patient avoids other antihistamines. Some drugs, such as tranquilizers, may impact the level of drowsiness the patient experiences. Side effects like nausea may also mask more serious conditions that the patient may have. If you will be taking Benadryl regularly, tell your doctor about any underlying conditions or medications that you are taking.
It should also be noted that taking Benadryl for an extended period of time could cause a chemical dependence. Never start a regimen without the supervision of your doctor. You should also avoid taking the drug for more than ten days in a row without supervision. If you have been taking the drug this long and it has not helped your symptoms, seek medical attention. You may need a medial examination to determine an alternative cause behind your symptoms.