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Benadryl is used for preventing or treating symptoms of hay fever and other upper respiratory allergies or the common cold, such as runny nose, sneezing, itching of the nose and throat, and itchy, watery eyes, and relieving cough.
It may also relieve itching of the skin and allergic skin reactions. It is also used to treat and prevent motion sickness. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Use Benadryl as directed by your doctor.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Benadryl.
- Take Benadryl by mouth with or without food.
- Use Benadryl exactly as directed on the package, unless instructed differently by your doctor. If you are taking Benadryl without a prescription, follow any warnings and precautions on the label.
- For prevention of motion sickness: Take at least 30 minutes before activity or travel.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Benadryl is an antihistamine and anticholinergic. It works by blocking the action of histamine, reducing the symptoms of an allergic reaction. It also works in the brain to cause sedation.
If you miss a dose of Benadryl, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.
Store Benadryl at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C) in a tightly closed container. Brief periods at temperatures of 59 to 86 degrees F (15 to 30 degrees C) are permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Benadryl out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Possible Side Effects
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
- dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth, throat, and nose; excitability; thickening of mucus in nose or throat.
- severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); convulsions; fast heartbeat or pounding in the chest; decreased alertness; hallucinations; tremor; wheezing.
Benadryl is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.