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Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Tylenol PM, ZzzQuil, Benadryl Allergy, Advil PM, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Unisom SleepGels, Q-Dryl, Sominex, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Show all 248 »Aleve PM, Banophen, Diphen, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Diphenhist, Ibuprofen PM, Sleep, Nytol, Excedrin PM, Dicopanol, Benadryl Cold, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Ivarest, Legatrin PM, Calamine with Antihistamine, Percogesic Extra Strength, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Dormin, Dermamycin, Quenalin, Motrin PM, Bydramine, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Headache Relief PM, Hydramine, Tussinate, Unisom PM Pain, Diphedryl, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, Calm-Aid, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Mucinex Fast-Max Night Time Cold & Flu, HC-Derma-Pax, Aceta-Gesic, Anacin PM Aspirin Free, Sleep-ettes, Sleep-ettes D, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Nightime Sleepaid, Pain Reliever PM, Benaphen Plus, Midol PM, Unisom SleepMelts, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Cold & Flu, Sleep Tabs, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Mapap PM, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, Mucinex Sinus-Max Night Time Congestion & Cough, Tusstat, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Airacof, Buckley's Bedtime, Diphenyl, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Respa C&C IR, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Hydramine Cough Syrup, Aler-Dryl, Vicks QlearQuil Nighttime Allergy Relief, Simply Sleep, Banaril, Twilite, Aler-Tab, Siladryl Allergy, Uni-Tann, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Diphendryl, Allermax, Nu-Med, Nervine, Nytol Caplet, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Help I Can't Sleep, Sleepinal, Q-Dryl A/F, Diphenmax, Dytuss, Complete Allergy Relief, Miles Nervine, Scot-Tussin Allergy, Banophen M-S, Sleepwell 2-nite, Truxadryl, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Dytan, Ben-Tann, Pharbedryl, Histaprin, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Z-Sleep, Itch Relief, Gestuss-HC, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, D-Tann, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Pediatex-CT, Dytan-D, Children's Triacting Night Time, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Alahist LQ, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Respa SA, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Banophen Anti Itch, Diphenhist Topical, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Tekral, Di-Delamine, SM Anti-Itch, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Rindal HPD, Hydro-DP, Endal HD, Pardryl, Dytan-HC, Dermarest, Dermarest Plus, Valu-Dryl Topical, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Derma-Pax, D-Tann HC, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, Diphentann-D, Uni-Tann D, Aldex-CT, Diphenmax D, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, PediaCare Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Doans PM, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, Aller-Dryl, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Mucinex Sinus-Max Day & Night (Night), Mucinex Children's Night Time Multi-Symptom Cold, Night Time Severe Cold and Cough, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, CounterAct Night, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, CVS Allergy & Cold, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Actifed Sinus Day and Night, Alka-Seltzer PM, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Contac Day and Night Allergy, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, Robitussin Severe Multi-Symptom Cough Cold + Flu Nighttime, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Delsym Children’s Cough+ Cold Night Time, Delsym Cough+ Cold Night Time, Acetadryl, Night Time Pain, Percogesic Original Strength, Genapap PM, ConRx PM, Bayer Select Max Strength Night Time Pain, Excedrin PM Headache, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Respa C&C, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Dimetapp Children's Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Headache Formula PM, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Pharbetol PM, Bayer PM, Ala-Hist, Aller-G-Time, Sleep Tab II, Sleep-Eze-3, Somnicaps, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Genahist, Benahist-10, Benahist-50, Benoject-50, Diphenadryl, Nytol QuickCaps, Total Allergy, Siladryl DAS, Siladyl SA, Silphen Cough, Diphenylin, Siladryl, Belix, Trux-adryl, Valu-Dryl, Altaryl, Beldin, Allergia-C, DPH, D-Tann CD, Uni-Tann CS, Dytan-CD, Endal CD (old formulation), D-Tann CT, Dytan-CS, Ala-Hist D, Invarest, Dytan-AT, D-Tann AT, Dytan-DM, Duratuss AC 12, Hyrexin, 40 Winks, Diphen AF, Diphen Cough, ConRx Allergy, Excedrin PM Triple Action, D-Tann DM, Snooze Fast, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Hydramine Compound

Diphenhydramine Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Small, occasional doses of diphenhydramine would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. Larger doses or more prolonged use may cause effects in the infant or decrease the milk supply, particularly in combination with a sympathomimetic such as pseudoephedrine or before lactation is well established. Single bedtime doses after the last feeding of the day may be adequate for many women and will minimize any effects of the drug. The nonsedating antihistamines are preferred alternatives.

Drug Levels

Maternal Levels. One old study that used a biologic assay system reported that after a 100 mg intramuscular dose of diphenhydramine in four women, drug levels in milk were undetectable in two and 42 and 100 mcg/L in two others at one hour after the dose. Five hours after the dose, milk levels were undetectable in two women and 20 and 100 mcg/L in two others.[1] No studies using modern assay methods have been reported.

Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Effects in Breastfed Infants

In one telephone follow-up study, mothers reported irritability and colicky symptoms 10% of infants exposed to various antihistamines and drowsiness was reported in 1.6% of infants. None of the reactions required medical attention. In this study, drowsiness was reported in 1 infant of 12 exposed to diphenhydramine in breastmilk.[2]

Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk

Antihistamines in relatively high doses given by injection can decrease basal serum prolactin in nonlactating women and in early postpartum women.[3][4] However, suckling-induced prolactin secretion is not affected by antihistamine pretreatment of postpartum mothers.[3] Whether lower oral doses of antihistamines have the same effect on serum prolactin or whether the effects on prolactin have any consequences on breastfeeding success have not been studied. The prolactin level in a mother with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.

Alternate Drugs to Consider

Desloratadine, Fexofenadine, Loratadine


1. Rindi V. La eliminazione degli antistaminici di sintesi con il latte e l'azione latto-goga de questi. Riv Ital Ginecol. 1951;34:147-57.

2. Ito S, Blajchman A, Stephenson M et al. Prospective follow-up of adverse reactions in breast-fed infants exposed to maternal medication. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993;168:1393-9. PMID: 8498418

3. Messinis IE, Souvatzoglou A, Fais N et al. Histamine H1 receptor participation in the control of prolactin secretion in postpartum. J Endocrinol Invest. 1985;8:143-6. PMID: 3928731

4. Pontiroli AE, De Castro e Silva E, Mazzoleni F et al. The effect of histamine and H1 and H2 receptors on prolactin and luteinizing hormone release in humans: sex differences and the role of stress. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1981;52:924-8. PMID: 7228996

Diphenhydramine Identification

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Administrative Information

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