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Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding

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

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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