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Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Tylenol PM, Benadryl Allergy, ZzzQuil, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Advil PM, Sleep, Unisom SleepGels, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Banophen, Show all 247 »Aleve PM, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Nytol, Sominex, Calamine with Antihistamine, Q-Dryl, Diphenhist, Dormin, Excedrin PM, Headache Relief PM, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Hydramine, Diphen, Mucinex Fast-Max Night Time Cold & Flu, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Cold & Flu, Ibuprofen PM, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, CVS Allergy & Cold, Dytan-CS, Pain Reliever PM, Quenalin, Sleep-ettes, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Mucinex Sinus-Max Day & Night (Night), Dermarest, HC-Derma-Pax, DPH, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Nightime Sleepaid, Midol PM, Unisom SleepMelts, Legatrin PM, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Simply Sleep, Bydramine, Sleep-Eze-3, Histaprin, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Sleepwell 2-nite, Itch Relief, Banaril, Sleep Tab II, Calm-Aid, Buckley's Bedtime, D-Tann CT, Siladryl, Nu-Med, Dicopanol, Diphendryl, Nytol Caplet, Airacof, Dytan-D, Banophen Anti Itch, Mucinex Sinus-Max Night Time Congestion & Cough, Benadryl Cold, Unisom PM Pain, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, D-Tann, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Aldex-CT, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Help I Can't Sleep, Twilite, Allermax, Sleepinal, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Nervine, Silphen Cough, Siladyl SA, Tusstat, Diphenylin, Pardryl, Hydramine Compound, Aler-Tab, Q-Dryl A/F, Truxadryl, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Complete Allergy Relief, Dytuss, Scot-Tussin Allergy, Miles Nervine, Z-Sleep, Pharbedryl, Sleep-ettes D, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Uni-Tann, Diphenmax, Dytan, Ben-Tann, Siladryl Allergy, Dermamycin, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, Pediatex-CT, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Children's Triacting Night Time, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, Alahist LQ, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Respa SA, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Diphenhist Topical, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Tekral, Benaphen Plus, Di-Delamine, SM Anti-Itch, Diphenmax D, Uni-Tann D, Siladryl DAS, Hydro-DP, Rindal HPD, Endal HD, Dermarest Plus, Derma-Pax, Aller-Dryl, Valu-Dryl Topical, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Tussinate, Gestuss-HC, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, PediaCare Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, Diphentann-D, Doans PM, Motrin PM, Dytan-HC, D-Tann HC, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, Banophen M-S, Snooze Fast, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, CounterAct Night, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, Mucinex Children's Night Time Multi-Symptom Cold, Night Time Severe Cold and Cough, Delsym Children’s Cough+ Cold Night Time, Anacin PM Aspirin Free, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Delsym Cough+ Cold Night Time, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Contac Day and Night Allergy, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Robitussin Severe Multi-Symptom Cough Cold + Flu Nighttime, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, Percogesic Extra Strength, Tylenol Severe Allergy, ConRx PM, Acetadryl, Night Time Pain, Percogesic Original Strength, Bayer Select Max Strength Night Time Pain, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Excedrin PM Headache, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Respa C&C, Respa C&C IR, Genapap PM, Mapap PM, Pharbetol PM, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Aceta-Gesic, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Headache Formula PM, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Actifed Sinus Day and Night, Benoject-50, Diphenadryl, Genahist, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Benahist-50, Benahist-10, Diphen AF, Diphen Cough, Aler-Dryl, Allergia-C, Aller-G-Time, Sleep Tabs, Altaryl, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Beldin, Belix, Diphenyl, Valu-Dryl, Somnicaps, Nytol QuickCaps, Total Allergy, Trux-adryl, Diphedryl, 40 Winks, Dytan-AT, D-Tann AT, D-Tann CD, Uni-Tann CS, Ivarest, Invarest, Alka-Seltzer PM, Bayer PM, Ala-Hist, Ala-Hist D, Dytan-CD, Endal CD (old formulation), Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, ConRx Allergy, Hyrexin, Hydramine Cough Syrup, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Excedrin PM Triple Action, Dytan-DM, Duratuss AC 12, D-Tann DM, Vicks QlearQuil Nighttime Allergy Relief

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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