Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Benadryl Allergy, Tylenol PM, Advil PM, ZzzQuil, Sominex, Q-Dryl, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Unisom SleepGels, Diphen, Show all 242 »Banophen, Dormin, Dicopanol, Nytol, Simply Sleep, Ibuprofen PM, Ivarest, Motrin PM, Bydramine, Diphenhist, Aceta-Gesic, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Sleep, Itch Relief, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Pharbedryl, Legatrin PM, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, Midol PM, DPH, Diphendryl, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Percogesic Extra Strength, Acetadryl, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Tusstat, Miles Nervine, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Percogesic Original Strength, Excedrin PM, Mapap PM, Calamine with Antihistamine, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Tekral, Siladryl, Airacof, Nytol Caplet, Help I Can't Sleep, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Buckley's Bedtime, Snooze Fast, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Doans PM, Unisom SleepMelts, Sleepinal, Genahist, Diphenadryl, Diphedryl, Hydramine Cough Syrup, Sleep Tabs, Somnicaps, Nervine, Silphen Cough, Hydramine, Dytan, Aler-Tab, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Headache Relief PM, Benadryl Cold, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Pain Reliever PM, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, CVS Allergy & Cold, Mucinex Sinus-Max Day & Night (Night), Ala-Hist, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Derma-Pax, Dermarest Plus, Valu-Dryl Topical, Aller-Dryl, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Dermarest, Banophen M-S, Dermamycin, Hydro-DP, D-Tann HC, HC-Derma-Pax, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, Dytan-HC, Gestuss-HC, Rindal HPD, Endal HD, Tussinate, Night Time Pain, Vicks QlearQuil Nighttime Allergy Relief, Nightime Sleepaid, Siladryl Allergy, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Diphenmax, Q-Dryl A/F, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Uni-Tann, Sleep-ettes D, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Nytol QuickCaps, Histaprin, Z-Sleep, ConRx Allergy, Aller-G-Time, Scot-Tussin Allergy, Sleepwell 2-nite, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Genapap PM, Diphenmax D, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Di-Delamine, Aldex-CT, Uni-Tann D, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Children's Triacting Night Time, Diphentann-D, Alahist LQ, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, Respa C&C, Benaphen Plus, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Respa C&C IR, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, Respa SA, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, Banaril, Diphenhist Topical, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Unisom PM Pain, Pharbetol PM, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, SM Anti-Itch, Aleve PM, Pediatex-CT, D-Tann, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Dytan-D, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Cold & Flu, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Banophen Anti Itch, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Quenalin, CounterAct Night, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Robitussin Night Time Cough, Cold & Flu, Robitussin Peak Cold Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, Delsym Cough+ Cold Night Time, Mucinex Fast-Max Night Time Cold & Flu, Mucinex Children's Night Time Multi-Symptom Cold, Delsym Children’s Cough+ Cold Night Time, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Contac Day and Night Allergy, Dytan-CD, D-Tann CD, Ala-Hist D, Uni-Tann CS, D-Tann CT, Dytan-AT, D-Tann AT, Dytan-CS, Endal CD (old formulation), Dytan-DM, Actifed Sinus Day and Night, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Alka-Seltzer PM, Duratuss AC 12, D-Tann DM, Bayer PM, Bayer Select Max Strength Night Time Pain, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Diphenyl, Altaryl, Beldin, Belix, Valu-Dryl, Trux-adryl, Sleep Tab II, Sleep-Eze-3, Total Allergy, Siladryl DAS, Siladyl SA, Nu-Med, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Allermax, Invarest, Pardryl, Sleep-ettes, Diphenylin, Hydramine Compound, Calm-Aid, Benoject-50, Complete Allergy Relief, Dytuss, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Headache Formula PM, Anacin PM Aspirin Free, ConRx PM, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Ben-Tann, Allergia-C, Benahist-10, Benahist-50, Aler-Dryl, Diphen Cough, Hyrexin, 40 Winks, Diphen AF, Twilite
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.
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. 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.
Possible Effects on Lactation
Antihistamines in relatively high doses given by injection can decrease basal serum prolactin in nonlactating women and in early postpartum women. However, suckling-induced prolactin secretion is not affected by antihistamine pretreatment of postpartum mothers. 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
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
CAS Registry Number
LactMed Record Number
Information from the National Library of Medicine's LactMed Database.
Last Revision Date
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