Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Tylenol PM, ZzzQuil, Benadryl Allergy, Advil PM, Sominex, Q-Dryl, Unisom SleepGels, Banophen, Sleep, Show all 231 »Nytol, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Sleepinal, Diphen, Diphenhist, Ibuprofen PM, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Dicopanol, Percogesic Extra Strength, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Dormin, Motrin PM, Hydramine, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Calamine with Antihistamine, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Nytol Caplet, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Diphenyl, Legatrin PM, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Hydramine Cough Syrup, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Trux-adryl, Simply Sleep, DPH, Buckley's Bedtime, Unisom SleepMelts, Sleepwell 2-nite, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Endal HD, Unisom PM Pain, Mapap PM, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Doans PM, Airacof, CVS Allergy & Cold, Acetadryl, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Sleep-Eze-3, Tussinate, Derma-Pax, Dermarest, Nytol QuickCaps, Aldex-CT, Alahist LQ, Di-Delamine, Benaphen Plus, Tekral, Siladryl Allergy, Banaril, Sleep Tab II, Genahist, Diphedryl, Sleep Tabs, Altaryl, Quenalin, Pardryl, Hydramine Compound, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Nervine, Robitussin Night Time Cough, Cold & Flu, Midol PM, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Excedrin PM, Headache Formula PM, Headache Relief PM, Ala-Hist, Aceta-Gesic, Dermarest Plus, Dermamycin, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Valu-Dryl Topical, Banophen M-S, Itch Relief, Aller-Dryl, Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free, Hydro-DP, HC-Derma-Pax, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, D-Tann HC, Dytan-HC, Rindal HPD, Gestuss-HC, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Nightime Sleepaid, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Sleep-ettes D, Diphenmax, Q-Dryl A/F, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Uni-Tann, Miles Nervine, Scot-Tussin Allergy, ConRx Allergy, Histaprin, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Help I Can't Sleep, Aller-G-Time, Snooze Fast, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Genapap PM, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, SM Anti-Itch, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Uni-Tann D, Diphenmax D, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Respa C&C IR, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Respa SA, Respa C&C, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Diphentann-D, Children's Triacting Night Time, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Aler-Tab, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Pharbetol PM, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Diphenhist Topical, Dytan-D, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, Pediatex-CT, D-Tann, Banophen Anti Itch, Diphendryl, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Robitussin Peak Cold Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, CounterAct Night, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Pain Reliever PM, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, ConRx PM, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, Benadryl Cold, Contac Day and Night Allergy, Uni-Tann CS, D-Tann CT, Dytan-CS, Dytan-CD, D-Tann CD, Duratuss AC 12, D-Tann DM, Endal CD (old formulation), D-Tann AT, Dytan-AT, Alka-Seltzer PM, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Bayer PM, Ala-Hist D, Invarest, Ivarest, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Belix, Siladryl, Siladryl DAS, Beldin, Valu-Dryl, Diphenadryl, Somnicaps, Total Allergy, Siladyl SA, Silphen Cough, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Allermax, Dytan-DM, Nu-Med, Diphenylin, Sleep-ettes, Tusstat, Calm-Aid, Benoject-50, Ben-Tann, Dytan, Pharbedryl, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Dytuss, Percogesic Original Strength, Night Time Pain, Complete Allergy Relief, Hyrexin, Bydramine, Allergia-C, Benahist-10, Benahist-50, Aler-Dryl, Diphen Cough, 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
Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.
- Diphenhydramine use during Pregnancy
- Diphenhydramine topical use during Pregnancy
- Diphenhydramine Consumer Information
- Diphenhydramine cream Consumer Information
- Breastfeeding Support Group
- Safe Medications during Breastfeeding
- Medicine use while Breastfeeding
- Medicine use during Pregnancy