Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Tylenol PM, Benadryl Allergy, ZzzQuil, Advil PM, Sleep, Sominex, Diphen, Unisom SleepGels, Dormin, Show all 229 »Q-Dryl, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Banophen, Acetadryl, Ibuprofen PM, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Nytol, Diphenhist, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Dicopanol, DPH, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Motrin PM, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Nervine, Unisom PM Pain, Excedrin PM, Headache Relief PM, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, Ala-Hist, Ala-Hist D, Benaphen Plus, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Sleep-Eze-3, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Unisom SleepMelts, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Diphedryl, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Help I Can't Sleep, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Legatrin PM, Midol PM, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Miles Nervine, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Aler-Dryl, Endal HD, Sleepwell 2-nite, Banaril, Duratuss AC 12, Valu-Dryl, Altaryl, Somnicaps, Pharbedryl, Hydramine, Siladryl, Sleepinal, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Tussinate, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Percogesic Extra Strength, Aldex-CT, Itch Relief, Diphenhist Topical, Tekral, CounterAct Night, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Mapap PM, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Dytan-D, Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free, Q-Dryl A/F, Uni-Tann, Nytol Caplet, Nu-Med, Diphenmax, Twilite, Nightime Sleepaid, Allermax, Diphendryl, Aler-Tab, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Hydro-DP, Aller-Dryl, Banophen M-S, Valu-Dryl Topical, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Derma-Pax, Dermarest Plus, Dermamycin, Dermarest, ConRx Allergy, Scot-Tussin Allergy, Sleep-ettes D, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Snooze Fast, Buckley's Bedtime, Aller-G-Time, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Siladryl Allergy, Dytan-HC, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Respa SA, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Alahist LQ, Di-Delamine, Banophen Anti Itch, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, SM Anti-Itch, Diphenmax D, Uni-Tann D, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, HC-Derma-Pax, D-Tann HC, Gestuss-HC, Quenalin, Doans PM, Pediatex-CT, Children's Triacting Night Time, Diphentann-D, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, D-Tann, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, Rindal HPD, Complete Allergy Relief, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, Benadryl Cold, CVS Allergy & Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough, Cold & Flu, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Robitussin Peak Cold Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Contac Day and Night Allergy, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Invarest, Dytan-AT, D-Tann AT, Calamine with Antihistamine, Ivarest, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Alka-Seltzer PM, Bayer PM, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Aceta-Gesic, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Genapap PM, Respa C&C, Respa C&C IR, Pharbetol PM, Night Time Pain, Percogesic Original Strength, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, ConRx PM, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Headache Formula PM, Pain Reliever PM, Dytan-CS, D-Tann CT, Sleep Tab II, Sleep Tabs, Total Allergy, Trux-adryl, Genahist, Diphenadryl, Benahist-50, Benoject-50, Calm-Aid, Diphenyl, Beldin, Tusstat, Diphenylin, Hydramine Compound, Sleep-ettes, Silphen Cough, Belix, Siladryl DAS, Siladyl SA, Benahist-10, Allergia-C, Dytan-DM, D-Tann DM, Simply Sleep, Airacof, Endal CD (old formulation), Uni-Tann CS, Dytan-CD, D-Tann CD, Dytuss, PediaCare Children's Allergy, 40 Winks, Diphen AF, Diphen Cough, Bydramine, Hydramine Cough Syrup, Ben-Tann, Dytan, Hyrexin, Pardryl
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.
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