Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Tylenol PM, Advil PM, ZzzQuil, Benadryl Allergy, Sleep, Banophen, Q-Dryl, Diphen, Aleve PM, Show all 243 »Dormin, Unisom SleepGels, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Sominex, Dicopanol, Diphenhist, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Nytol, Nytol Caplet, Simply Sleep, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Motrin PM, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Sleepinal, Excedrin PM, Sleep-ettes, Dytuss, Calm-Aid, Hydramine, Genahist, Mucinex Fast-Max Night Time Cold & Flu, Twilite, Valu-Dryl, Quenalin, Siladryl, Dytan, Q-Dryl A/F, Sleep-ettes D, Unisom SleepMelts, Complete Allergy Relief, Ivarest, Ibuprofen PM, Scot-Tussin Allergy, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Allermax, Diphedryl, 40 Winks, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Aler-Dryl, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Aler-Tab, Nu-Med, Nervine, Siladryl Allergy, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Pain Reliever PM, D-Tann, Unisom PM Pain, Percogesic Extra Strength, Endal HD, DPH, Airacof, Altaryl, Doans PM, Silphen Cough, CVS Allergy & Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, Pharbedryl, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Sleep Tabs, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Sleep Tab II, Legatrin PM, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, D-Tann CT, D-Tann HC, Midol PM, Banophen Anti Itch, Ala-Hist, Diphen Cough, Ben-Tann, Calamine with Antihistamine, Alahist LQ, Headache Formula PM, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Acetadryl, Tussinate, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Headache Relief PM, Sleep-Eze-3, Dermarest, Bydramine, Ala-Hist D, Bayer PM, Duratuss AC 12, Itch Relief, Percogesic Original Strength, Belix, Somnicaps, Sleepwell 2-nite, Allergia-C, Diphenmax, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Uni-Tann, Banaril, Hydramine Compound, Pardryl, Help I Can't Sleep, Diphendryl, Histaprin, Aller-Dryl, Valu-Dryl Topical, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Banophen M-S, Miles Nervine, Dermarest Plus, Derma-Pax, Z-Sleep, Nightime Sleepaid, Respa C&C IR, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Benylin Multi-Symptom, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Dytan-D, Pediatex-CT, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, Respa SA, Tekral, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Diphenhist Topical, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Benaphen Plus, Di-Delamine, SM Anti-Itch, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, Children's Triacting Night Time, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, Diphenylin, Respa C&C, HC-Derma-Pax, Dytan-HC, Hydro-DP, Rindal HPD, Gestuss-HC, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Aldex-CT, Diphenmax D, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Uni-Tann D, Diphentann-D, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Cold & Flu, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, Dermamycin, Buckley's Bedtime, Robitussin Peak Cold Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough, Cold & Flu, Mucinex Sinus-Max Day & Night (Night), Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Dytan-DM, D-Tann DM, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Mucinex Children's Night Time Multi-Symptom Cold, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Delsym Cough+ Cold Night Time, Delsym Children’s Cough+ Cold Night Time, CounterAct Night, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, Endal CD (old formulation), Dytan-CD, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Actifed Sinus Day and Night, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Contac Day and Night Allergy, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Benadryl Cold, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Alka-Seltzer PM, Dytan-CS, D-Tann CD, Uni-Tann CS, D-Tann AT, Dytan-AT, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, Invarest, Anacin PM Aspirin Free, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Benoject-50, Diphenadryl, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Benahist-50, Benahist-10, Hyrexin, Hydramine Cough Syrup, Diphen AF, Aller-G-Time, Nytol QuickCaps, Vicks QlearQuil Nighttime Allergy Relief, Siladryl DAS, Siladyl SA, Beldin, Diphenyl, Total Allergy, Trux-adryl, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, ConRx Allergy, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Pharbetol PM, Aceta-Gesic, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Mapap PM, Bayer Select Max Strength Night Time Pain, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Snooze Fast, Excedrin PM Triple Action, ConRx PM, Genapap PM, Night Time Pain, Tusstat
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.
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. 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
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.