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Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding

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

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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