Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Benadryl Allergy, ZzzQuil, Tylenol PM, Unisom SleepGels, Advil PM, Sominex, Diphen, Q-Dryl, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Show all 239 »Banophen, Sleep, Ibuprofen PM, Dormin, Diphenhist, Nytol, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Acetadryl, Bydramine, Dicopanol, Simply Sleep, Motrin PM, Calamine with Antihistamine, Ivarest, Pharbedryl, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Aceta-Gesic, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Itch Relief, Legatrin PM, Diphendryl, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Midol PM, Percogesic Extra Strength, Airacof, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Mapap PM, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Hydramine Cough Syrup, CVS Allergy & Cold, Miles Nervine, Nervine, Tusstat, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Tekral, D-Tann CT, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, Nytol QuickCaps, Hydramine, Ala-Hist, Siladryl, Sleepinal, Nightime Sleepaid, Aler-Tab, Altaryl, Sleep-Eze-3, Unisom SleepMelts, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Dytan, Sleep Tabs, Doans PM, Histaprin, Headache Relief PM, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Benadryl Cold, Unisom PM Pain, Mucinex Sinus-Max Day & Night (Night), Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Valu-Dryl Topical, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Aller-Dryl, Banophen M-S, Z-Sleep, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Dermarest, Derma-Pax, Dermarest Plus, Gestuss-HC, Dytan-HC, D-Tann HC, Tussinate, Endal HD, Dermamycin, Hydro-DP, Rindal HPD, ConRx Allergy, Help I Can't Sleep, Uni-Tann, Q-Dryl A/F, Diphenmax, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Allermax, Twilite, Banaril, Siladryl Allergy, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Snooze Fast, Buckley's Bedtime, Aller-G-Time, Sleepwell 2-nite, Scot-Tussin Allergy, Sleep-ettes D, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, HC-Derma-Pax, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, Children's Triacting Night Time, Diphentann-D, Uni-Tann D, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, D-Tann, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, Aldex-CT, Diphenmax D, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Respa C&C IR, Benaphen Plus, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Respa SA, Alahist LQ, Pediatex-CT, Dytan-D, Genapap PM, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Excedrin PM, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Banophen Anti Itch, Respa C&C, Di-Delamine, Pharbetol PM, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Diphenhist Topical, SM Anti-Itch, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Hydramine Compound, Robitussin Night Time Cough, Cold & Flu, Robitussin Peak Cold Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, CounterAct Night, Delsym Children’s Cough+ Cold Night Time, Delsym Cough+ Cold Night Time, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Anacin PM Aspirin Free, ConRx PM, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Bayer Select Max Strength Night Time Pain, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, Mucinex Children's Night Time Multi-Symptom Cold, Mucinex Fast-Max Night Time Cold & Flu, Dytan-AT, D-Tann AT, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Dytan-CS, Invarest, Actifed Sinus Day and Night, Alka-Seltzer PM, Ala-Hist D, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Uni-Tann CS, Dytan-CD, D-Tann DM, Contac Day and Night Allergy, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Duratuss AC 12, Dytan-DM, D-Tann CD, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Endal CD (old formulation), Pain Reliever PM, Headache Formula PM, Trux-adryl, Valu-Dryl, Diphenyl, Beldin, Total Allergy, Somnicaps, Diphenadryl, Genahist, Sleep Tab II, Belix, Siladryl DAS, Pardryl, Quenalin, Nu-Med, Bayer PM, Diphenylin, Siladyl SA, Silphen Cough, Sleep-ettes, Calm-Aid, Benoject-50, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Ben-Tann, Dytuss, Complete Allergy Relief, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Percogesic Original Strength, Night Time Pain, Hyrexin, 40 Winks, Allergia-C, Benahist-10, Benahist-50, Aler-Dryl, DPH, Diphedryl, Diphen AF, Diphen Cough, Nytol Caplet
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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