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Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Tylenol PM, ZzzQuil, Benadryl Allergy, Q-Dryl, Advil PM, Unisom SleepGels, Banophen, Sominex, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Show all 231 »Diphenhist, Nytol, Sleep, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Simply Sleep, Diphen, Dicopanol, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Excedrin PM, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Ibuprofen PM, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Calamine with Antihistamine, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Percogesic Extra Strength, Dormin, Nervine, Sleep Tabs, Itch Relief, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Sleep-Eze-3, Unisom SleepMelts, Quenalin, Altaryl, Sleepwell 2-nite, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Airacof, Headache Relief PM, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Tekral, Midol PM, Pain Reliever PM, Unisom PM Pain, Diphenhist Topical, Banophen Anti Itch, Duratuss AC 12, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Pharbedryl, Nytol Caplet, Pardryl, Twilite, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Respa C&C, Hydramine, Valu-Dryl, Diphedryl, 40 Winks, Diphenadryl, Genahist, Somnicaps, Endal HD, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Motrin PM, Bayer PM, Benadryl Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, CVS Allergy & Cold, Help I Can't Sleep, Children's Triacting Night Time, ConRx Allergy, Dermarest, Histaprin, Nytol QuickCaps, Aller-Dryl, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Derma-Pax, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Aller-G-Time, Valu-Dryl Topical, Banophen M-S, Buckley's Bedtime, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Uni-Tann, Aler-Tab, Banaril, Sleepinal, Allermax, Diphendryl, Q-Dryl A/F, Diphenmax, Scot-Tussin Allergy, Snooze Fast, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, Miles Nervine, Sleep-ettes D, Nightime Sleepaid, Siladryl Allergy, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Pediatex-CT, Benaphen Plus, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, HC-Derma-Pax, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Di-Delamine, Respa SA, D-Tann HC, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, Tussinate, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Hydro-DP, Gestuss-HC, Dermamycin, Dytan-HC, Dermarest Plus, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Aldex-CT, Diphenmax D, Doans PM, Uni-Tann D, Dytan-D, D-Tann, Rindal HPD, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, SM Anti-Itch, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Diphentann-D, Alahist LQ, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Robitussin Peak Cold Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough, Cold & Flu, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, CounterAct Night, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Alka-Seltzer PM, Ala-Hist, Ala-Hist D, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Contac Day and Night Allergy, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, Legatrin PM, Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Aceta-Gesic, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Mapap PM, Respa C&C IR, Pharbetol PM, Genapap PM, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Acetadryl, ConRx PM, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, Headache Formula PM, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Night Time Pain, Percogesic Original Strength, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Ivarest, Invarest, Calm-Aid, Sleep Tab II, Total Allergy, Trux-adryl, Benoject-50, Benahist-50, Aler-Dryl, Allergia-C, Benahist-10, Diphenyl, Beldin, Sleep-ettes, Tusstat, Diphenylin, Hydramine Compound, Silphen Cough, Siladyl SA, Belix, Siladryl, Siladryl DAS, DPH, Diphen Cough, Dytan-CD, D-Tann CD, Endal CD (old formulation), Dytan-DM, Uni-Tann CS, D-Tann CT, Dytan-AT, D-Tann AT, Dytan-CS, D-Tann DM, Complete Allergy Relief, Hydramine Cough Syrup, Bydramine, Diphen AF, Hyrexin, Dytan, Dytuss, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Ben-Tann, Nu-Med

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]

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.[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

Substance Name


CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

Administrative Information

LactMed Record Number


Information from the National Library of Medicine's LactMed Database.

Last Revision Date



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Disclaimer: This information is not intended as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. Use of this website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Online Privacy Policy.