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Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Tylenol PM, ZzzQuil, Benadryl Allergy, Advil PM, Unisom SleepGels, Q-Dryl, Banophen, Dicopanol, Diphen, Show all 242 »Sominex, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Sleep, Nytol, Dormin, Motrin PM, Diphenhist, Legatrin PM, Aleve PM, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Excedrin PM, Headache Relief PM, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, Simply Sleep, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, DPH, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Ivarest, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Pain Reliever PM, Percogesic Original Strength, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Siladryl, Dytan, Valu-Dryl, Unisom PM Pain, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Alka-Seltzer PM, Airacof, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, D-Tann CT, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Tekral, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Calamine with Antihistamine, Allermax, Silphen Cough, Genahist, Diphenadryl, Bayer PM, Sleep Tabs, Somnicaps, Sleep-Eze-3, Diphedryl, Bydramine, Vicks QlearQuil Nighttime Allergy Relief, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Help I Can't Sleep, Nytol Caplet, Buckley's Bedtime, Snooze Fast, Pharbedryl, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Aceta-Gesic, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Percogesic Extra Strength, Night Time Pain, Mucinex Sinus-Max Day & Night (Night), FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Valu-Dryl Topical, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Derma-Pax, Aller-Dryl, Itch Relief, Sleepwell 2-nite, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Banophen M-S, Dermarest Plus, Dermamycin, Gestuss-HC, Dytan-HC, D-Tann HC, Tussinate, Endal HD, Dermarest, Hydro-DP, Rindal HPD, Scot-Tussin Allergy, Miles Nervine, Aler-Tab, Siladryl Allergy, Sleep-ettes D, Uni-Tann, Banaril, Twilite, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Sleepinal, Diphendryl, Q-Dryl A/F, Diphenmax, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Complete Allergy Relief, Dytuss, Unisom SleepMelts, Z-Sleep, Nightime Sleepaid, Ben-Tann, Histaprin, HC-Derma-Pax, Mapap PM, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Banophen Anti Itch, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, D-Tann, Pediatex-CT, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, Alahist LQ, Dytan-D, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Respa C&C IR, Respa C&C, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, SM Anti-Itch, Di-Delamine, Benaphen Plus, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Respa SA, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Children's Triacting Night Time, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Doans PM, ConRx PM, Ibuprofen PM, Nu-Med, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Genapap PM, Acetadryl, Bayer Select Max Strength Night Time Pain, Diphenhist Topical, Diphenmax D, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Aldex-CT, Uni-Tann D, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, Diphentann-D, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, Pardryl, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Robitussin Peak Cold Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough, Cold & Flu, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, CVS Allergy & Cold, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Mucinex Fast-Max Night Time Cold & Flu, Mucinex Children's Night Time Multi-Symptom Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Anacin PM Aspirin Free, Delsym Cough+ Cold Night Time, Delsym Children’s Cough+ Cold Night Time, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, CounterAct Night, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Dytan-CS, D-Tann CD, Uni-Tann CS, D-Tann AT, Dytan-AT, Ala-Hist D, Actifed Sinus Day and Night, Invarest, Dytan-CD, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Benadryl Cold, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Contac Day and Night Allergy, D-Tann DM, Endal CD (old formulation), Dytan-DM, Duratuss AC 12, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Trux-adryl, Diphenyl, Altaryl, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Total Allergy, Nytol QuickCaps, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Aller-G-Time, Sleep Tab II, Beldin, Belix, Diphenylin, Hydramine Compound, Ala-Hist, Quenalin, Tusstat, Sleep-ettes, Hydramine, Siladryl DAS, Siladyl SA, Calm-Aid, Benoject-50, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Cold & Flu, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Midol PM, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Headache Formula PM, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Pharbetol PM, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, ConRx Allergy, Hyrexin, Allergia-C, Benahist-10, Benahist-50, Aler-Dryl, Diphen Cough, Hydramine Cough Syrup, 40 Winks, Diphen AF, Nervine

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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