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