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