Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Tylenol PM, Advil PM, Benadryl Allergy, ZzzQuil, Banophen, Sleep, Diphenhist, Diphen, Q-Dryl, Show all 246 »Benadryl Children's Allergy, Sominex, Dormin, Nytol, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Unisom SleepGels, Dicopanol, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Mucinex Fast-Max Night Time Cold & Flu, Aleve PM, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Ibuprofen PM, Headache Relief PM, Percogesic Extra Strength, Nytol Caplet, Sleep Tabs, Simply Sleep, Excedrin PM, Motrin PM, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Dermarest, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Sleep-Eze-3, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Nightime Sleepaid, CVS Allergy & Cold, Mucinex Sinus-Max Day & Night (Night), Legatrin PM, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Ivarest, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Unisom PM Pain, Calm-Aid, Ala-Hist, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, Quenalin, Sleepinal, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Sleepwell 2-nite, Nervine, Unisom SleepMelts, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Pharbedryl, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Dytan, Itch Relief, Endal HD, Siladryl, Calamine with Antihistamine, Tekral, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Bydramine, Buckley's Bedtime, Doans PM, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Hyrexin, Diphedryl, Diphenyl, Valu-Dryl, Belix, Genahist, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Midol PM, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Acetadryl, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Derma-Pax, Valu-Dryl Topical, Mapap PM, Genapap PM, Banophen M-S, Aller-Dryl, Dermarest Plus, Hydro-DP, Dytan-HC, D-Tann HC, HC-Derma-Pax, Gestuss-HC, Tussinate, Percogesic Original Strength, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Rindal HPD, Dermamycin, Miles Nervine, Banaril, Aler-Tab, Siladryl Allergy, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Twilite, Diphendryl, Pardryl, Nu-Med, Help I Can't Sleep, Allermax, Sleep-ettes D, Uni-Tann, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Complete Allergy Relief, Dytuss, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, Z-Sleep, Histaprin, Q-Dryl A/F, Diphenmax, Ben-Tann, Scot-Tussin Allergy, ConRx PM, Excedrin PM Headache, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Respa SA, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Cold & Flu, Respa C&C, D-Tann, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, 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, SM Anti-Itch, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Pediatex-CT, Dytan-D, Respa C&C IR, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, PediaCare Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Night Time Pain, Hydramine Compound, Bayer Select Max Strength Night Time Pain, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, Diphentann-D, Children's Triacting Night Time, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, Alahist LQ, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Uni-Tann D, Aldex-CT, Diphenmax D, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, Diphenylin, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Robitussin Peak Cold Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Robitussin Night Time Cough, Cold & Flu, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Mucinex Children's Night Time Multi-Symptom Cold, Delsym Cough+ Cold Night Time, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Delsym Children’s Cough+ Cold Night Time, Mucinex Sinus-Max Night Time Congestion & Cough, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, CounterAct Night, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, Benadryl Cold, Contac Day and Night Allergy, D-Tann CT, D-Tann CD, Uni-Tann CS, Dytan-CD, Dytan-CS, D-Tann AT, Bayer PM, Invarest, Dytan-AT, Airacof, Endal CD (old formulation), Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Actifed Sinus Day and Night, Alka-Seltzer PM, Dytan-DM, Duratuss AC 12, D-Tann DM, Anacin PM Aspirin Free, Aceta-Gesic, Sleep Tab II, Somnicaps, Nytol QuickCaps, Total Allergy, Aller-G-Time, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Benahist-50, Benoject-50, Diphenadryl, Trux-adryl, Altaryl, Siladyl SA, Silphen Cough, Sleep-ettes, Tusstat, Siladryl DAS, Hydramine, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Beldin, Vicks QlearQuil Nighttime Allergy Relief, Benahist-10, Allergia-C, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Pain Reliever PM, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Headache Formula PM, Excedrin PM Triple Action, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Pharbetol PM, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Snooze Fast, Diphen Cough, DPH, Aler-Dryl, Diphen AF, 40 Winks, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, ConRx Allergy, Hydramine Cough Syrup, Ala-Hist D
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.