Skip to Content

Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Ibuprofen PM, Banophen, Benadryl Allergy, Hydramine, Tylenol PM, ZzzQuil, Aleve PM, Advil PM, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Show all 254 »Diphenhist, Diphenadryl, Diphen, Dicopanol, Sleep, Sominex, Diphedryl, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Acetadryl, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Motrin PM, Excedrin PM, Simply Sleep, Unisom SleepGels, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Diphendryl, Allermax, Nytol QuickCaps, CVS Allergy & Cold, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Ivarest, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Diphenmax D, Headache Relief PM, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Banophen Anti Itch, Calamine with Antihistamine, Rindal HPD, Sleepwell 2-nite, Bayer PM, Airacof, Sleep Tabs, Itch Relief, Dormin, Nytol, Unisom SleepMelts, Dermarest, Doans PM, Benaphen Plus, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Dytan, Nervine, Q-Dryl, DPH, Bydramine, Hyrexin, Sleep Tab II, Valu-Dryl, Quenalin, Diphenylin, Belix, Diphenyl, Buckley's Bedtime, Nightime Sleepaid, Aceta-Gesic, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Percogesic Extra Strength, Headache Formula PM, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Valu-Dryl Topical, Banophen M-S, Mapap PM, Genapap PM, Derma-Pax, Aller-Dryl, Dermamycin, Hydro-DP, Endal HD, Tussinate, Unisom PM Pain, Dytan-HC, Gestuss-HC, Scot-Tussin Allergy, D-Tann HC, Dermarest Plus, Dytuss, Aler-Tab, Banaril, Siladryl Allergy, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Sleep-ettes D, Twilite, Help I Can't Sleep, Nu-Med, Nytol Caplet, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Sleepinal, Uni-Tann, Q-Dryl A/F, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Truxadryl, Complete Allergy Relief, Z-Sleep, Histaprin, Diphenmax, Ben-Tann, Vanamine PD, Pharbedryl, Miles Nervine, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, Respa C&C, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Respa C&C IR, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Respa SA, Tekral, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Diphenhist Topical, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Di-Delamine, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Cold & Flu, SM Anti-Itch, D-Tann, Pediatex-CT, Bayer Select Max Strength Night Time Pain, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, PediaCare Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, ConRx PM, Night Time Pain, Pardryl, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, Percogesic Original Strength, Diphentann-D, Uni-Tann D, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, Benadryl Children's Allergy Plus Congestion, Alahist LQ, Dytan-D, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Children's Triacting Night Time, Aldex-CT, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, HC-Derma-Pax, Sleep-ettes, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, Robitussin Severe Multi-Symptom Cough Cold + Flu Nighttime, D-Tann DM, Theraflu ExpressMax Flu, Cough & Sore Throat, Theraflu ExpressMax Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Mucinex Sinus-Max Day & Night (Night), Mucinex Fast-Max Night Time Cold & Flu, Mucinex Sinus-Max Night Time Congestion & Cough, Delsym Children’s Cough+ Cold Night Time, Delsym Cough+ Cold Night Time, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Night Time Severe Cold and Cough, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, Mucinex Children's Night Time Multi-Symptom Cold, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, CounterAct Night, Duratuss AC 12, Dytan-DM, Alka-Seltzer PM, Ala-Hist, Ala-Hist D, Benadryl Cold, Contac Day and Night Allergy, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Actifed Sinus Day and Night, Allegra Cooling Relief Anti-Itch, Allegra Intensive Relief Anti-Itch, Theraflu Nighttime Multi-Symptom Severe Cold With Lipton Flavors, Invarest, Uni-Tann CS, Dytan-CD, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Endal CD (old formulation), D-Tann CD, D-Tann CT, Dytan-AT, D-Tann AT, Dytan-CS, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Aller-G-Time, Sleep-Eze-3, Somnicaps, Total Allergy, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Genahist, Benahist-10, Benahist-50, Benoject-50, Calm-Aid, Trux-adryl, Altaryl, Siladyl SA, Silphen Cough, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Tusstat, Siladryl DAS, Siladryl, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Beldin, Vicks QlearQuil Nighttime Allergy Relief, Allergia-C, Aler-Dryl, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Legatrin PM, Excedrin PM Headache, Pain Reliever PM, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Pharbetol PM, Dimetapp Children's Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu, Anacin PM Aspirin Free, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Midol PM, Hydramine Cough Syrup, 40 Winks, Diphen AF, Diphen Cough, ConRx Allergy, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Snooze Fast, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Hydramine Compound

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

References

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

Diphenhydramine

CAS Registry Number

58-73-1

Drug Class

Antihistamines

Administrative Information

LactMed Record Number

96

Last Revision Date

20130907

Disclaimer

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.

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.

Hide