Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Tylenol PM, ZzzQuil, Benadryl Allergy, Advil PM, Diphen, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Sleep, Banophen, CVS Allergy & Cold, Show all 249 »Diphenhist, Sominex, Calamine with Antihistamine, Nytol, Aleve PM, Unisom SleepGels, Mucinex Fast-Max Night Time Cold & Flu, Dicopanol, Legatrin PM, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Percogesic Extra Strength, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Q-Dryl, Sleepinal, Allermax, Complete Allergy Relief, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Dermarest, Valu-Dryl, Ibuprofen PM, Unisom PM Pain, Simply Sleep, Sleep Tab II, Airacof, Unisom SleepMelts, Aler-Dryl, Excedrin PM, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Dytuss, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Di-Delamine, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Ivarest, Banophen Anti Itch, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, Buckley's Bedtime, Pharbedryl, Dytan, Aler-Tab, Twilite, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Dormin, Motrin PM, Rindal HPD, Derma-Pax, Itch Relief, Help I Can't Sleep, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Calm-Aid, Diphedryl, Hydramine Cough Syrup, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Sleep Tabs, Somnicaps, Silphen Cough, Vicks QlearQuil Nighttime Allergy Relief, Altaryl, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Hydramine, Delsym Cough+ Cold Night Time, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Acetadryl, Night Time Pain, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Headache Relief PM, Midol PM, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, CounterAct Night, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Cold & Flu, Bayer PM, Valu-Dryl Topical, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Aller-Dryl, Banophen M-S, ConRx PM, Bayer Select Max Strength Night Time Pain, Diphenhist Topical, Dermarest Plus, Dermamycin, Dytan-HC, D-Tann HC, HC-Derma-Pax, Gestuss-HC, Tussinate, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Hydro-DP, Endal HD, Sleepwell 2-nite, Scot-Tussin Allergy, Banaril, Siladryl Allergy, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Diphendryl, Nytol Caplet, Quenalin, Nervine, Nu-Med, Sleep-ettes D, Uni-Tann, Z-Sleep, Truxadryl, Miles Nervine, Histaprin, Ben-Tann, Q-Dryl A/F, Diphenmax, Nightime Sleepaid, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, Alahist LQ, Dytan-D, Pediatex-CT, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Benadryl Children's Allergy Plus Congestion, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Children's Triacting Night Time, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, D-Tann, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Tekral, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Diphenmax D, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Pardryl, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Doans PM, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Benaphen Plus, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, SM Anti-Itch, Excedrin PM Headache, Diphentann-D, Uni-Tann D, Aldex-CT, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, PediaCare Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Respa C&C IR, Respa C&C, Respa SA, Sleep-ettes, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Mucinex Sinus-Max Day & Night (Night), Mucinex Children's Night Time Multi-Symptom Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Robitussin Severe Multi-Symptom Cough Cold + Flu Nighttime, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Dimetapp Children's Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu, Anacin PM Aspirin Free, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Night Time Severe Cold and Cough, Mucinex Sinus-Max Night Time Congestion & Cough, Delsym Children’s Cough+ Cold Night Time, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Dytan-CS, D-Tann CT, D-Tann CD, Uni-Tann CS, D-Tann AT, Dytan-AT, Ala-Hist D, Alka-Seltzer PM, Invarest, Dytan-CD, Actifed Sinus Day and Night, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Contac Day and Night Allergy, Benadryl Cold, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, D-Tann DM, Endal CD (old formulation), Dytan-DM, Duratuss AC 12, Aceta-Gesic, Pharbetol PM, Aller-G-Time, Sleep-Eze-3, Nytol QuickCaps, Total Allergy, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Genahist, Benahist-50, Benoject-50, Diphenadryl, Trux-adryl, Diphenyl, Ala-Hist, Tusstat, Diphenylin, Siladyl SA, Siladryl DAS, Beldin, Belix, Siladryl, Benahist-10, Allergia-C, Headache Formula PM, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Mapap PM, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Pain Reliever PM, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Excedrin PM Triple Action, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Genapap PM, Percogesic Original Strength, Diphen AF, Diphen Cough, DPH, 40 Winks, Bydramine, Snooze Fast, ConRx Allergy, Hyrexin, 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.
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.