Skip to Content

Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding

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

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


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


CAS Registry Number


Drug Class


Administrative Information

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.

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.