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Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding

Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Ibuprofen PM, Banophen, Benadryl Allergy, Tylenol PM, ZzzQuil, Advil PM, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Unisom SleepGels, Sominex, Show all 256 »Dicopanol, Sleep, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Aleve PM, Sleep Tabs, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Diphen, Nytol, Pain Reliever PM, Headache Relief PM, Motrin PM, Banophen Anti Itch, Excedrin PM, Diphenhist, Allermax, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Mucinex Fast-Max Night Time Cold & Flu, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Robitussin Severe Multi-Symptom Cough Cold + Flu Nighttime, Mucinex Sinus-Max Night Time Congestion & Cough, Diphenadryl, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Diphendryl, Benaphen Plus, Diphedryl, Unisom PM Pain, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Pharbedryl, Sleep-ettes D, Unisom SleepMelts, Vanamine PD, Airacof, Dytan, Itch Relief, Hyrexin, Quenalin, Altaryl, Sleep Tab II, Allergia-C, DPH, Bydramine, Hydramine Cough Syrup, Ala-Hist, Diphenyl, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, Legatrin PM, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, CVS Allergy & Cold, Percogesic Extra Strength, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Sleepwell 2-nite, Respa C&C, Simply Sleep, Children's Triacting Night Time, Silphen Cough, Siladyl SA, Nu-Med, Tusstat, Siladryl DAS, Diphenylin, Hydramine Compound, Pardryl, Nervine, Sleep-ettes, Help I Can't Sleep, Nytol Caplet, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Sleepinal, Twilite, Banaril, Aler-Tab, Siladryl Allergy, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Uni-Tann, Q-Dryl A/F, Diphenmax, Nightime Sleepaid, Ben-Tann, Histaprin, Z-Sleep, Excedrin PM Headache, Derma-Pax, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, Aldex-CT, Diphenmax D, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, Benadryl Children's Allergy Plus Congestion, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Alahist LQ, Dytan-D, Pediatex-CT, D-Tann, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Diphentann-D, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Respa SA, Tekral, Di-Delamine, SM Anti-Itch, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Uni-Tann D, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Dermamycin, Truxadryl, Complete Allergy Relief, Dytuss, Dormin, Miles Nervine, Scot-Tussin Allergy, Banophen M-S, Aller-Dryl, Valu-Dryl Topical, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Hydramine, Dermarest Plus, Dermarest, PediaCare Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Hydro-DP, Rindal HPD, Endal HD, Tussinate, Gestuss-HC, Dytan-HC, D-Tann HC, HC-Derma-Pax, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Doans PM, Siladryl, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Vicks QlearQuil Nighttime Allergy Relief, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, Theraflu Warming Relief Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Delsym Cough+ Cold Night Time, Delsym Children’s Cough+ Cold Night Time, Night Time Severe Cold and Cough, Suphedrine PE Severe Cold, CounterAct Night, Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold Night Time, Mucinex Children's Night Time Multi-Symptom Cold, Mucinex Sinus-Max Day & Night (Night), Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Theraflu ExpressMax Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Theraflu ExpressMax Flu, Cough & Sore Throat, Theraflu Nighttime Multi-Symptom Severe Cold With Lipton Flavors, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Dimetapp Children's Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu, Contac Day and Night Allergy, Mapap PM, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Cold & Flu, Respa C&C IR, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Bayer Select Max Strength Night Time Pain, ConRx PM, Acetadryl, Night Time Pain, Percogesic Original Strength, Genapap PM, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Anacin PM Aspirin Free, Midol PM, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Headache Formula PM, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Pharbetol PM, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Aceta-Gesic, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Benadryl Cold, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Belix, Genahist, Buckley's Bedtime, 40 Winks, Diphen AF, Diphen Cough, Aler-Dryl, Benahist-10, Benahist-50, Benoject-50, Calm-Aid, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Q-Dryl, Aller-G-Time, Sleep-Eze-3, Somnicaps, Nytol QuickCaps, Total Allergy, Trux-adryl, Valu-Dryl, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Beldin, ConRx Allergy, Unisom Liquid, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Dytan-AT, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Actifed Sinus Day and Night, Allegra Cooling Relief Anti-Itch, Allegra Intensive Relief Anti-Itch, Alka-Seltzer PM, Bayer PM, Ala-Hist D, Calamine with Antihistamine, Invarest, Ivarest, D-Tann AT, Unisom SleepMinis, Dytan-CS, D-Tann CT, D-Tann CD, Uni-Tann CS, Dytan-CD, Endal CD (old formulation), Dytan-DM, Duratuss AC 12, D-Tann DM, Snooze Fast, Diphenhist Topical

Medically reviewed on Oct 31, 2018

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 diphenhydramine 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.

One woman became dependent on dimenhydrinate (which is 55% diphenhydramine) during her first pregnancy and continued to take it in a dose of 150 mg (83 mg diphenhydramine) daily while she breastfed her infant for 3 months. The infant did well except for a febrile seizure at 2 years of age, which was probably unrelated to dimenhydrinate. During her second pregnancy, she took dimenhydrinate 300 mg (165 mg diphenhydramine) daily during the pregnancy and while breastfeeding her infant for 2 years.[5]

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

5. Kaya FD. A patient with dimenhydrinate dependence: A case report. Klinik Psikofarmakoloji Bulteni. 2014;24:184-7. DOI: doi:10.5455/bcp.20140131023347

Diphenhydramine Identification

Substance Name


CAS Registry Number


Drug Class

Breast Feeding



Administrative Information

LactMed Record Number



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Further information

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