Diphenhydramine use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Diphenhydramine: Benadryl, Ibuprofen PM, Benadryl Allergy, Banophen, Tylenol PM, Hydramine, ZzzQuil, Advil PM, Diphenhist, Aleve PM, Show all 251 »Sominex, Diphen, Diphedryl, Acetaminophen PM Extra Strength, Unisom SleepGels, Theraflu Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Excedrin PM, Diphenydramine Quick Melt, Dicopanol, Diphenadryl, Nytol, Sleep, Mucinex Fast-Max Night Time Cold & Flu, Acetadryl, Benadryl Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, CVS Allergy & Cold, Diphendryl, Unisom SleepMelts, Q-Dryl, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Midol PM, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Formula, Compoz Nighttime Sleep Aid, Twilite, Quenalin, Silphen Cough, Motrin PM, Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy, Diphenyl, Siladryl, Benadryl Children's Allergy, Simply Sleep, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Robitussin Severe Multi-Symptom Cough Cold + Flu Nighttime, Equate Allergy & Sinus Headache, Benadryl Allergy Plus Cold, Z-Sleep, Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Dytan, Ben-Tann, PediaCare Children's Allergy, Scot-Tussin Allergy, Anti-Itch Extra Strength, Calamine with Antihistamine, Complete Allergy Relief, Theraflu Thin Strips Multi Symptom, Benaphen Plus, Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion, Nervine, Diphen Cough, Bydramine, Hydramine Cough Syrup, Sominex Maximum Strength Caplet, Sleep Tabs, Sleep-Eze-3, Sleepinal, Dytuss, Belix, Valu-Dryl, Allermax, Triaminic Thin Strips Cough & Runny Nose, Wal-Nadol PM Extra Strength, Unisom PM Pain, Mucinex Sinus-Max Day & Night (Night), Dimetapp Children's Multi-Symptom Cold & Flu, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Percogesic Extra Strength, Benadryl Cold, Pain Reliever PM, Aller-Dryl, Valu-Dryl Topical, Dermarest Anti-Itch, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel , Banophen Anti Itch, Diphenhist Topical, Sleepwell 2-nite, Banophen M-S, Itch Relief, Derma-Pax, Dermarest Plus, Tussinate, Gestuss-HC, Dytan-HC, D-Tann HC, Endal HD, Rindal HPD, Dermamycin, Dermarest, Hydro-DP, Miles Nervine, Dormin, Nu-Med, Nytol Caplet, Help I Can't Sleep, Banaril, Pardryl, Hydramine Compound, Sleep-ettes, Tusstat, Diphenylin, Aler-Tab, Siladryl Allergy, Pharbedryl, Histaprin, Truxadryl, Nightime Sleepaid, Diphenmax, Sleep-ettes D, Uni-Tann, Q-Dryl A/F, HC-Derma-Pax, FIRST Duke's Mouthwash, Pediatex-CT, D-Tann, Benadryl-D Allergy Plus Sinus, Benadryl-D Children's Allergy & Sinus, SM Anti-Itch, Dytan-D, Benadryl Children's Allergy Plus Congestion, Robitussin Night Time Cough & Cold, Alahist LQ, PediaCare Children's Allergy & Cold, Respa C&C, Respa SA, Tekral, Di-Delamine, Benadryl Allergy Sinus, Benadryl Children's Allergy And Sinus, Benylin Multi-Symptom, Actifed Allergy Day/Night, Tavist NightTime Allergy, Theraflu Thin Strips Nighttime Cold and Cough, Triaminic Night Time Cold & Cough, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Doans PM, Contac Day and Night Cold and Flu, Benadryl Original Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Siladyl SA, FIRST Mary's Mouthwash, Benadryl Extra Strength Spray, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Relief Stick, Respa C&C IR, Delsym Children's Night Time Cough & Cold, Diphenmax D, Triaminic Thin Strips Night Time Cold & Cough, Children's Triacting Night Time, Aldex-CT, Uni-Tann D, PediaCare Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold, Sudafed PE Nighttime Nasal Decongestant, Diphentann-D, Diabetic Tussin Night Time Cold & Flu, Altaryl, CVS Allergy & Sinus Headache, Tylenol Allergy Multi-Symptom Nighttime, Severe Allergy and Sinus Headache, Benadryl Severe Allergy Plus Sinus Headache, Children's Tylenol Plus Cold And Allergy, Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold, Theraflu Nighttime Multi-Symptom Severe Cold With Lipton Flavors, Theraflu ExpressMax Flu, Cough & Sore Throat, Theraflu ExpressMax Nighttime Severe Cold & Cough, Theraflu Warming Relief Flu & Sore Throat, Sudafed PE Nighttime Cold, 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, Contac Day and Night Allergy, Sudafed Sinus Nighttime Plus Pain, Invarest, Ivarest, Dytan-AT, D-Tann AT, Benadryl Severe Allergy & Sinus Headache, Ala-Hist D, Alka-Seltzer PM, Bayer PM, Ala-Hist, Dytan-CS, D-Tann CT, Dytan-DM, Duratuss AC 12, D-Tann DM, Tylenol Allergy Complete NightTime, Endal CD (old formulation), Airacof, D-Tann CD, Uni-Tann CS, Dytan-CD, Sudafed PE Severe Cold, Tylenol Plus Children's Cold & Allergy, Benahist-10, Benahist-50, Benoject-50, Calm-Aid, Allergia-C, Aler-Dryl, 40 Winks, Diphen AF, DPH, Genahist, Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy, Trux-adryl, Actifed Sinus Day and Night, Beldin, Vicks QlearQuil Nighttime Allergy Relief, Total Allergy, Nytol QuickCaps, Aller-G-Time, Sleep Tab II, Somnicaps, Hyrexin, Buckley's Bedtime, Headache Relief PM, Excedrin PM Headache, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Legatrin PM, Pharbetol PM, Non-Aspirin PM Extra Strength, Anacin PM Aspirin Free, Tylenol Severe Allergy, Aceta-Gesic, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Headache Formula PM, ConRx PM, Bayer Select Max Strength Night Time Pain, Snooze Fast, ConRx Allergy, Night Time Pain, Percogesic Original Strength, Counteract PM Extra Strength, Mapap PM, Genapap PM, Siladryl DAS
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
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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.
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- Drug class: anticholinergic antiemetics