Generic name: Diphenhydramine (Topical) (dye fen HYE dra meen)
Brand name: Anti-Itch Maximum Strength, Anti-Itch, Banophen, Benadryl Itch Stopping, Itch Relief
Drug class: Topical antihistamines
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Nov 6, 2020.
Uses of Diphenhydramine:
- It is used to ease pain.
- It is used to treat itching.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Diphenhydramine?
- If you have an allergy to diphenhydramine or any other part of diphenhydramine (topical).
- If you are allergic to diphenhydramine (topical); any part of diphenhydramine (topical); or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.
- If a large area needs to be treated.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take diphenhydramine (topical) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Diphenhydramine?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take diphenhydramine (topical). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Do not use with other products that have diphenhydramine.
- Talk with the doctor if the area has open wounds or very bad skin irritation.
- This medicine may cause harm if swallowed. If diphenhydramine (topical) is swallowed, call a doctor or poison control center right away.
- Different brands of diphenhydramine (topical) may be for use in different ages of children. Talk with the doctor before giving diphenhydramine (topical) to a child.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using diphenhydramine (topical) while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Diphenhydramine) best taken?
Use diphenhydramine (topical) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Do not take diphenhydramine (topical) by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
- Wash your hands before and after use. Do not wash your hands after use if putting this on your hand.
- Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.
- Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.
- Some of these drugs may catch on fire. Do not use near an open flame or while smoking.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- If you use diphenhydramine (topical) on a regular basis, put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not put on 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Many times diphenhydramine (topical) is used on an as needed basis. Do not use more often than told by the doctor.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Very bad skin irritation.
What are some other side effects of Diphenhydramine?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Skin irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Diphenhydramine?
- Store at room temperature.
- Protect from heat.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about diphenhydramine (topical), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
More about diphenhydramine topical
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Drug class: topical antihistamines
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.