Common Brand Name(s): Benadryl
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
This medication is used to temporarily relieve itching and pain caused by minor burns/cuts/scrapes, sunburn, insect bites, minor skin irritations, or rashes from poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac.
Diphenhydramine belongs to a class of drugs known as antihistamines. It works by blocking the effects of a certain natural substance (histamine) that causes itching. This product may also contain other ingredients (skin protectants such as allantoin, zinc acetate) that may help relieve symptoms such as dry skin, weeping, or oozing. Read the product package for more information.
Depending on the brand and the form of diphenhydramine skin product you are using, the package information may state that its use is not recommended in children younger than 2, 6, or 12 years unless directed by the doctor.
If you are self-treating with this medication, it is important to read the package instructions carefully before you start using this product to be sure it is right for you. (See also Precautions section.)
How To Use
Use this medication only on the skin as directed by your doctor. If you are self-treating, follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Some products may need to be shaken well before use.
Before applying, clean the affected area with soap and water. Gently pat dry. Apply to the affected area as directed, usually no more than 3 to 4 times a day. Wash hands immediately after use, unless the area being treated includes the hands.
Do not use on large areas of the body or use more often than directed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
Avoid getting the product in your eyes, nose, ears, or mouth. If the medication gets in these areas, wipe it off and rinse the area right away with water.
Stop using this product and tell your doctor if your condition worsens, if symptoms do not improve within 7 days or persist after 7 days of treatment, or if symptoms clear up and return in a few days. If you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.
Mild stinging may occur. If this effect persists or worsens, stop using this product and tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to diphenhydramine; or to any of the other ingredients listed on the product package; or to dimenhydrinate; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially if you are self-treating:
Though very unlikely, it is possible this medication could be absorbed into your blood. Children using this drug for an extended time over large areas of the skin (especially areas with broken skin) may be at higher risk, especially if they also are using other diphenhydramine products taken by mouth or applied to the skin. Stop using this product and tell the doctor right away if any of the following serious side effects occur:
- enlarged pupils in the eyes
- face flushing
- mental/mood changes (such as hallucinations, unusual excitement, confusion)
- difficulty walking
- difficulty urinating
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication may pass into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Do not use with any other diphenhydramine product applied to the skin or taken by mouth because increased side effects may occur.
This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share this list with your doctor and pharmacist to lessen your risk for serious medication problems.
This product may be harmful if swallowed. If too much of this medication is applied to the skin, wash it off with plenty of soap and water. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: mental/mood changes, confusion, dry mouth, slurred speech, trembling hands/feet, seizures.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature. Different brands of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Some products contain alcohol. Keep the caps on those products tightly closed, and keep away from heat or open flame because they are flammable. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised June 2018.
Copyright(c) 2018 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.