Benadryl for Infants

Benadryl® (diphenhydramine hydrochloride) is an antihistamine medication available both over the counter and by prescription. It comes in many different forms and is used for a variety of different purposes, depending on the particular product.
 
Oral Children's Benadryl products are approved for treating allergies (such as hay fever) in children ages six years and older. Adult Benadryl oral products are also approved for treating allergies or cold symptoms in children ages six years and older. Topical (skin) products are approved for use in children ages two years and older.
 
Healthcare providers generally do not recommend Benadryl for infants. The medication should never be used in newborns or premature infants, as these infants are especially sensitive to the antihistamine.
 
Benadryl is not approved to sedate children (such as for airline trips). Not only can this practice be dangerous, but it is often ineffective. In fact, Benadryl can have an opposite effect on children, sometimes making them hyperactive.
 
(Click Benadryl Uses to learn more about Benadryl for infants, for a list of the approved uses of this medication, and to find out whether this drug is used off-label for any purposes.)
 
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