Benadryl® (diphenhydramine hydrochloride) is an antihistamine medication available both over the counter and with a prescription. It is used for treating a number of different conditions, including allergies and insomnia.
Before you start taking Benadryl, risks associated with the use of antihistamines should be reviewed. It is important to know that the medication can cause blurred vision, dizziness, and drowsiness; be sure to see how Benadryl affects you before driving or operating heavy machinery. Benadryl can cause breathing problems in people with asthma or COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. If you have these conditions, check with your healthcare provider before taking Benadryl.
There are also a number of side effects that may occur with Benadryl. The most common side effects of Benadryl are thought to include:
- Sedation (a feeling of sleepiness and reduced anxiety)
- Coordination problems
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Thickening of bronchial secretions (chest mucus).
(Click Benadryl Side Effects and Benadryl Warnings and Precautions to learn about other potential Benadryl risks and for information on who should not use this particular antihistamine product.)