Important Safety Concerns With Benadryl

Specific Precautions and Warnings for Benadryl

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Benadryl include the following:
  • 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. Never use Benadryl for this purpose without the approval and instruction of your child's healthcare provider. Many healthcare providers advise against this practice.
  • Benadryl can cause blurred vision, dizziness, and drowsiness. Be sure to see how Benadryl affects you before driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • Benadryl can worsen stomach ulcers, GERD, glaucoma, or an enlarged prostate. If you have one of these conditions, do not take Benadryl without checking with your healthcare provider first.
  • Elderly individuals may be more susceptible to the side effects of Benadryl (and may also be more likely to be taking medications that interact with Benadryl). If you are over the age of 60, it is best to check with your healthcare provider before taking Benadryl. Benadryl can worsen many conditions common in the elderly (such as an enlarged prostate or Alzheimer's disease).
  • Benadryl can cause breathing problems in people with asthma or COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. If you have asthma or COPD, check with your healthcare provider before taking Benadryl.
  • Make sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking Benadryl if you have hyperthyroidism or any heart problems (including heart disease or high blood pressure), as it is possible that Benadryl could worsen these conditions.
  • Never combine oral Benadryl products with Benadryl skin products. Also, do not use Benadryl skin products over a large area of the body. Either of these situations could lead to a Benadryl overdose.
  • Benadryl is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it probably will not cause problems if used during pregnancy, although the full risks are not currently known (see Benadryl and Pregnancy).
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