Studies on breastfeeding and Benadryl show that the medication passes through breast milk. The manufacturer of the product recommends that breastfeeding women avoid using this drug (as newborns and premature infants are especially sensitive to the medication), but numerous other sources state that Benadryl is compatible with breastfeeding. Before taking this medication, breastfeeding women should talk to their healthcare providers about any potential risks.
An Overview of Benadryl and Breastfeeding
There is conflicting information regarding the safety of Benadryl® (diphenhydramine hydrochloride) for breastfeeding women. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding, talk with your healthcare provider before taking Benadryl.
Is Taking Benadryl While Breastfeeding Safe?
Benadryl passes through breast milk. The manufacturer of Benadryl recommends that breastfeeding women never take the medication, since newborns and premature infants are especially sensitive to the medication. However, numerous other sources state that the medication is probably compatible with breastfeeding.
Theoretically, it is possible that Benadryl could affect a woman's milk supply, since the medication can suppress prolactin (a hormone important for breast milk production). However, this is probably not an issue for women who are well-established with breastfeeding.
If your healthcare provider decides that it is okay for you to take the medication while breastfeeding, be sure to watch for any changes or side effects in your nursing child.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider
You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding and Benadryl. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision about breastfeeding and Benadryl that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Benadryl Injection [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer Inc.; 2006 May.
Benadryl [product labels] for various products. McNeil Consumer Healthcare.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click