What is diphenhydramine used for

Meds forming part of a class of drugs known as antihistamines are used for treating a large spectrum of allergies. These drugs are administered for managing allergic symptoms such as runny nose, itchiness, discoloration of skin, nasal blocks, etc. Most of the meds under the antihistamine genre are short-acting by nature. Owing to this capability, these meds are taken if you develop discomforts by being exposed to dander, dust, mites, pollen or other forms of allergens. In this milieu, what is antihistamine med diphenhydramine used for? It is a vital thing to understand its likely use(s).

Antihistamine meds play an effective role in unblocking nasal passages, bringing relief from skin conditions like itchiness, rashes, hives and a few other similar forms of allergies. It is however important to know that chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders / diseases (COPD) like bronchitis, bronchial asthma or bronchitis cannot be managed through intake of antihistamines.

What is the drug diphenhydramine used for?

This med is an antihistamine drug; it is known for its sedative properties. It induces deep sleep and can help manage sleeping disorders like insomnia, sleeplessness or disturbed sleeping cycles. Its antihistamine properties enable an effective treatment of conditions like common cold, flu or other skin-related allergies. This drug is categorised under a genre called first-generation of antihistamine meds. This med has active ingredients that can manage motion sickness and a few associated discomforts.

Diphenhydramine is sold as a topical offering and as an intravenous drug. The injectable form is administered to treat conditions such as anaphylaxis. Often, its intravenous version is administered for the case management of very severe spells of allergic reactions. Topical forms of this drug are available in the form of a lotion, spray or a gel-version.

Possible side effects of this antihistamine

All such topical versions are mostly used for treating skin problems like reddening of skin, itchiness and / or inflammation / swelling. The lotion or gel versions are unlikely to trigger severe side effects as the oral version of this med. The topical forms may not make you dizzy or drowsy; these are few of the typical side effects of this anti-allergic drug when taken orally.

If you are consuming diphenhydramine with decongestant drugs such as pseudoephedrine and / or phenylephrine, the odds of hypertension or level blood pressure are quite high. Other adverse effects caused due to the use of this antihistamine med include erratic heartbeats (arrhythmia), enlargement of pupil, constipation / finding it tough to pass stool as well as retention of bodily fluids (like urine). In a few people, mental disorders such as being confused, depression, mood shifts, nursing of harmful thoughts or suicidal instincts can show up.

Upon witnessing one or more of these discomforts, you are advised to consult with your treating doctor with immediate effect. At times, diphenhydramine is taken as an OTC drug; chances of a possible overdose are quite large in such cases. How to tell if you have taken an overdose? You can y observing a few of the characteristic signs such as excessive sweating coupled with faster heartbeats, erratic pulse-rates, dizziness, seizures or convulsions. In some remote instances, fatal outcomes such as death or near-fatal outcomes like slipping into coma have also occurred.

It hence becomes important to talk to your caregiving team on seeing any of the aforesaid counterproductive effects. If you develop breathing difficulties or are passing out, people living in Canada are advised to quickly reach out to a poison control unit nearby. Canadians can also dial Health Canada for needful clinical support. On the other hand, those who are residing in the US must dial 911 quickly or can call helplines of US-based FDA without any further delay.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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