Medicine cabinets globally contain a combination of frequently used, OTC products, that help to manage commonly occurring symptoms. Diphenhydramine features as a must have product in this list of OTC formulations. It is used for managing seasonal allergies, and other symptoms such as sneezing, outbreak of rashes and watery eyes. As a non-prescription product, there are strong chances of it being consumed in strengths or dosages that are stronger than required. Here are answers to one of the most frequently asked questions – what is the max dose of diphenhydramine for adults? This will help individuals take the right strength and dosage for different conditions and avoid any possible undesirable effects.

What is diphenhydramine used for?

Here is an overview of the formulation and its uses. Often known by its brand name Benadryl, diphenhydramine belongs to the category of first generation H1 receptor antihistamines. In addition to the conditions outlined above, it is also used in managing symptoms of allergies such as runny/itching nose, throat/skin itching, and urticaria, apart from offering relief from the bites or stings of insects. The medication possesses impressive properties that make it useful in treating the above. It is known to have antiemetic and antitussive properties apart from being labelled as a hypnotic. It is also known to have antiparkinsonian properties, that make it a popular medication.

Diphenhydramine causes sedation as a result of the action on the central nervous system. Due to its sedative effect, it is typically recommended to be taken at night, when used for helping manage cough and cold.  The medication is also used as part of combination formulation for managing feelings of nausea.  In addition to the above, it is also being studied to determine anti-depressant and anxiolytic properties that have been claimed due to the impact on neurotransmitters.

Different forms of diphenhydramine

The medication is available in different forms; the oral formulations are available as tablets, liquid gels in capsules, chewable tablets and in liquid form. The topical forms of the medication are available as cream, gel, spray and application stick. The different types of the medication help individuals with options that are more suitable for specific conditions and for age groups.

What is the max dose of diphenhydramine for adults?

The ideal dosage of the medication depends on various factors. For instance, the condition being treated, the age of the individual, the formulation type, other existing health conditions and medications that may contraindicate or impact the efficacy of the diphenhydramine. The following dosage information is intended only as a reference and is not to be considered as medical recommendations. The best option would be to confirm from a practitioner regarding the dosage.

When given for individuals with hay fever, adults are recommended a dose that could be between 25 to 50 mg, and is to be taken once in four or six hours. When adults experience symptoms such as runny nose or constant sneezing that indicate common cold, the typical dosage is also the same as hay fever, between 25 to 50 mg, taken at the same intervals.

Topical applications are to be applied thrice or four times a day on the area that is affected from insect bites or stings. The application can also be used to manage itching on the skin. The typical dosage for children above the age of 12 is similar to that of adults, while the dosage for children below 12 years is half of that of adults. Children below the age of six need specific dosage recommendations from a specialist. The medication, despite its label as an OTC product is not to be used on children below the age of two, unless recommended by a pediatrist.

The upper limit in use of the medication

Regardless of the dosage, it is important to keep a cap on the number of times that the medication is used per day. For instance, oral formulations are not to be taken more than six times in a day, while the topical applications should not be used more than four times daily. Similarly, the maximum dosage of the oral formulations, should not exceed 300 mg per day.

Commonly reported side effects of diphenhydramine

All medications come with the possibility of undesirable effects, and diphenhydramine is no exception. It is however, important to note that all users of the medication may not necessarily experience effects; typically, only a small section of users need to contend with unwanted outcomes. The nature of effects depends on the individuals health, age, existing conditions, and medications in use. Some of the effects are mild in nature and are attributed to the mechanism of action of the drug. For instance, the medication is known to work on the CNS, and is therefore bound to cause drowsy feelings. This may be mild in certain individuals and strong in others.  Individuals are to therefore take suitable precautions to ensure that this effect does not impact work or responsibilities.

Other effects or symptoms that may be experienced include dry mouth and possible overall fatigue. The individual may also experience headaches, apart from dizzy feelings. These symptoms may require some kind of suitable precautions, such as avoiding driving or handling machineries that are heavy or hazardous in nature. Doctors typically recommend that such medications be taken at bedtime.

Adverse reaction to Benadryl

There are possible adverse reactions to the medication, and it is necessary to be able to identify the same and take preventive or remedial action. For instance, the medication is known to have an impact on memory, and caregivers are therefore expected to monitor this, to prevent memory loss related incidents. Thinking ability may also be impaired in a small section of users, apart from conditions such as dementia, and a confused state of mind. Any change in heart beat rate is to be monitored and this will help the condition from aggravating. There is also a possibility of seizures, and caregivers to be on the lookout for symptoms or indications of seizure episodes.

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