Everything you want to know about non-drowsy Antihistamines
Benadryl Side Effects
One of the original antihistamine drugs, Benadryl contains the active compound diphenhydramine hydrochloride. This particular pharmaceutical functions by inhibiting acetylcholine receptors which results in the flooding of the brain with acetylcholine. This causes a strong sedative effect for most patients and is the most common side effect of Benadryl.
Benadryl is considered a first-generation antihistamine and even though it was discovered in 1943, it is still one of the most effective and well studied anti-allergy medications. It’s years of use have allowed the active chemical to be approved for other the counter (OTC) sale and the ingredient is used in numerous antihistamines and sleep aid products. In fact many people are surprised to discover that the same active chemical in this antihistamine is also used in the popular sleep product Nytol.
Like many first-generation products, sleepiness is the most common side effect. However, there are other beneficial and not so beneficial effects that you should be aware of. Benadryl is a mimetic which helps to reduce nausea in some patients. It has more recently been found to be a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor and has been experimented with a an antidepressant drug.
Overall the side effects of the drug are mild, but it is a potentiator of other analgesics and alcohol and does have a mild analgesic effect on its own. Thus you should avoid drinking alcohol when using Benadryl for allergies.
Although t is well tolerated in most patients, there are a few that do not do well on this allergy medication. For those unique individuals, elevated blood pressure, disorientation, and dizziness may occur. The compound has also been attributed to more severe cardiovascular complications in some patients. Other, more benign effects may include dry mouth, retention of excessive urine, increased heart rate, flushed skin, blurring of near point vision, and sensitivity to bright lights. At higher doses, delirium, ataxia, confusion, memory loss, decreased body temperature and itchy skin have been reported. Twitching and vomiting are also common at high dosage levels.
The side effects of Benadryl are well document through its more than sixty years of medical use. It is relatively safe and even through it was a first-in-class drug in the 1940’s, it is still one of the most effective antihistamines available. Other non-drowsy versions have been developed through the years. However, the original is still one of the fastest acting and safest which is why it is most often used to treat acute allergic reactions and is relied upon by countless consumers and doctors throughout the world
Benadryl Long Term Side Effects
For some individuals, this drug has been a staple to keep allergies under control periods that are longer than recommended. For those individuals, some unwanted side effects may arise. The most common of which is sleeplessness, agitation and anxiety.
Although the drug is not habit forming, long-term use can create a low level of dependency and withdrawal symptoms can occur. For individuals detoxing from Benadryl, insomnia, nausea, sweating and vomiting. These symptoms reduce over time and are generally found in people who have been using the diphenhydramine HCl for sleep as well as allergies.