Benadryl is a brand-name drug prescribed to treat symptoms of several conditions, including allergies and colds. It contains the active drug diphenhydramine. Benadryl is safe to use during early pregnancy and breastfeeding.
If you can become pregnant, it’s important to consider whether Benadryl is a safe choice for you.
Benadryl may be safe for short-term use during pregnancy in some situations. For treatment of severe allergic reactions during pregnancy, injected diphenhydramine is often considered the first-choice treatment. Diphenhydramine is the active drug in Benadryl.
You should not use Benadryl during the last 2 weeks of pregnancy. This is due to a risk of eye disease in newborns.
If you’re pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking Benadryl. Your doctor may decide to evaluate your symptoms to determine the safest treatment.
If you’re breastfeeding or planning to do so, it’s important to consider how Benadryl may affect you and your child.
Taking Benadryl occasionally during breastfeeding is safe. However, taking Benadryl regularly or in large doses may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. It may also reduce your milk supply.
Antihistamines that cause less sleepiness are usually preferred over oral Benadryl while breastfeeding. These medications include:
- cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- desloratadine (Clarinex)
- fexofenadine (Allegra)
- levocetirizine (Xyzal)
- loratadine (Claritin)
If you’re breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, talk with your doctor. They can recommend other ways to feed your child while taking Benadryl.
Besides learning about how Benadryl may affect your reproductive health, you may want other information about Benadryl. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Benadryl. For information about other aspects of Benadryl, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects of Benadryl, see this article. You can also look at the Benadryl prescribing information.
- Drug comparison. To find out how Benadryl compares with Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Unisom, and melatonin, see this article.
- Interactions. For details about what Benadryl interacts with, see this article.
- Details about the conditions Benadryl treats. For details about allergies, see our asthma and allergies hub and this list of allergy articles.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.