Side Effects Of Benadryl You Never Expected

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, nearly one-third of the global population struggles with seasonal allergies. Benadryl is an over-the-counter medication that is effective at combating these allergies but has recently been used less often for this purpose because of its side effects (per Medical News Today). In fact, pilots are barred from flying for 30 hours if they take a single dose of Benadryl, according to the Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Many people who take Benadryl become tired, to the point that they may even fall asleep. Conversely, up to 15% of children who take Benadryl become hyperactive after taking it, according to the Nationwide Children's Hospital. Other potential side effects include dizziness, loss of coordination, constipation, dry eyes, and blurred vision (per RxList). RxList recommends seeking medical attention if you experience confusion, lightheadedness, tightness in the neck or jaw, a racing heart, fluttering in the chest, difficulty urinating, or uncontrollable tongue movements.

These may be safer alternatives to Benadryl

In late 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned against a TikTok trend called the "Benadryl Challenge," in which teenagers consumed excessive amounts of Benadryl. According to the FDA, there have been multiple reports of teenagers landing themselves in the emergency room or even dying after partaking in the challenge. The FDA says that taking an excessive amount of Benadryl can result in seizures, heart problems, coma, and death, and it advises reading and following the label of any and all drugs that you put into your body.

Dr. Roy Benaroch explains in an article for MedPage Today that it is unlikely Benadryl would have been approved as an over-the-counter medication if it had been introduced today instead of in 1946 when safety standards were far less strict. He cites a 2000 study from the Annals of Internal Medicine that found that regardless of whether or not participants felt drowsy, an ordinary dose of Benadryl resulted in worse driving than alcohol use. Benadryl may also increase the risk of dementia, according to the Harvard Medical School.

Nationwide Children's Hospital suggests looking into newer antihistamines to fight seasonal allergies to lessen the risk of experiencing numerous side effects. In particular, Dr. Roy Benaroch recommends looking into Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra. Of course, checking in with your own doctor is never a bad idea when it comes to deciding which medication is best for you.