Benadryl is a medication that is temporarily prescribed to relieve symptoms like common cold, hay fever, and other types of allergies. While Benadryl is safe to use, it does pass to your child through milk and can have certain undesired effects. Therefore, in case you are a breastfeeding mother, Benadryl is not for you, at least for the time being.
In the below section, let us discuss how Benadryl works, what all its effects can be, and its safer alternatives.
Officially, Benadryl is a common brand name given to an medication that is well-known to help relieve itching, certain symptoms of allergic reactions, and minor pain (in some cases). Benadryl is available in three forms: oral tablets, liquids, and capsules, which help relieve most of the symptoms of common cold, hay fever, and other types of allergies.
On the other hand, topical Benadryl gel or cream helps relieve itching as well as pain from:
Rashes from poison oak and poison ivy
The key ingredient found in Benadryl typically sold in the US is diphenhydramine. This is an antihistamine and helps in blocking histamine, – a substance released by certain cells in your body whenever an allergic reaction occurs. Among the symptoms caused by Histamine are itchy and watery eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing. The primary function of Diphenhydramine is to help reduce all these symptoms.
Can Benadryl cause false positives?
Yes, diphenhydramine (Benadryl), which is sold as over-the-counter sleep aid medications Tylenol PM and Advil PM, is known to show up as false positive result for opiates, methadone, or PCP on drug tests (more details here). “
Effects of Benadryl on Breastfeeding Mothers
While Benadryl have no effects on the amount of milk produced by your body, it often reduces the milk flow from your breasts when you feed your child. Besides, Benadryl is also known to pass to your child via your milk, especially when you apply it on your skin or even take the pills.
In other words, Benadryl may have certain side effects in case of children breastfeeding from their mothers that take it regularly. To be precise, all newborns are very sensitive to antihistamines. The following are the side effects of Benadryl in newborns:
It is recommended to talk to your doctor, in case you are breastfeeding these days and considering taking Benadryl or any antihistamine for that matter. Your doctor is the best person to help you avoid the potential risks to your baby.
He/she may prescribe you to take Benadryl or any antihistamine before your bedtime, i.e. when you have finished breastfeeding your child for the day. Based on how your body is reacting to an antihistamine, your doctor may have an alternate solution for you.
Alternatives to Benadryl for Breastfeeding Mothers
The key ingredient found in Benadryl is diphenhydramine, which belongs to the first-generation antihistamines. In other words, it was one-of-the-first kind of antihistamines developed. And, the other generations of antihistamines have many more side effects.
Based on your condition, your doctor may choose to suggest low doses of products containing a second-generation antihistamine, which is cetirizine or loratadine, and not Benadryl. Besides, while he/she is also likely to recommend avoid using them every so often, these drugs are still expected to pass into your milk. As a result, your baby may remain sleepy, but not as sleepy as Benadryl would make them.
Safe Alternatives to Benadryl
As you already know that Benadryl is an antihistamine, there are many other antihistamines available which you can use as Benadryl alternatives.
Generally, antihistamines are widely known to belong as either first or second generation.
The common side effect of first-generation antihistamines is sleepiness apart from other side effects caused by the second-generation of antihistamines.
Benadryl primarily consists of diphenhydramine, which belongs to the first-generation antihistamines. The following are examples of other medications that belong to these groups: