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Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a list of common questions and answers about BENADRYL®, and the allergies our products can help treat. Answers when you need them most. Just another form of relief from the BENADRYL® brand.

Questions about:
BENADRYL®
Children’s BENADRYL®
BENADRYL® Allergy Plus Congestion
Indoor and outdoor allergies
Safe Use of BENADRYL®

 

Questions about BENADRYL®

What is BENADRYL®?
BENADRYL® is antihistamine that works to relieve your allergies when you need it most.


Is BENADRYL® an antihistamine?
Yes. The active ingredient in BENADRYL is diphenhydramine, which is an antihistamine.


Can BENADRYL® Allergy make you sleepy?
The Diphenhydramine in BENADRYL® Allergy can cause drowsiness.


What symptoms does Oral BENADRYL® Allergy relieve?
Oral BENADRYL® Allergy temporarily relieves indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms, such as sneezing; runny nose; itchy, watery eyes; and itchy nose or throat.


What symptoms does Topical BENADRYL® Itch Stopping Cream relieve?
Topical BENADRYL® Itch Stopping Cream temporarily relieves pain and itching associated with insect bites, minor burns, sunburn, minor skin irritations, minor cuts, scrapes, and rashes due to poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.


What’s the difference between Oral and Topical BENADRYL® products?
Oral BENADRYL® Allergy products are meant to be ingested (swallowed). They come in tablet and liquid gel, and temporarily relieve the symptoms of upper respiratory allergies. Topical BENADRYL® itch relief products are only to be applied directly to the skin. They come in cream, gel and spray forms, and temporarily relieve itching and pain on the skin. It is important to read labels carefully and follow the directions for use. Do NOT swallow a Topical BENADRYL® product. Do NOT use two products containing diphenhydramine at the same time.


Can I use two BENADRYL® products at the same time?
No. Do NOT use two products containing diphenhydramine at the same time, even if one is topical and the other is oral. For information on appropriate dosage and warnings, please review the BENADRYL® product label, available on the packaging or on our website.

If you believe that you or someone you know has taken BENADRYL® or other diphenhydramine products in a manner not directed by the label, immediately seek medical attention or contact your local poison control center.


Can I use BENADRYL® Itch Stopping Cream products on my dog, cat or other pet?
No. BENADRYL® Itch Stopping Cream products are not intended to be used on dogs, cats or any other pets. Please consult your veterinarian if you have questions about your pet’s health needs.


Can I use BENADRYL® Itch Stopping Cream products with a medical condition?
If you take prescription medication or are being treated for any medical condition, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any over-the-counter medicines at all.


Can I use BENADRYL® if it is expired?
No. If your BENADRYL® has expired, please discard it properly and get a new package. Visit the FDA website for more information.


How much diphenhydramine is safe?
Always follow the instructions that come with any BENADRYL® product. Follow this helpful BENADRYL® Dosage Chart to learn more. Use only as directed.
If you believe that you or someone you know has taken BENADRYL® or other diphenhydramine products in a manner not directed by the label, please contact your local poison control center.


How much BENADRYL® can I take?
Always follow the directions that come with any BENADRYL® product and use as directed. Follow this helpful BENADRYL® Dosage Chart to learn more.


Does BENADRYL® use fetal cell lines during production?
Our BENADRYL® (diphenhydramine) products are made with effective ingredients that are safe when used as directed. Human embryonic cell (fetal cells) are not involved in the production of these products.


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Questions about Children’s BENADRYL®

What is Children’s BENADRYL®?
Children's BENADRYL® is an antihistamine that helps relieve allergy symptoms and make children feel better when they need it most.


What symptoms does Children’s BENADRYL® Allergy relieve?
Children’s BENADRYL® temporarily relieves indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms, such as sneezing; runny nose; itchy, watery eyes; and itchy nose or throat.


What is the difference between pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine?
Both pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are decongestants that help relieve the symptoms of nasal and sinus congestion, as well as sinus pressure. Children’s BENADRYL® Allergy Plus Congestion contains phenylephrine, which helps relieve these symptoms as well as other allergy symptoms for 4 hours. There are no BENADRYL® products that contain pseudoephedrine.


Is phenylephrine sold behind the pharmacy counter like pseudoephedrine?
No. Phenylephrine is available to the public over the counter.


How can I be sure I’m giving my child the proper dose of Children’s BENADRYL®?
Always follow the instructions that come with Children’s BENADRYL®. When taking Children’s BENADRYL® Allergy Liquid, be sure to only use the dosing cup that comes in the package. Other items like kitchen teaspoons, droppers or measuring devices that come with other medicines may not be accurate. Follow this helpful BENADRYL® Dosage Chart to learn more. If you have any questions about treating your child’s allergies, please speak with your doctor.


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Questions about BENADRYL® Allergy Plus Congestion

How is BENADRYL® Allergy Plus Congestion different from BENADRYL® Allergy?
BENADRYL® Allergy Plus Congestion contains phenylephrine, which relieves nasal congestion. So it relieves all the same symptoms as BENADRYL®, plus it provides fast congestion relief. For more, see: What symptoms does Oral BENADRYL® Allergy relieve?


How does BENADRYL® Allergy Plus Congestion work on sinus pressure and congestion?
BENADRYL® Allergy Plus Congestion contains a nasal decongestant that works by narrowing the blood vessels in the nose that are expanded during the common cold or allergies. When the blood vessels in the nose and sinuses narrow, the tissue shrinks and allows the normal flow of air and mucus. This results in a temporary relief of nasal congestion, sinus congestion, and sinus pressure.


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General Allergy Questions

How do I know if I have allergies vs. a cold?
If you’ve been stuffed up, sneezing or wiping your nose for weeks or months on end, there’s a strong chance allergies are to blame—especially if you don’t have aches, pains or a fever. Get more information about allergies vs. colds.


What are the common symptoms of upper respiratory allergies? Common allergy symptoms include runny nose, congestion, sneezing, sinus pressure, itchy throat, itchy nose or itchy and watery eyes. What are outdoor allergies?
Outdoor allergies (seasonal allergic rhinitis) are seasonal, often triggered by mold spores and pollens from trees, grass and weeds.


What are indoor allergies?
Indoor allergies (perennial allergic rhinitis) flare up year round. These allergies are triggered by dust mites, pet dander, mold and mildew.


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Safe use of BENADRYL®

Is BENADRYL® safe to use?
BENADRYL® (diphenhydramine) is an effective and safe medicine when used as directed by the label. Always follow the directions that come with any BENADRYL® product.

Follow this helpful BENADRYL® Dosage Chart to learn more. Use only as directed.

If you believe that you or someone you know has taken BENADRYL® or other diphenhydramine products in a manner not directed by the label, please contact your local poison control center.


I’ve heard about online challenges involving misuse and abuse of medication. What steps can I take to prevent my children from misusing BENADRYL® or other medications?
The health and safety of people who use our products is our top priority. Online “challenges” promoting misuse and abuse of medications are extremely concerning, dangerous and should be stopped immediately.

If you believe that you or someone you know has taken BENADRYL® or other diphenhydramine products in a manner not directed by the label, please contact your local poison control center.

Parents and caregivers play an important role in identifying and addressing this concerning behavior and should be aware of signs of misuse and abuse. All medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, should be stored up high and completely out of sight. Medications should be stored in their original packaging, with any child-resistant packaging intact, and only be taken as directed by the label. Parents and caregivers should closely monitor any child’s or teen’s use of medication and talk with their children about the importance of safely using medication with adult supervision. Learn more here.


What signs should I be looking for if I think someone is abusing over the counter medications?
It is important for parents and caregivers to be aware of signs of medication abuse, such as:

  • Empty medicine boxes or packaging in the trash of your child’s room or in your child’s backpack.
  • Purchase or use of large amounts of medicine when not ill or exhibiting symptoms.
  • Purchase of medicine online or in store
  • Missing packages of medicine from home medicine cabinets
  • Changes in friends, physical appearance or sleeping or eating patterns
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or favorite activities

If you believe that you or someone you know has taken BENADRYL® or other diphenhydramine products in a manner not directed by the label, please contact your local poison control center.

To learn more about the potential signs of medication abuse, visit stopmedicineabuse.org

To learn more about over-the-counter medicine safety best practices for your family, visit Scholastic’s OTC Medicine Safety page.


Has Johnson & Johnson taken any steps to stop BENADRYL® misuse or abuse?
The health and safety of the people who use our products is our top priority. Collaboration and education are critical to putting an end to dangerous trends of misuse of products containing diphenhydramine. We are continuing to monitor and work with safety teams at the various social media platforms to remove dangerous content. We are also seeking to partner across industry to educate parents, caregivers, and teens on the dangers of abuse and misuse of diphenhydramine-containing products.


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To learn more about steps taken to address misuse and abuse of BENADRYL® and other diphenhydramine-containing products, visit our SAFETY page.

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