Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is one of the most common antihistamine medications on the market. It is used for the treatment of a variety of conditions with the most common being allergies and sleep problems. It was originally discovered and synthesized in 1943 and was the first antihistamine to enjoy widespread use. In addition to treating allergies and sleep problems Benadryl can be used to treat extrapyramidal symptoms often experienced by those suffering from Parkinson's disease. Benadryl has also been shown to ease nausea. A common question about Benadryl is if it is safe to take Benadryl while pregnant.
Benadryl during pregnancy
Many women have trouble sleeping while they are pregnant. This can be common throughout the course of the pregnancy but is even more likely to happen during the first few months of being pregnant or the last few months while pregnant. Women who experience insomnia while they are pregnant can safely use Benadryl to combat their insomnia. Benadryl has been ruled safe to use for pregnant women by the FDA. Studies have not shown any direct links between women taking Benadryl during pregnancy and an increased risk of birth defects or miscarriage. Benadryl is a better option than prescription sleep aids such Ambien (zolpidem) due to the fact that Ambien is more likely to cause side effects during the pregnancy. Benadryl also has the added benefit of easing nausea. Many women experience nausea during the first couple months of their pregnancy. Benadryl can be taken to safely remove this nausea. Those with allergies who take Benadryl for their allergies also do not have to worry about continuing to use Benadryl while they are pregnant. It is however recommended to use the lowest dosage possible to reduce any chance of side effects.
Benadryl side effects during pregnancy
There are no known serious risks associated with taking Benadryl during pregnancy, but there are some side effects those taking Benadryl during pregnancy should be aware of. One of the more common side effects of Benadryl in pregnant women is restless leg syndrome. This is a condition where your legs twitch during the night making it difficult to fall asleep. This side effect is due to the anticholinergic action of Benadryl. Many women will develop restless leg syndrome while they are pregnant and taking Benadryl will worsen it and negatively effect their quality of sleep. If this is experienced you should try lowering the dosage of Benadryl taken as this may cause the restless leg syndrome to go away. If the condition persists it is recommended you go see a medical professional as they can prescribe another medication in place of Benadryl which will promote sleep without the side effects of restless leg syndrome.
Benadryl and breastfeeding
It is generally not advised to take Benadryl while nursing. The main reason for this is that taking Benadryl has been shown to reduce the supply of milk. This is due to its dehydrating properties. In small doses it is probably alight to take but should not be taken regularly while breastfeeding. The chances of Benadryl producing side effects in your baby while breastfeeding are very low. In rare cases enough Benadryl can be transferred to your baby through your breast milk to increase sedation but this is not something to worry about.