Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a medication from the antihistamine class of drugs. This means that it lowers the levels of histamine in the brain and throughout the body. Benadryl does this mainly through its action at the H1 receptor. As with most other antihistamines Benadryl is largely used for treating allergies and allergy symptoms. It also has the effect of producing a hypnotic and sedating effect in wide array of those who take it. Due to this effect it has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of sleep problems as well. It also functions to sooth nausea and reduce antipyramidal effects in those with Parkinson's disease. Due to its variety of uses there are different dosages recommended depending upon the age and the condition of the one being treated.
Benadryl dosage forms
Benadryl is available in a variety of forms each posing unique advantages. The most common way to find Benadryl is in 25mg tablets. These will often be pink in color which is helpful in distinguishing them from other medications. Benadryl can also be purchased in 50mg tablets. This is helpful to those that require this dosage and do not want to swallow two separate pills. Tablets can also be cut in half to achieve different dosage amounts. Benadryl is also available in liquid gel capsule forms. These are supposed to have a more immediate effect than tablet forms of Benadryl. Those using Benadryl as a sleep aid may benefit from the more rapid absorption of Benadryl when taken in this form. Benadryl can also often be obtained in a liquid suspension form. This can provide very accurate measurements through the use of a measuring syringe or a teaspoon. This form of Benadryl is preferred by those who cannot tolerate swallowing pills such as the elderly or children. Benadryl will on occasion come in an injectable form for the use of treating severe allergic reactions. Benadryl is also a common ingredient in many topical creams designed to sooth itching or bug bites.
Benadryl dosage for adults
The typical starting dosage of Benadryl for adults is 25mg. This is usually effective in treating allergies as well as for providing sedation. Smaller adults or females often find half of this dosage to be effective as well at 12.5 mg. Those who take Benadryl during the day and wish to avoid drowsiness may wish to start at lower doses. Adults can take up to 50mg of Benadryl at a time. At this dosage the effects of sedation will likely be more prominent. Consecutive use of Benadryl at doses of 50mg will lead to a tolerance developing and a loss of the effects of sedation.
Benadryl dosage for children / kids / infants
The Benadryl dosage for infants should always be determined by a doctor due to the increased possibility of harmful side effects developing if the dosage is too high for infants. Children 6-12 years of age can be given up to 25mg of Benadryl. It is best to start them with a dosage of 12.5mg though as this will typically be effective in treating allergies or providing sedation. Children under 6 years of age will require different dosages depending upon their weight. It is best to consult a doctor before giving children under 6 years of age Benadryl. The dosage can be determined through measuring a liquid form of Benadryl carefully.