Benadryl is a medication used largely for the treatment of allergies. It is also commonly used as a short-term treatment for sleep issues such as insomnia. Other uses of Benadryl include the treatment of extrapyramidal symptoms that are common to those with Parkinson's disease. It can also reduce nausea for many individuals but is not commonly used in this matter as there are other alternatives on the market which do not have sedative properties as well. Benadryl is available over the counter without a prescription. There are also many store brands and generic forms of Benadryl available at often lower more affordable prices. It is a member of the antihistamine class of drugs and produces the majority of its effects through its action at the H1 receptor. Many who take or who are considering taking Benadryl can be curious about what the ingredients are in Benadryl medication.
Active ingredient in Benadryl
The active ingredient in Benadryl is known as diphenhydramine. Diphenhydramine was first discovered and synthesized in 1943. Since then it has enjoyed widespread popularity as an allergy medication and sleep aid. In is categorized as a first generation antihistamine. This distinguishes it from other similar medications that were created after diphenhydramine. Antihistamines that are second or third generation antihistamines often differ in the side effects that they produce when compared to diphenhydramine. Diphenhydramine is also much more sedating than most second and third generation antihistamines. Diphenhydramine was not the first antihistamine created but it was the first to have significant and widespread applications. Prior to the invention of diphenhydramine the only other antihistamine on the market was nonspecific in the receptors in targeted and produced severe drowsiness and other side effects as a result. The invention of diphenhydramine lead scientists to develop many more helpful antihistamine drugs that like Benadryl target specific receptors in the brain to produce varied effects.
Inactive ingredients in Benadryl
In addition to diphenhydramine Benadryl tablets contain other inactive ingredients known as fillers. This helps the tablet to maintain the proper consistency as well as adequately disperse the active ingredient. Other forms such as liquid gel capsules and liquid suspension forms of Benadryl will contain other filler ingredients. Those with specific allergies or who do not like to ingest certain chemicals should be aware of what these filler ingredients are before ingesting Benadryl. Benadryl tablets will usually contain candelilla wax, colloidal silicone dioxide, crospovidone, hypromellose, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, povidone, pregelatinized starch, starch, stearic acid, titanium dioxide, and talc. If you are allergic to any of those ingredients listed you should avoid ingesting Benadryl and perhaps find another form of the medication. Liquid gel capsules will vary in what active ingredients they contain as will liquid suspension forms.
Other options for ingredients
If you have a medical condition that requires Benadryl yet you are allergic to one of the inactive ingredients your doctor may be able to order capsules containing only diphenhydramine from a compound pharmacy. This will be more expensive but is worth in for those with serious medical conditions that will not tolerate certain inactive ingredients. Some brands may also provide modified version of Benadryl which do not contain certain inactive ingredients.