Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine medication used primarily in the treatment of allergies. Its sedative properties have also made it popular as a non-prescription sleep aid. It has been used as a medication for quite a while with its initial discovery and synthesis happening in 1943. There are many generic and store brands of Benadryl sold under the common name as diphenhydramine. In addition to treating allergies and sleep problems Benadryl has been found to be effective in treating extrapyramidal symptoms in those suffering from Parkinson's disease. Benadryl also possesses anti-nausea effects making it useful for treating conditions that have nausea as a side effect. Though the occurrence of major side effects in those taking Benadryl is rare, those who are taking Benadryl or plan on taking Benadryl in the future should be aware of all possible side effects.
Side effect symptoms Benadryl
The large majority of side effects associated from taking Benadryl are due to its action as an anticholinergic agent. Anticholinergic agents block the uptake of acetylcholine within the brain. This can lead to a variety of side effects. The most common is a dry mouth or dry throat. This can also lead to dehydration so it is important to take Benadryl with at least one glass of water. Another common side effect of taking Benadryl is urinary retention. This is not usually a big issue but it can be for those who already have a condition which effects their urinary system such as an enlarged prostate. Those with a urinary condition should consult their doctors prior to taking Benadryl. Some may also experience an elevated heart rate when taking Benadryl. This is nothing to worry about and should go away if the dosage is lowered. Constipation is also a side effect for some who take Benadryl. Some men who take Benadryl may experience erectile dysfunction. This side effect is not permanent and should go away when usage of the medication is stopped. If taken in too high of amounts or by individuals sensitive to this particular medication Benadryl can cause delirium and frightening hallucinations.
Side effect treatment
Many of these side effects are caused from too high of a dosage of Benadryl and can be reduced by simply lowering the dosage. Some individuals may be extra sensitive to the medication and require lower than normal doses the achieve proper effects. If someone experiences an allergic reaction to Benadryl the treatment will be much the same as for any other allergic reaction. Treatment of allergic reactions focus upon treating the symptoms and returning the patient's system to a proper functioning level. If an excessive amount of Benadryl is taken and the patient is experiencing hallucinations and delirium they may be given a tranquilizer to calm them down and allow them to sleep.
One side effect of Benadryl is addiction. Benadryl is not physically addictive but it can become psychologically addictive. This can be due to users feeling as if they need Benadryl to go to sleep and cannot sleep without it. This is more likely to happen to individuals with a past of drug or alcohol abuse. For some Benadryl also results in feelings of euphoria which can cause them to take the drug recreationally which may lead to addiction. This usually occurs in those who already use drugs but do not have access to their illicit substances at the moment.