Categories: Medical

Benadryl And Alcohol: Side Effects Of Mixing Both

Is It Dangerous to Mix Benadryl and Alcohol?

Introduction:If you’re dealing with a runny nose, uncontrollable sneezing, or red, watery, and itchy eyes, you likely only want one thing: relief. Thankfully, there are a range of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that work well to treat seasonal allergies (hay fever). Benadryl is a popular option for many people.

Benadryl, also known by the generic name diphenhydramine, An antihistamine is a drug that interferes with the action of the compound histamine in your body. Benadryl is a popular over-the-counter medicine that’s used to treat symptoms of allergies such as itchy, watery eyes or a runny nose.

Histamine is involved in your body’s immune response to allergens. It’s the reason you get a stuffy nose, itchy skin, and other reactions when you come in contact with something you’re allergic to. An antihistamine works by blocking your body’s response to these allergens. This can ease your allergy symptoms.

Because you can purchase Benadryl at pharmacies and grocery stores without a prescription, you might think it’s safe to use in any situation. But Benadryl is a strong drug, and it comes with risks. One risk is the severe effects it can cause if you take it with alcohol.

What to Know About Alcohol and Diphenhydramine
The side effects of diphenhydramine and alcohol can be severe, mostly because both affect the central nervous system and depress its functionality. When the central nervous system is depressed, it means that essential functions like respiration also slow down.

If you combine alcohol and diphenhydramine at an equivalant time, the central system depression are often therefore severe that you simply expertise extreme sedation. For some, the extent of sedation once combining alcohol and Benadryl are often therefore important that they lose consciousness.

This can occur without alcohol as well, but using alcohol and diphenhydramine at an equivalent time ups the risks of this significantly. Because of this, you should never mix alcohol and diphenhydramine and driveoperate machinery or be in any doubtless risky or unfamiliar with scenario.

There’s additionally the risk of dehydration with alcohol and antihistamine. Separately, both of these substances can cause dehydration. If you were to take both together, you would likely experience a difficult hangover feeling the next day, largely due to the effects of dehydration.

In some people, an overdose is feasible with alcohol and diphenhydramine. This need to be emergency treatment and hospitalization.

Even, when you combine alcohol and diphenhydramine, the effects of both are going to be increased.

The risks and side effects of alcohol and diphenhydramine can be even more intense for seniors. It can cause problems with their motor skills because of sedation and dizziness, and it can lead to increased risk of falls.

Along with drinking alcohol with diphenhydramine, it’s important that you’re aware of the alcohol content of other medicines you might be taking.

For example, some medicines, such as cough syrup, can have up to 10 percent alcohol content. These may cause an adverse reaction when paired with Benadryl.

Don’t take Benadryl with alcohol
Benadryl doesn’t affect your liver like alcohol does. But both drugs work on your central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of your brain and spinal cord. That’s the problem.

Benadryl and alcohol are both CNS depressants. These are drugs that slow down your CNS. Taking them together is dangerous because they can slow down your CNS too much. This can cause drowsiness, sedation, and trouble doing physical and mental tasks that require alertness.

In short, Benadryl and alcohol shouldn’t be used together. It’s important to know, though, that it’s especially risky to use them together in certain cases. These cases include if you misuse Benadryl, if you take these drugs together while driving, and if you’re a senior.

Can Alcohol and Benadryl Kill You?

So, can alcohol and Benadryl kill you? The answer is yes, although you would likely have to ingest large doses of both. If you overdose on alcohol and diphenhydramine and lose consciousness, death is one of the risks. Despite the fact that it’s commonly used and easily available over the counter, Benadryl is a potent drug. That’s why you should never mix alcohol and diphenhydramine.

It’s extremely important to speak with a physician about your use of alcohol and diphenhydramine. It’s also vital that you never try to combine alcohol and diphenhydramine as a way to help you fall asleep or feel more intoxicated.

If you feel like you aren’t able to abstain from drinking while using Benadryl, you might want to consider speaking to a professional. Representatives at The Recovery Village® can connect you to treatment for alcohol addiction or dependence.

Risk According To Age

Drinking alcohol and taking Benadryl makes it tuff to control body movement well for people of all ages. But it may be even riskier also for seniors.Impaired motor ability, combined with the dizziness and sedation from Benadryl, can cause particular problems for older adults. For instance, the combination may increase the risk of falls in seniors.

Effect On Driving

You may have heard that you should not drive and use any machinery if you takes Benadryl. This caution is because of the danger of CNS depression from the drug.

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that Benadryl may have a greater effect on a driver’s ability to stay alert than alcohol does. The administration also agrees that alcohol can increase the risk of Benadryl.

You already know that drinking alcohol and driving is dangerous. Add antihistamine to the combination, and the behavior becomes even riskier.

Risks of mixing Benadryl and alcohol

1. Drowsiness:

Benadryl will cause side effects, including sedation and drowsiness, which impair coordination and reaction speed. Mixing Benadryl with alcohol can increase these side effects and will impair a person’s daily tasks. This can be life-threatening if it involves certain activities, such as driving or operating heavy machinery.

2. Dehydration:

Benadryl and alcohol are both known to dehydrate the body. Mixing them can increase the risk of dehydration. This can cause discomfort at the time and may worsen a hangover.

3. Learning and memory impairment:

Benadryl blocks the action of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is necessary for learning and memory, so blocking its action may temporarily impair these processes.

4. Misuse:

As Benadryl and alcohol both cause drowsiness and sedation, it may seem tempting to exploit this combination as a sleeping aid. However, this can also heighten other adverse side effects that will interfere with sleep, such as nausea and dizziness.

5. Loss of consciousness:

Some people are more prone than others to losing consciousness when sedated. In these people, combining Benadryl and alcohol is more likely to cause a loss of consciousness. This can be harmful due to the likelihood of falls and other accidents.

6. Complications in older adults:

Aging slows the body’s ability to break down alcohol so that it may stay in the system of an older adult for longer than someone younger. This slowdown increases the time a person will be at risk of a harmful interaction between Benadryl and alcohol.

7. Sex:

In general, females are more susceptible to alcohol-related harm. This is because their bodies typically contain less water for alcohol to mix with, which means that identical quantity of alcohol would be additional targeted in an exceedingly feminine than in an exceedingly male.
Mixing Benadryl with alcohol may be particularly dangerous for females, as consuming smaller amounts of alcohol could trigger adverse interaction effects.

8. Interactions with other types of medication:

Benadryl may interact with other types of medication, which can heighten the side effects.
Taking these other types of medications with alcohol could also enhance the danger of side effects. Examples of medications that may interact with Benadryl include:
• Antidepressants
• Stomach ulcer medicine
• Cough and cold medicine
• Other antihistamines
• Diazepam (Valium)
• Sedatives

9. Other sources of alcohol:

Some types of medication, including cough syrup and laxatives, also contain alcohol. They can include up to ten percent alcohol, which may interact with Benadryl.
As a consequence, taking Benadryl with these medications when consuming very small amounts of alcohol may still enhance the risk of adverse side effects.

10. Dementia:

One study found that people who take one anticholinergic drug per day for at least 3 years have a raised risk of dementia. It should be noted that this study included all anticholinergic drugs, not just Benadryl.
Another study in 2018 found excessive alcohol consumption to be associated with a higher risk of dementia. Consumption of large amounts of Benadryl and alcohol over long periods of time could be increased risk of dementia.

However, longitudinal research would be required in people who consume high levels of Benadryl and alcohol to know whether this has any effect on the risk of dementia.
Hidden Facts About alcohol

Now that you know that Benadryl and alcohol don’t mix, you should be aware of sources of hidden alcohol that you should avoid while taking Benadryl.

Some medications may actually contain alcohol. These include drugs such as laxatives and cough syrup. In fact, some medications are up to 10 percent alcohol. These drugs may interact with Benadryl. Be sure to read the labels on all the drugs you’re taking to reduce your risk of accidental interactions or misuse.

If you’re taking more than one OTC or prescription drug or supplement, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can let you know if your other medications contain alcohol and if it’s safe to take them with Benadryl.
When to Consult with your Doctor

Benadryl is a strong drug. Combining the drug with alcohol can cause dangerous effects, such as extreme drowsiness and impaired motor skills and alertness.


Benadryl is designed for short-term use, so it’s best to simply wait until you’re done taking it before you have any alcohol. This includes beverages, mouthwashes, and other drugs that list alcohol as an ingredient. To be on the safe side, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist how long to wait after you finish taking Benadryl before you reach for a drink.

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