Side Effects of Diphenhydramine


Diphenhydramine is a prescription medication used for the management of symptoms of the common cold, hay fever and allergies. It is an antihistamine. Some of the symptoms that Diphenhydramine treats include itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, rash and sneezing. It also can help treat symptoms of motion sickness, such as dizziness and nausea. It is commonly known as the brand name Benadryl. Note that some side effects can occur from Diphenhydramine use.

Common Side Effects

There are several common and usually minor side effects that can result from taking Diphenhydramine. These include thickening of the mucus of the throat or the nose, dizziness and a dry mouth, nose and throat. These side effects tend to fade quickly, but if they are persistent or perhaps get worse, you should let your physician know.

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects also can result from taking Diphenhydramine that require immediate medical attention. They are seizures, hallucinations, becoming less alert, rapid heartbeat, being excitable, chest tightness or pounding, wheezing and tremors.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions are considered to be severe Diphenhydramine side effects. Some signs of these reactions are skin rash, swelling, chest heaviness, having a hard time breathing and hives. You must get emergency care immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.


It is extremely important to be cautious when first using Diphenhydramine due to the fact that drowsiness and dizziness are possible side effects. Be particularly careful when operating heavy machinery or driving, especially until you know exactly how the medicine will affect you. Also, you must be careful with alcohol consumption, as it could increase the chances of dizziness and drowsiness.


If you think you might have taken more than the appropriate dosage of Diphenhydramine, you may have overdosed and must seek emergency medical assistance. Some symptoms of overdose of this medicine are shaking, enlarged pupils, blurry vision, flushing, ringing in the ears, weakness, extreme drowsiness, disorientation, confusion, sleeplessness, fever, seizures, dry mouth and hallucinations.

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