What is Benadryl?
The chemical in Benadryl is diphenhydramine which is an antihistamine i.e. it reduces levels of histamine in the body. It helps in reducing allergic reactions like rhinitis, itching, sneezing, and watery eyes. However, the safety of Benadryl for infants is still unclear.
Besides, relieving allergic symptoms it also induces sleep. This effect is even stronger in children. Therefore, its use under the two years of age should be supervised by a doctor.
Forms of Benadryl for infants
Benadryl is commonly available in the oral form. However, syrup form is preferred over tablets in infants because of the ease of its utility. Two major products include dye-free allergy liquid and Benadryl allergy liquid. These products are completely safe over the age of 6 years. However, below this age, it can be dangerous for the child.
Why Benadryl is not safe for children?
According to the FDA, Benadryl carries serious risks in children younger than 2 years of age. Therefore, it shouldn’t be given without the advice of a doctor.
Here are a few mild side effects associated with Benadryl:
- It induces sleep and is also found to be associated with day time drowsiness.
- It makes the baby restless and dizzy.
- Benadryl can also cause fatigue and headache.
- It can cause mild stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Although used to treat an allergic reaction, it can cause a sore throat.
- Your baby can have a dry mouth or a dry throat.
Serious side effects of Benadryl include:
- It can depress the respiratory system and can be fatal.
- Your baby can have palpitations i.e. pounding heart or fluttering in your baby’s chest.
- Benadryl is known to cause urinary difficulty.
- It is also associated with causing confusion in the baby and the baby may collapse in serious cases. The risk of collapse is even higher with an overdose.
Benadryl dosage for infants
Although Benadryl is pretty safe above the age of 2 years. However, in large doses, it poses serious risks for the child. Therefore, it should always be used with a doctor’s advice. Pediatricians also take into account the weight of the child before prescribing the dose.
Secondly, there is a different dosage for different forms of Benadryl. You should always read the label or follow the doctor’s advice before using it. For example, the dosage for dye-free Benadryl is 1 to 2 tsp which makes around 5 to 10 ml above the age of 5 years. You can repeat Benadryl 4 to 6 times a day. Below this age, you should only give with the doctor’s advice and should avoid it as much as possible.
Keep Benadryl away from the child and in case of overdose, you should rush to the emergency.
Also Read: When Can Babies Sleep With a Blanket?
How to take Benadryl?
There are labels available on how to use Benadryl in each of the packings. You should give a thorough read before using it. It includes all the information regarding dosage, use, indication, and side effects.
Here are a few facts you should know about how to take Benadryl:
- You should only use Benadryl for a short period to relieve the symptoms and should be stopped once the symptoms are gone.
- Benadryl is for allergic symptoms and not to make the baby sleep. It can be fatal.
- You should not give your child a random dose of Benadryl. Always use a measuring syringe that comes in the packing or a standard spoon or a cup for dosage. You can always ask your pharmacist about the dosage if you don’t have any measuring device.
- It is ideal to keep the syrup at room temperature. There is no specific need to keep it at a cool temperature. However, keep it at a dry place and away from the heat.
- Always shake it gently before using it. It helps the liquid evenly mixed and avoids precipitation of the chemical.
- Avoid the use of water afterward for a better local effect.
- If you are taking it for motion sickness you should take it 30 minutes before getting into the situation which induces it. It almost takes 30 minutes to start acting.
- You should not use Benadryl for sleeping aid in the children before the age of 2 years. However, for an adult, you should drink it half an hour before going to bed.
- If there is no improvement in allergic symptoms in 7 days of consecutive use you should revisit your doctor.
- The same goes for any side effect caused by Benadryl. Don’t wait!
Also Read: When Can Babies Sleep With a Pillow?
Things you should know before using Benadryl for infants
Benadryl for infants is not safe and the risk increases even more if you use it without knowing the following facts before its use:
- Your baby is having constipation which may indicate a digestive tract obstruction.
- There is a urinary tract obstruction.
- Your baby is having a liver or a kidney disease.
- Your baby is having a heart condition.
- If there is an already existing respiratory disease like asthma or COPD as it can aggravate the condition and can be fatal in rare cases.
- If there is a thyroid disorder
- Your baby is taking potassium supplements.
You should rule out all these conditions before starting Benadryl in the children before the age of 2 years.
If you miss a dose
Benadryl is a potent relieving agent and is only used when needed. It eliminates the element of consistent use i.e. you can miss a dose or two without any significant consequences. However, for maximum efficiency, you should use it regularly for the duration prescribed by your doctor.
Avoid these things while using Benadryl for infants
Benadryl has its risks however when used with other cold or flu medications the risk of having side effects increases massively. Therefore you should always use cold and flu medication with doctor’s guidance.
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