Benadryl and Alcohol: Can we mix them up?
Hold on. You are in the right place to learn about Benadryl and Alcohol.
Introduction to Benadryl and Alcohol
Today we will talk about the effects of mixing Benadryl and alcohol. If you’ve got a runny nose, uncontrollable sneezing, or red, watery, itchy eyes, you probably only want one thing: relief. Fortunately, there is a whole range of over-the-counter (OTC) medications that work well for treating seasonal allergies (hay fever). It is a popular option for many people.
It is that the name version of an antihistamine called diphenhydramine. An antihistamine is a drug that interferes with the action of the histamine compound in your body.
It is involved in your body’s immune response to allergens. This is the reason why you get a stuffy nose, itchy skin, and other reactions when you come in contact with a product you are allergic to. An antihistamine works by blocking your body’s response to those allergens. It can relieve your allergy symptoms.
Since you’ll buy Benadryl in drugstores and grocery stores without a prescription, you would possibly think it’s safe to use altogether situations. But It is powerful medicine, and it comes with risks. One of the risks is the serious effects it can cause if you take it with alcohol.
Do not take Benadryl with alcohol
It does not affect your liver like alcohol. But if you mix Benadryl and alcohol, both drugs work on your (CNS), which is made up of your brain and spinal cord. That can cause a problem.
Benadryl and alcohol are both CNS depressants. These are drugs that slow down your CNS. It is dangerous to take them together because they can slow down your CNS too much. It can cause drowsiness, sedation, and difficulty performing physical and mental tasks that require alertness.
In short, Benadryl and alcohol shouldn’t be used together. However, it is important to understand that it’s hazardous to use them together in some cases. These cases include if you abuse Benadryl, take these drugs together while driving, and if you are a senior.
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11 risks of mixing Benadryl and alcohol
There are many potential risks associated with mixing Benadryl and alcohol. Ten of them are listed here.
Benadryl may be a brand of antihistamines commonly used for allergies. Benadryl can cause side effects, including sedation and drowsiness, which affect coordination and speed of reaction. Mixing Benadryl with alcohol can intensify these side effects and interfere with a person’s daily functioning.
This can be life-threatening if it involves certain activities, like driving or operating heavy machinery.
2. loss of consciousness
Some people are more likely than others to lose consciousness when they are sedated. In these people, the combination of Benadryl and alcohol is more likely to cause unconsciousness. It can be dangerous due to the likelihood of falls and other accidents.
Benadryl and alcohol are both can cause dehydration in the body. Mixing them can increase the risk of dehydration. It can cause discomfort at that time and can make a hangover worse.
4. Complications in the elderly
Aging slows down the body’s ability to break down alcohol so that it can stay in an older person’s system longer than a younger person. This slowing down increases the length of time that a person is at risk of having a harmful interaction between Benadryl and alcohol.
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5. Learning and memory disorders
It blocks the action of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is necessary for learning and memory, so blocking its action can temporarily impair these processes.
Alcohol is also known to temporarily inhibit learning and memory. So the mixture of alcohol and Benadryl may have a more noticeable effect on memory.
6. Interactions with other types of drugs
Benadryl may interact with cough and cold medicines. Benadryl can interact with other types of medicines, which may increase side effects. Taking these other types of medicines with alcohol may also increase the risk of side effects.
The following are examples of drugs that may interact with Benadryl:
- stomach ulcer medicine
- cough and cold medicine
- other antihistamines
- diazepam (Valium)
7. Other sources of alcohol
Some types of medications, including cough syrup and laxatives, also contain alcohol. They can contain up to 10% alcohol, which can interact with Benadryl.
Therefore, taking Benadryl with these medicines when consuming very small amounts of alcohol may still increase the risk of unwanted side effects.
In general, women are more vulnerable to alcohol-related harm. This is because their body generally contains less water than alcohol can mix with, meaning that the same amount of alcohol would be more concentrated in a woman than in a man.
Mixing Benadryl with alcohol can be especially dangerous for women, as consuming small amounts of alcohol can cause unwanted effects.
Since Benadryl and alcohol both cause drowsiness and sedation, it may seem tempting to exploit this combination as a sleep aid. However, it can also worsen other unwanted side effects that interfere with sleep, such as nausea and dizziness.
It is approved to treat allergy symptoms only. It is not intended to be used for any other purpose.
However, some people may think it is a good idea to use it as a sleep aid. This is because Benadryl causes drowsiness. In fact, diphenhydramine, the generic form of Benadryl, is approved as a sleep aid. Some people may think that alcohol can play the same role because it can also put you to sleep.
But if you actually need a good night’s sleep, don’t make the error of thinking that a glass of wine and a dose of Benadryl will do the trick. This misuse of Benadryl and alcohol can actually make you dizzy and prevent you from sleeping through the night.
It may also interact negatively with sleeping pills and other medications. Therefore, as a safety measure, you should only use Benadryl to treat your allergy symptoms.
More studies are needed to determine whether mixing Benadryl and alcohol causes dementia.
One study found that people who take one anticholinergic drug daily for at least three years have an increased risk of dementia. Note that this study looked at all anticholinergics, not just Benadryl.
Another study in 2018 found that excessive alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of dementia. It is possible that consuming large amounts of Benadryl and alcohol for long periods of time could be linked to an increased risk of dementia.
You may have heard that you should not drive or use machines to take Benadryl (alone or with alcohol). This warning is due to the risks of CNS depression associated with the drug. Do you know Marie Antoinette syndrome is caused by stress?
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. The administration also agrees that alcohol may enhance the effects of Benadryl.
You already know that drinking and driving are dangerous. Adding Benadryl to the mixture, and the behavior becomes even riskier.
Hidden sources of alcohol
Now that you know that Benadryl and alcohol don’t mix, you should be aware of the sources of hidden alcohol that you should avoid while taking Benadryl.
Some medicines may contain alcohol. These include medications like laxatives and cough syrup. In fact, some drugs contain up to 10% alcohol. These drugs can interact with Benadryl. Be sure to read the labels of any medications you take to reduce the risk of accidental interactions or abuse.
If you take over one over-the-counter or prescription drug or supplement, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They can tell you if your other medicines contain alcohol and whether it is safe to take them with Benadryl.
Talk to your doctor
It is a strong drug. Using it safely means not drinking alcohol while you are taking it. The combination of Benadryl and alcohol can cause dangerous effects, such as extreme drowsiness and impaired motor skills and alertness.
It is designed for short term use, so it is best to wait until you are finished taking it before consuming alcohol. This includes drinks, mouthwashes, and other drugs that contain alcohol as an ingredient. For safety, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist how long to wait after you have finished taking Benadryl before having a drink.
If you drink a lot and find it difficult to wait a few days before drinking, consider finding out about resources and support.
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