You are contemplating mixing Benadryl and alcohol or you have mixed them. In short, it is not safe to consume. Contact emergency if you feel any effects. But what effects should you expect?

Find out more about the medical reviewer Dr. Anjum.

What is Benadryl?

If you have a running nose, uncontrollable sneezing, cough, red bulging eyes, and suffering from discomfort what would be your preference at that time?

Obviously, a medicine that gives you relief immediately and the most common medicine for allergy is Benadryl. You might have taken Benadryl but many times but possibly you haven’t tried to find out what is Benadryl?

It is a brand version of antihistamine chemically named diphenhydramine. This drug interferes with the histamine compound in your body. Whenever you are suffering from an allergic problem, your body cells secrets this histamine compound.

This histamine then binds to receptors present on specific cells in our body and results in allergic symptoms such as running nose, itchy skin, hives, congestion, and watery eyes. Antihistaminic drugs such as Benadryl act by interfering with the binding of histamine to its receptors.

Benadryl is available easily at any medical store and you use it usually to treat allergies so, without any doubt it is safe in your perception.

The half-life of Benadryl is 3-9 hours which means that your body organs can completely clear the drug from your system within 24-48 hours. But if your liver and kidney are not healthy then the time period for detoxification and clearance of Benadryl from your system may exceed the normal limits.

Because Benadryl can leave your system within a specific period doesn’t mean that it can’t be harmful. It can cause complications if you don’t take its dose as directed by your physician.

Read more about how long does alcohol stay in your system?

What happens when you mix Benadryl and alcohol?

If you take Benadryl and alcohol together, there are severe risks which we will discuss later on in this article. It is recommended to rest if you happen to do this.

The complications of mixing Benadryl with alcohol can be very severe. They both affect your central nervous system. When they depress your central nervous system your normal body functions also affect like you feel difficulty in breathing. Due to which you feel drowsiness and also prone to other risks.

1. Extreme sleepiness

When you feel extremely sleepy it becomes difficult for you to focus on anything. Benadryl alone causes sleepiness but the mixture of both intensifies this side effect and can be very dangerous.

Do not operate machinery, join traffic or participate in unsafe practices when under the influence of any.

2. Loss of consciousness

Combined intake of both Benadryl and alcohol can also result in loss of consciousness due to their sedative effect. If ever you have taken the combination of two, please contact emergency services or go to your doctor with a conscious, sober adult.

3. Shaky hands

Consumption of both can cause uncontrollable shaking of hands. It is not a most common side effect but if you experience this symptom, it is necessary to consult your doctor.

Shaking of hands is usually a symptom that alcohol has overwhelmed your central nervous system.  The overwhelming central nervous system can lead to the failure of any important organ of your body.

Here are some signs of alcohol overdose. When you feel these signs, immediately contact health services.

  • Heartbeat increase.
  • Dyspnea (difficult breathing)
  • Fingers or lips turn blue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion in daily tasks.
  • Dizziness

4. Fatal interaction in elders

With age, you lose the capacity of breaking down alcohol faster than you used to have at a young age due to impaired and slow function and detoxification capacity of the liver.

The more aged you are, the more will be the clearance time of the alcohol from your body, and the more the risk of the fatal interaction between the alcohol and Benadryl in your body. Therefore, the combined intake of Benadryl and alcohol is riskier in elderly individuals.

5. Addiction to Benadryl and alcohol

The mixture of both is an abuse for your body. If you utilize both, there is a high chance that you become addicted to both. Due to addiction, it would become difficult for you to survive without the consumption of both. This will disrupt your ability to concentrate on your tasks and to make important decisions.

6. Blurred vision

The mixture of both attacks your central nervous system and if your central system gets damaged then obviously it would affect the functioning of organs. Due to consumption of both, you won’t be able to see clearly due to which you won’t be able to survive in your personal and professional life.

Your employer may not detect from tests that how much Benadryl you have intake but the symptoms of it will surely let him know that there is some issue with you that can almost destroy your professional career.

7. Permanent damage memory and learning

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is very important for your learning and memory. Both Benadryl and alcohol can block acetylcholine and impair the learning and memory processes of your brain temporarily.

Therefore, the combination of both can aggravate the situation when compared to their individuals’ intake in the body and may be very dangerous for elderly people particularly.

8. Alcohol-related consequences

Women are more prone to alcohol-related harm. The concentration of water in the female body is less to absorb alcohol. If you mix Benadryl with alcohol, it has a more adverse effect on females than males.

9. Thirst and dehydration

National Collaborating Centre for environmental health conducted the study on the mixture of both which concludes that they result in extreme thirst and dehydration. Dehydration can be a major discomfort to you and can also increase the effect of hangover which makes the situation worse for you.

Benadryl can interact with other medicines:

It can interact with other cold and cough medicines and also with other kinds of medicines too. Here is the list of some medicines which can interact with Benadryl.

  • All types of sleep-inducing medicines.
  • Anti-depression medicines.
  • Medicines for the treatment of cough and cold.
  • Valium
  • Anti-ulcer medicines.
  • Other antihistamines.
  • Sedatives

When Benadryl interacts with other medicines and alcohol which will double the effect of the mixture of Benadryl and Alcohol. You can easily imagine if both can do a lot of damage on being alone then what their combination can do by interacting with different medicines.

10. Misuse of drug

As you know that Benadryl and alcohol can cause sleepiness then most people knowingly misuse this combination to cure their insomnia. People who misuse it of somehow able to treat their sleeping sickness won’t be able to sleep. Because nausea won’t let them.

Misusing it is just making your health condition worse. It is not the right way to treat your sleeping problem. You have insomnia due to various factors which you need to address. It is recommended to develop a healthy lifestyle i.e. healthy, whole foods and exercising instead of misusing medicines.

11. Risk of dementia

Harvard medical school published a study according to which those individuals who intake anticholinergic for three years daily are most likely to develop dementia. We can’t call dementia itself a disease.

It is just a general term that refers to the disability of remembering, thinking, and making decisions that interfere with everyday activities. This risk is most common in old age people but it is not a side effect of normal aging.

So far, we have discussed the risks associated with using the combination of both but still, there is a most important question which needs to be addressed. This question might create fear in you and even you don’t want to hear about it but for the benefit of others, it is important to address it.

Now, to the main question.

Can Benadryl and alcohol kill you?

Yes, Benadryl and alcohol can kill you.

It is true that the adverse effects and health conditions of alcohol do not apply to everyone. If there is a possibility of adverse effects then there is also a high possibility that intake of a small and limited quantity of alcohol while under the influence of Benadryl in a safe environment will cause no danger.

However, there is a risk so, it is better to not use alcohol with Benadryl. It is also very important to avoid driving, usage of heavy equipment, and walking alone on road under the influence of Benadryl and Alcohol.

If you can’t resist alcohol then it is better to consult your doctor when is it safe to consume alcohol after the intake of Benadryl.

Conclusion

Benadryl is an effective anti-allergic and it is better to use it for the purpose instead of misusing it. If it is necessary for you to consume alcohol it is better to have knowledge about the duration between the intake of Benadryl and alcohol. Some people can be safe from the side effects but there is a fatality risk.

Your life needs nothing from you except making decisions beneficial for it. Combinations of some medicines can produce side effects so, don’t just rely on the benefits of benefits also bother to study how harmful can this drug for you and which things you have to avoid while you have taken the dose of a specific medicine.

Reference:

From Chapters Capiatrano: https://chapterscapistrano.com/benadryl-and-alcohol-can-this-combination-become-deadly/

Blue Prints for Recovery. (n.d.). From https://www.blueprintsforrecovery.com/resources/benadryl-and-alcohol/

Kandola, A. (2018). Can you drink alcohol while taking antihistamines? Medical News Today.

Roland, J. (2019). Is It Safe To Mix Benadryl and Alcohol? Health Line.

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Kashaf Fatima
Kashaf Fatima is a professional health writer with 3 years of experience. A reader and a bookworm, she will always have a book recommendation for you. Currently studying a Masters in Food Science, she loves to research about food, nutrition, and everything in between.

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