The list of drugs that are allowed during pregnancy and breastfeeding is rather meager. It is very difficult for lactating women to select safe pharmaceuticals to relieve the symptoms of pain, allergies, and colds. Always consult your doctor and do not rely on over-the-counter drugs.
Allergies are one of the most common problems faced after childbirth. Intolerable skin itching, irritation, nasal congestion, and other symptoms are difficult to relieve without medication. Young mothers have to either endure the manifestations of allergies or still use acceptable means. Is Benadryl one of those? Consider the features of this type of medication and its safety during breastfeeding.
Composition and indications for use in Benadryl
Benadryl is the brand name for the drug diphenhydramine. The drug belongs to the first-generation antihistamines. It is available without a prescription and helps to fight the symptoms of seasonal allergies, and reactions to pollen, wool, and other allergens. The instructions also indicate anticholinergic and sedative effects.
The active substance of Benadryl is diphenhydramine. It blocks the synthesis of histamine, which is released in the body during an immune response to an allergen. Benadryl is available in the form of tablets, syrup, ointment, or gel. The drug is applied externally or internally, depending on the problem that needs to be eliminated.
How can Benadryl help?
The use of antihistamines during pregnancy and lactation should always be cautious. There are situations in which a woman cannot do without medication. Benadryl can help get rid of many allergic manifestations.
Tablets well reduce coughing fits, nasal congestion, and watery eyes. These are typical symptoms of seasonal allergic reactions. Immunity in women after childbirth is very much reduced and they often get sick and suffer from allergies.
Benadryl in the form of a gel or cream relieves itching and pain that occurs as a reaction to insect bites. It can be used as a remedy for sun and thermal burns. The cream relieves the symptoms of hives, swelling, and redness after burns from poisonous plants. Many pregnant and lactating mothers use Benadryl tablets as a mild sedative. Sometimes it helps with poor sleep due to its sedative properties.
Negative properties of Benadryl during breastfeeding
Most drugs have direct contraindications during pregnancy and lactation. The annotation of Benadryl does not always indicate that it is prohibited during pregnancy and breastfeeding. There are a number of its properties that can adversely affect the child. Here are examples of some of them:
The active substance of the drug is intensively absorbed and very quickly absorbed by the mother’s body when using tablets. Benadryl is absorbed almost in full from the digestive tract. This increases its concentration and the risk of transmission to the baby through milk. The peak concentration of the active substance in tissues and organs is observed after 30-40 minutes.
Diphenhydramine refers to substances with high biological availability. It is 50% for Benadryl. The drug has a high connection with blood proteins. The active substance freely penetrates both through the skin and when applied orally. This bioavailability allows the drug to “migrate” into tissues and fluids. It will undoubtedly pass into milk and can affect the baby unpredictably at high concentrations.
The effect of the drug on the mother can also be passed on to the child. Benadryl is characterized by the following side effects: drowsiness, excitability, and irritability. This is easily manifested in a child. Such an action can adversely affect its development and health if the drug is abused.
It is believed that Benadryl does not affect the production of milk by the body of a woman, but it can affect its amount. The flow of milk from the breast is reduced. This is bad for the weight of the child and his height. Be careful with Benadryl. Its properties ambiguously affect lactation.
Long withdrawal period
The elimination half-life of Benadryl is 4 to 10 hours. The active substance is metabolized in the liver. It is excreted in the urine within a day after application. This makes it difficult to use the drug in the first six months of breastfeeding when it cannot be replaced by anything.
Penetration into tissues and organs of Benadryl is high, regardless of whether it is a tablet or a gel. It is impossible to say exactly what is safe when breastfeeding. The effect on the child and the penetration of the active substance through milk is not excluded.
Preparations containing diphenhydramine are a favorite means of obtaining pleasure from drug addicts. Benadryl is one of the drugs with the risk of addiction. It can also be passed on to a child. Potential danger includes Benadryl in the list of risky drugs.
Benadryl side effects for breastfeeding mothers
It is necessary to take into account not only the likely impact on the child but also the action of the woman. Be aware that Benadryl has many side effects. They can make your situation worse if you abuse the drug.
Examples of the negative effects of Benadryl: Headaches, muscle weakness, dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, hypotension, sweating, decreased reaction rate, impaired coordination of movements, frequent urination, and more. The list of negative effects is much broader than the indications for use. Decide on the use of Benadryl carefully and only after consulting a doctor.
When not to use Benadryl while breastfeeding?
Benadryl is an over-the-counter drug. Many pharmacists in a pharmacy believe that if it is permissible to dispense medication without a prescription and a doctor’s prescription, then it can be safely recommended to customers. This is not true.
A pharmacist is not a doctor. He cannot prescribe you certain drugs. He does not know about the state of your health or the health of the child you are feeding. When not to use Benadryl:
Liver disease – The drug tends to be metabolized in the liver to pharmacologically active metabolites. It is better to stop taking the drug if there are chronic problems in this organ. This is likely to complicate the course of the disease and provoke the need for the use of other drugs.
Problems with the kidneys and urinary tract – Benadryl is excreted in the urine. This is a high burden on the kidneys. They start working hard. It is difficult for a woman who is breastfeeding to deal with the presence of kidney disease, swelling, and pain. The use of Benadryl may exacerbate painful symptoms.
Lactation crisis – It is better to refrain from any medication during the inhibition of milk production. The mother’s body must be clean until lactation is established. Special preparations are prescribed for serious congestion and lack of milk. Their interaction with Benadryl has not been tested.
Decreased blood pressure – It is better not to use drugs with a side effect in the form of a decrease in pressure in the presence of arterial hypotension. It is difficult to get out of a critical state. You can’t do without the help of doctors. Breastfeeding mothers should consider whether the use of Benadryl is justified in such a situation.
The first few months after birth – It’s best to be patient unless there are serious health problems requiring the use of antihistamines. Newborn babies hang on their mother’s breasts for a long time. They eat a lot and milk production increases. This increases the risk of high concentrations of the active substance in milk.
If the child has serious health problems – It is better to give up medicines when the baby has deviations in the central nervous system, pathologies of internal organs, and other problems. No one has studied exactly how Benadryl can affect a child. Diphenhydramine can depress the nervous system when taken with a mother’s milk. It can provoke insomnia, nervous overexcitation, or, conversely, excessive weakness and lethargy.
Tendency to drug addiction – Women with a predisposition to alcohol, drug, or nicotine addiction may have problems when using Benadryl. It gives a pleasant sedative effect. Dependent people enjoy drug abuse. Such drugs are not prescribed to people with addiction in the past, so as not to provoke a breakdown.
What can replace Benadryl while breastfeeding?
Benadryl uses a first-generation antihistamine. This means that it has many more side effects compared to modern drugs. Diphenhydramine has a fairly active sedative effect. It is best to avoid these drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Second-generation antihistamines are classified as non-sedative and are prescribed only by a doctor. They do not have such a strong narcotic effect and their concentration in the body will be reduced. Penetration into breast milk is minimized.
The doctor may suggest loratadine, mizolastine, epinastine, cytolysin, and others as alternatives. This replacement will reduce the effect of the active substance on the child and quickly reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction or pain.
What is the safest way to take Benadryl while breastfeeding?
Try to protect yourself and your child as much as possible if you need to take Benadryl. We offer several ways to reduce the negative impact of this drug:
Take after the establishment of lactation
Do not take Benadryl until lactation is fully established if possible. You will understand this when the breast stops pouring heavily and hurting. The child will eat large portions and a little less often than usual. This means that the milk production process has returned to normal. You can take care of your health.
Take in low doses
Benadryl should be used sparingly. It is an over-the-counter drug but it is very insidious in its properties. Doses should be determined by the doctor, based on your situation. Do not increase the dose on your own if there is no desired result.
Take before bed
It is quite effective to take Benadryl after the last breastfeeding, just before bedtime. This will allow the active substance to assist you during sleep and to be excreted as much as possible until the next feeding.
Do not remove it abruptly
Benadryl is prone to the opposite effect with a sharp withdrawal of the drug. It is recommended to gradually reduce the dose and move away from taking this medication without harm to health. So the effect of the active substance will be reduced and there will be fewer side effects.
Should I take Benadryl while breastfeeding?
Benadryl has been declared safe for pregnant women by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But this does not exclude its negative impact on the child after birth.
Symptomatically severe allergies are often treated with diphenhydramine. This is due to proven practice and the effectiveness of the treatment. There is no full guarantee of the safety of this drug for a child who feeds on their mother’s breast milk. The bioavailability and penetrating power of the active substance are too high.
Take Benadryl only if it is prescribed by your doctor and there is no possibility to use alternative medicine. The best way to protect your baby from serious immunotherapy using strong drugs is to stop breastfeeding.