Diphenhydramine Topical : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Why is this medication prescribed?
Diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, is used to relieve itching from insect bites, sunburns, bee stings, poison ivy, poison oak, and mild skin irritation.
This medicine is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Diphenhydramine topical comes as a cream, lotion, gel, and spray to apply to the skin. It is used three or four times a day. Follow the directions on the package or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Use diphenhydramine exactly as directed. Do not use more or less, or use it more often than directed by your doctor.
Thoroughly clean the affected area, let it dry, and then gently rub in the medicine until most of it is gone. Use enough medicine to cover the affected area. You should wash your hands after applying the medicine.
Do not apply diphenhydramine on chickenpox or measles, and do not use it on a child younger than 2 years old unless directed to do so by a doctor.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using diphenhydramine,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to diphenhydramine or any other medications.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while using diphenhydramine, call your doctor.
- Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Diphenhydramine can make your skin sensitive to sunlight.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Diphenhydramine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- skin rash
- increased sensitivity to sunlamps and sunlight
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). The aerosol is flammable. Keep away from flames and extreme heat.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
What other information should I know?
Keep all your appointments with your doctor. Diphenhydramine is for external use only. Do not get diphenhydramine in your eyes, nose, or mouth, and do not swallow it. Do not apply dressings, bandages, cosmetics, lotions, or other skin medications to the area being treated unless your doctor tells you to.
Don’t let anyone use your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Tell your doctor if your skin condition worsens or does not go away.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you every time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
- Afterbite with Antihistamine
- Benadryl® Itch Stopping Gel
Brand Names of combination products
- Allergic Itch Relief (containing Diphenhydramine, Zinc Acetate)
- Anti-Itch Cream (containing Diphenhydramine, Zinc Acetate)
- Anti-Itch Spray (containing Diphenhydramine, Zinc Acetate)
- Banophen® Cream (containing Diphenhydramine, Zinc Acetate)
- Benadryl® ReadyMist Spray (containing Diphenhydramine, Zinc Acetate)
- Benadryl® Itch Relief Stick (containing Diphenhydramine, Zinc Acetate)
- Benadryl® Itch Stopping Cream (containing Diphenhydramine, Zinc Acetate)
- Bite and Itch Lotion (containing Diphenhydramine, Pramoxine)
- Dermagesic® Liquid (containing Diphenhydramine, Phenol)
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.