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How Long Does Benadryl Last?

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How long does Benadryl last? This over-the-counter antihistamine medication is usually absorbed by the body quickly; its effects can last between four and six hours. Benadryl is the brand name for the drug diphenhydramine, which is used to treat allergies. It can also treat motion sickness, relieve some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and induce sleep. Because of its sleep-inducing properties, Benadryl is sometimes abused. However, it’s also highly effective for relieving allergy symptoms such as runny nose, itchy and watering eyes, sneezing, and even rash. However, seeking immediate medical attention for severe allergy reactions is best. 

Benadryl is a popular and easily obtainable medication. Many patients at Resurgence Behavioral Health rely on Benadryl for relief from the conditions mentioned above. Benadryl can also be abused, however, so it’s important to understand how the medication works and what you can do if you are developing a dependence on this medication or are engaged in its abuse. 

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Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Resurgence Behavioral Health specializes in high-quality mental health and behavioral health care. We treat a wide range of conditions, including alcohol addiction and drug addiction. Our treatment center offers comprehensive care, which means we can meet clients wherever they are in their recovery process. Resurgence Behavioral Health features experienced and licensed clinicians who deliver our programming. Treatment programs include inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, aftercare, clinically supervised detox, dual diagnosis treatment, and medication-assisted treatment. 

Our Costa Mesa addiction treatment center is known for its commitment to providing individualized treatment plans based on leading medically traditional, alternative, and holistic therapeutic approaches. This combination of treatments helps clients build a strong recovery foundation. If you have a substance use disorder or suspect you might, you should seek help. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can put drug abuse behind you. Our programs are safe and effective. Don’t wait to get the support you need to achieve your recovery goals.

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What is Benadryl?

Benadryl is the brand name for the drug diphenhydramine. An over-the-counter medication, Benadryl, can still be subject to abuse. Some people use it to induce calm and drowsiness. Taking it with alcohol or certain other drugs can increase its sedative effects. It’s important to use the medication in accordance with its directions. Moreover, a person can overdose on this drug; a Benadryl overdose can cause hallucinations, impaired coordination, and even death. 

Benadryl is most commonly taken to relieve allergy symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose. Because of its sedative effects, many people opt for other over-the-counter allergy medications if they are driving or need to operate equipment. Use Benadryl with caution. You should also avoid taking it with other drugs unless you have permission from your doctor or pharmacist, as combined medications can increase the risk of negative interactions and overdose.

How Long Does Benadryl Last in Your System?

So, let’s get to the main question: How long does Benadryl last? It is quickly metabolized by the body, so its effects generally only last about six hours. Some people may experience a return of symptoms after about four hours of using the medication. The dose of the medication, as well as the weight and age of the individual taking the medication, are factors that can affect how long the drug lasts in the system. If you are concerned about the effects of the drug, check with your clinician.

How Benadryl is Absorbed and Metabolized into the Body

Benadryl can be taken orally or injected. Injectable forms are prescribed in medical centers or hospitals and have a rapid onset. In cases of severe allergic reactions, injecting Benadryl may be the most preferred option. Of course, when taken by mouth, the medication can provide symptom relief relatively quickly — usually within an hour. Again, a person’s age, weight, and the dose of the drug will impact how quickly the body processes the drug. 

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 Side Effects and Risks of Benadryl

Although generally regarded as safe and effective when taken as directed, Benadryl can also cause side effects. Certain people may also need to refrain from using this medication based on their current health or age. Some possible side effects of Benadryl include:

  • Drowsiness.
  • Reduced blood pressure.
  • Dizziness.
  • Reduced coordination.
  • Headache.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Thickening of mucus membranes.

Elderly users are more vulnerable to Benadryl side effects. People with some respiratory diseases, such as asthma, should avoid using Benadryl. Women who are breastfeeding should not use this medication. It is also not suitable for young children or infants. 

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Benadryl Overdose and Safety Concerns

It is possible to overdose on any substance, including the 3 easiest drugs to overdose on as well as over-the-counter drugs that are generally regarded as safe, like Benadryl. A Benadryl overdose can be fatal, so if you suspect an overdose, you should seek medical help immediately. Symptoms of Benadryl overdose are:

  • Extreme dry mouth.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Confusion.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Ringing in ears.
  • Inability to urinate.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Delirium.
  • Seizures.
  • Tremors.
  • Red skin.
  • Confusion.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Reduced breathing.

If you or someone you know begins to show signs and symptoms of Benadryl overdose, it’s essential to seek emergency medical care. An overdose can be treated, but delaying treatment can reduce its effectiveness. Benadryl overdose can be deadly. Symptoms may begin with mild discomfort but can also progress quickly to severe. Again, don’t risk waiting to seek help if you suspect you or someone else is experiencing an overdose.

Alternatives to Benadryl

Benadryl is not the only medication that can be used for allergy relief or relief from other symptoms associated with conditions like motion sickness. Many people dislike taking it, even though it is effective because it causes sedation as a side effect. Other allergy medications do not cause drowsiness. You can discuss other allergy medications like loratadine and Allegra with your physician. Benadryl may not be a safe option if you operate heavy machinery or need to drive. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you select medications that treat your symptoms without causing the side effects that its known for. 

Addiction Treatment that
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Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you find that you use Benadryl to achieve its side effects like sedation, you may have a drug abuse problem. Unless your physician directs you to take Benadryl, you may be abusing the medication, especially if you use it habitually. If you experience withdrawal symptoms when you do not use Benadryl within a certain period of time, you may have developed a dependency on it or an addiction. 

Contact Resurgence Behavioral Health for Drug Abuse Treatment

If you abuse over-the-counter medications like Benadryl or any other substance, you can rely on Resurgence Behavioral Health for help. Our treatment programs can help you put substance abuse in your past. We offer inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs, so we will develop a treatment plan that suits your needs. 

Resurgence Behavioral Health features a safe and welcoming environment where you can immerse yourself in therapy. Our treatment center has amenities, including ultra-comfortable private and public spaces. Contact Resurgence Behavioral Health online or call 855-458-0050 today to learn more about our treatment programs, accepted insurance and payment options, and enrollment process. We look forward to helping you achieve lasting recovery from substance abuse. 

Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.


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