Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Dr. Alberto Solà

When winter cold symptoms hit us hard, many turn to Benadryl for relief. This over-the-counter medication is commonly used to treat cold symptoms and also helps us to get a good night’s sleep when we are sick. Because it’s so commonly used, many people don’t realize that it can be dangerous when combined with alcohol. Read on to learn more about why combining alcohol and Benadryl is an unwise and unsafe idea.

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl is the most common brand name for the drug diphenhydramine. This drug is an antihistamine used to treat symptoms of the common cold; it’s also effective in treating hay fever and allergies. Benadryl is often the over-the-counter medication to which people turn when suffering from a runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, rashes, and itches. Furthermore, Benadryl can help people sleep while experiencing these symptoms – even though it is not designed or approved for this purpose.

Benadryl does not cure or lessen the length of the above symptoms, but it can offer temporary relief. It’s quite effective, and because of this fact, Benadryl is very popular.

Side Effects of Benadryl

Of course, most drugs that are helpful also come with side effects. Benadryl has quite a few. People who take Benadryl may experience dry mouth, headaches, constipation, or nausea. Several Benadryl side effects can negatively affect motor skills including dizziness, blurred vision, and drowsiness. Almost everyone who takes Benadryl finds that it makes them rather tired – and this side effect kicks in soon after a dose is taken.

Risks of Mixing Benadryl and Alcohol

Both Benadryl and alcohol are central nervous system depressants, so mixing the two is dangerous. When you mix these two substances, their effects are magnified. As a result, you’ll feel even slower and more sedated than you would if you consumed either one on its own.

This can be dangerous. Not only will this make performing simple tasks more difficult, but it will also slow down your heart rate. This can be especially dangerous for anyone with heart issues and can be extremely dangerous for anyone who attempts to drive or operate heavy machinery under the influence of both substances at the same time.

Can You Take Benadryl with Alcohol?

Can you mix Benadryl and alcohol? Benadryl and alcohol should never be paired. It’s as simple as that!. If you’re taking Benadryl to combat allergies or cold symptoms, you should avoid alcohol altogether.

It’s important to know that Benadryl is only approved to combat the symptoms of allergies, hay fever, and colds. Many people turn to this over-the-counter remedy to help them sleep, but that’s really not what it should be used for.

The fact that people believe it can and should be used as a sleep aid can result in people thinking that it might be a good idea to take some Benadryl and then have a glass of wine before going to bed to help them sleep even better – it isn’t. This is a dangerous combination and should be avoided at all costs.

The simple answer to the question: “Can you drink alcohol with Benadryl?” is no. Don’t mix the two. Take one or the other, but not both at the same time.

Real-Life Implications of Mixing Benadryl and Alcohol

A Benadryl and alcohol combination is dangerous even if you are just staying at home due to the heart rate slowdown created by both, but the danger of combining these two things increases immensely if you mix alcohol and Benadryl and then drive a car.

When you mix Benadryl with alcohol, you’re not only putting yourself at risk, but you’re putting other people on the road in danger as well. It’s believed that Benadryl can be even more dangerous when driving than a drink of alcohol, so it makes sense that when you combine the two, it’s going to be a recipe for disaster.

Also, seniors who are mixing alcohol and Benadryl are playing a dangerous game. For older people, mixing alcohol with Benadryl can be especially risky. Since motor ability and balance decline as people age, people who mix alcohol and Benadryl who are older will likely experience difficulties getting around and performing simple tasks. This can lead to problems like falls, and if the individual is alone when combining these substances, a fall can be life-threatening.

Precautions for Mixing Benadryl and Alcohol

There’s only one safety tip to know when it comes to combining Benadryl and alcohol – don’t do it. These two things should never be consumed simultaneously. If you’ve been drinking, don’t take Benadryl. If you have taken Benadryl, don’t have a drink.

If you are someone who struggles with alcohol dependency, then you should steer clear of Benadryl altogether. There are other cold remedies that you can take instead. While most of those should also not be combined with alcohol, some are less dangerous when doing so; ask your doctor for suggestions. But also, if you do feel that you need to drink alcohol every day – even when you’re sick – it’s probably time to get help. Many people successfully quit drinking alcohol every day and go on to live lives that are sober moving forward, and you can, too.

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