Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an over-the-counter medication used to treat various medical problems such as allergy, hay fever, common cold, and intense itchiness due to various causes like insect bites, sunburn, skin cuts, scrapes, or irritation and rashes.
Tylenol (acetaminophen) is usually taken to relieve pain and reduce fever.
Both drugs are commonly used medications often found in many homes. So it’s not uncommon for some to wonder if it’s safe to take these two medications together.
In this article, we delve into all you need to know about combining both drugs as well as their possible side effects to find out if you take Benadryl and Tylenol together.
- Can You Take Benadryl and Tylenol Together?
- About Benadryl and Tylenol
- What Does Benadryl Do?
- What Does Tylenol Do?
- Is It Safe to Mix Benadryl and Tylenol?
- Side Effects of Benadryl Use
- Side Effects of Tylenol Use
- Are there Precautions to Be Aware of When Taking Both Medications?
- Bottom Line
- Related Articles
Can You Take Benadryl and Tylenol Together?
They’re generally safe to take together, so long as you stick to the dosage as recommended by your doctor or pharmacist.
About Benadryl and Tylenol
Benadryl is a popular over-the-counter medication in the United States. It falls into a class of medications called diphenhydramine. Benadryl is an antihistamine medication, meaning that it works by antagonizing the actions of histamine – a natural substance produced in the body that causes allergic symptoms.
Tylenol contains an active ingredient known as acetaminophen. It is also a widely popular over-the-counter drug in the United States. It is estimated that about 1 in 5 US adults take acetaminophen-containing medication every week.
What Does Benadryl Do?
Benadryl is typically prescribed to relieve cough and cold, relieve red, irritated, itchy watery eyes, and treat hay fever and allergies. It is also used to prevent and treat motion sickness.
A 2019 study published in the journal Paediatrics found that a concerning number of parents opted for Benadryl as a form of sleep aid to help their children get better sleep and more peace at night.
While there are many OTC medications particularly formulated for sleep, Benadryl should never be given to babies to get them to sleep or quiet down. Not only would this result in adverse effects such as seizures, but it could also lead to cardiac arrhythmias which could be fatal.
Benadryl has also been found to help with chickenpox.
What Does Tylenol Do?
Tylenol as with other forms of acetaminophen is mostly taken to treat fever and reduce pain. Other conditions they help with include sore throat, arthritis, toothaches, painful menstruation, headaches, and colds. They belong to the class analgesics and antipyretics, that is drugs that help relieve pain and reduce fever respectively.
Though the exact mechanism of action of this medication remains rather unclear, it’s generally believed that it acts by altering the mechanism by which the body perceives pain. It reduces fever by inhibiting cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2), an enzyme responsible for producing prostaglandin (PG) which promotes inflammation, pain, and fever, thereby cooling the body.
Is It Safe to Mix Benadryl and Tylenol?
Yes, you can. Benadryl and Tylenol have not been shown to interact with each other. They’re generally safe to take together, but this holds so long as you stick to the dosage as recommended by your doctor or pharmacist. In fact, most doctors recommend Benadryl coupled with pain medications like Tylenol or Ibuprofen to help with sinus symptoms.
Although, while both of them might be safe, they could also be dangerous. Why? When mixing drugs, some may contain similar active ingredients. For instance, Acetaminophen is present in over 600 over-the-counter and prescription medicines, including Benadryl. For this reason, taking Tylenol together with Benadryl could put you at risk of receiving a potential overdose.
This is because you could be accidentally taking an overdose of acetaminophen and put yourself at risk of damaging your liver, oftentimes serious enough to require a transplant or cause death. It’s worth noting that over 500 deaths have been attributed to Acetaminophen in the United States.
In addition to liver damage, other side effects that could occur include drowsiness and dizziness.
By mixing both medications, make sure you check the drug label to find out the dosage to receive to avoid taking high doses, particularly when giving it to children.
What exactly is a “high dose”? Ideally, according to the Tylenol manufacturer, the recommended maximum daily dose for single-ingredient Extra Strength Tylenol has been lowered from 4000 mg to 3000 mg.
So to avoid taking an overdose, it would be best to speak with your doctor to help you should in case you have no idea how to calculate the amount of acetaminophen/Tylenol you’re taking.
Moreover, some stores have both medications readily available as a combination product administered as a single pill. A notable example is Tylenol PM. A single caplet of this drug contains 500mg of acetaminophen and 25mg of diphenhydramine HCL. It’s generally taken to relieve pain and also as a nighttime sleep aid.
Side Effects of Benadryl Use
You’re more likely to get the following side effects from taking Benadryl. If you experience any of the following symptoms, make sure to consult your doctor immediately. They are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Excitability may occur, especially in children
- Blurred vision
Side Effects of Tylenol Use
Though rare, Tylenol may accompany some side effects. These are some common side effects you may notice upon taking Tylenol:
- Struggling to breathe or swallow
Are there Precautions to Be Aware of When Taking Both Medications?
Taking into account that Benadryl is found to be associated with side effects like marked drowsiness, it’s best that you avoid driving or operating machinery when taking this medication. That is until you know for sure how the medication affects you.
In addition to that, avoiding alcohol when taking either medication is necessary. Alcohol or alcoholic drinks could add to the drowsiness already caused by the drug or cause severe liver damage.
Plus if you’ve had liver disease, make sure you seek medical advice from your doctor before attempting to mix both drugs.
Benadryl and Tylenol are generally safe to be taken together and are not known to interact with each other. While it’s possible to mix both medications, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and keep in mind that they could interact with other drugs. Nevertheless, so long as you stick to the dosage of either medication, you have nothing to worry about.
Before combining both though you do want to make sure you consult with your doctor or a healthcare professional to avoid complications and get the best outcome.