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Table of Contents > Drugs >  Diphenhydramine and Pseudoephedrine
Diphenhydramine and Pseudoephedrine
Pronunciation
Brand Names
Therapeutic Categories
What is this medicine used for?
How does it work?
How is it best taken?
What do I do if I miss a dose?
What are the precautions when taking this medicine?
What are the common side effects of this medicine?
What should I monitor?
Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately
How should I store this medicine?
General statements

Pronunciation
(dye fen HYE dra meen & soo doe e FED rin)

Brand Names
Actifed® Allergy Tablet (Night) [OTC]; Banophen® Decongestant Capsule [OTC]; Benadryl® Decongestant Allergy Tablet [OTC]

Therapeutic Categories
Antihistamine/Decongestant Combination

What is this medicine used for?

  • This medicine relieves symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, throat irritation and itching; watery, irritated, itchy, red eyes) from allergies.
  • Long-term nasal congestion and headache are treated by pseudoephedrine.


How does it work?

  • Diphenhydramine, if taken before coming in contact with the material that causes the allergy, blocks the allergic reaction by minimizing/preventing the body's reaction to the allergen.
  • Pseudoephedrine shrinks swollen nasal tissue and opens up passages. Sinus drainage is increased by this.


How is it best taken?

  • Take on an empty stomach. Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
  • This medicine is most effective if started before contact with the allergen. Take at least 1-3 hours before.
  • Make sure you are drinking enough liquids unless told to drink less by healthcare provider. Avoid products with caffeine.


What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as possible.
  • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one. Return to your regular schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.


What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

  • Wear disease medical alert identification for allergies.
  • Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor) and other medicines and herbs that slow your actions and reactions. This includes sedatives, tranquilizers, mood stabilizers, or pain medicine. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Limit caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate intake. Use with this medicine may cause nervousness, shakiness, rapid heartbeats, and anxiety.
  • Use caution if you have liver disease. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Use caution if you have high blood pressure. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Do not use over-the-counter products that increase blood pressure. These include cough or cold remedies, diet pills, stimulants, ibuprofen or like products, and certain herbs or supplements. Talk with healthcare provider.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat; or any other symptoms involved.
  • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
  • Do not use if you are breast-feeding.


What are the common side effects of this medicine?

  • Dry mouth. Frequent mouth care, sucking hard candy, or chewing gum may help.
  • Inability to sleep, nervousness, excitability, and restlessness.
  • Dizziness. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities that require you to be alert until you see how this medicine affects you.


What should I monitor?

  • Check effectiveness of medicine in preventing or treating symptoms.


Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

  • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; tightness in the chest; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Chest pain, fast heartbeats, passing out, fainting, or severe headache.
  • Any rash.
  • No improvement in condition or feeling worse.


How should I store this medicine?

  • Store in a tight, light-resistant container at room temperature.


General statements

  • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, herbal/supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physician assistant).
  • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter or natural products (herbs, vitamins).


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