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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking diphenhydramine?
Do not take diphenhydramine if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A very dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have
You may not be able to take diphenhydramine, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.
Diphenhydramine is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not take diphenhydramine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.
Infants are especially sensitive to the effects of antihistamines, and side effects could occur in a breast-feeding baby. Do not take diphenhydramine without first talking to your doctor if you are nursing a baby.
If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from diphenhydramine. You may require a lower dose of this medication.
How should I take diphenhydramine?
Take diphenhydramine exactly as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.
Take each dose with a full glass of water.
Diphenhydramine can be taken with or without food.
For motion sickness, a dose is usually taken 30 minutes before motion, then with meals and at bedtime for the duration of exposure.
As a sleep aid, diphenhydramine should be taken approximately 30 minutes before bedtime.
To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the liquid forms of diphenhydramine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular tablespoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.
Never take more of this medication than is prescribed for you. The maximum amount of diphenhydramine that you should take in any 24-hour period is 300 mg.
Store diphenhydramine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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