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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Benadryl Allergy Decongestant, Tavist NightTime Allergy

Generic Name: diphenhydramine and pseudoephedrine (Pronunciation: DYE fen HYE dra meen and SOO doe ee FED rin)

What is diphenhydramine and pseudoephedrine (Benadryl Allergy Decongestant, Tavist NightTime Allergy)?

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).

The combination of diphenhydramine and pseudoephedrine is used to treat sneezing, cough, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, hives, skin rash, itching, and other symptoms of allergies and the common cold.

Diphenhydramine and pseudoephedrine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of diphenhydramine and pseudoephedrine (Benadryl Allergy Decongestant, Tavist NightTime Allergy)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • pounding heartbeats or fluttering in your chest;
  • confusion, hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • severe dizziness, anxiety, or nervousness;
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, ringing in your ears, chest pain, trouble breathing, uneven heart rate, seizure);
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
  • urinating less than usual or not at all.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • blurred vision;
  • dry mouth;
  • nausea, stomach pain, constipation;
  • mild loss of appetite, stomach upset;
  • warmth, redness, or tingly feeling under your skin;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • feeling restless or excited (especially in children);
  • skin rash or itching;
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • problems with memory or concentration; or
  • ringing in your ears.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about diphenhydramine and pseudoephedrine (Benadryl Allergy Decongestant, Tavist NightTime Allergy)?

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 4 years old. Always ask a doctor before giving a cough or cold medicine to a child. Death can occur from the misuse of cough and cold medicines in very young children.

Do not use diphenhydramine and pseudoephedrine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, or sleep medicine. Diphenhydramine and pseudoephedrine are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much of a certain drug. Check the label to see if a medicine contains an antihistamine or decongestant.

Diphenhydramine and pseudoephedrine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of diphenhydramine and pseudoephedrine.



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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