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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Don't overdo the benadryl

Question: They gave my mother benadryl in the hospital to calm her down but she got wild! She is 84 and the doctor said benadryl helps calm people down when they are nervous. So what happened? Is she allergic to it?

Click on comments to read Laura's advice.


Eleventh Hour LLC said...

Dear Angela,
Benadryl does have some sedating qualities and doctors often use it to help people sleep and relax. But, it can sometimes be too much and people can experience some scary anticholinergic effects and even die. Too much benadryl can cause you to feel dry, look flushed or red, have blurry vision, get very hot, have an increased heart rate and increased blood pressure, and you can become disoriented, confused, and even hallucinate. There are several medications that can cause this, and benadryl is definitely one of them. Sometimes people buy benadryl over the counter and misuse it. Anticholinergic toxicity is very serious. So follow the recommendations on the box, and if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, get to the emergency room immediately and tell the staff what medications you took. And, if your loved one is in the hospital and the doctors are ordering benadryl, ask them why and either refuse it or watch your loved one carefully.