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Can You Drink Alcohol With Benadryl?


Author: Thomas Roth

Last Updated: 2/01/2023

Benadryl is an antihistamine that treats ailments like insect bites, itching, and other types of rashes. The drug works by blocking your body from producing histamine, which is the body’s immune response to allergens. Benadryl can also be taken orally, which treats cold and flu symptoms. Overall, Benadryl has many uses and it’s one of the most commonly prescribed medications.

That said, you should never drink alcohol with Benadryl. Drinking alcohol and taking Benadryl leads to many negative side effects. Benadryl without alcohol causes side effects like drowsiness and sedation, which become amplified when combined with alcohol. Moreover, consuming alcohol and Benadryl leads to a loss of coordination, consciousness, and significant impairment.

Can I Take Benadryl with Alcohol While Pregnant?

You can’t take Benadryl with alcohol if you’re pregnant. Studies have shown that drinking alcohol while pregnant can lead to adverse health effects for the baby like fetal alcohol syndrome, which can lead to several deformities at birth. While it’s not safe to drink alcohol if you’re pregnant, studies have shown that Benadryl is safe to take While pregnant. Still, you should always consult with your doctor before taking any medication during a pregnancy.

Even if it’s safe to take Benadryl during pregnancy, never mix alcohol and Benadryl during a pregnancy.

Can I Take Benadryl With Every Kind of Alcohol?

Benadryl shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol, so you can’t take it with every kind of alcohol. While taking Benadryl with different types of alcohol can cause different symptoms, all of the symptoms can lead to loss of consciousness, increased sedation, and higher levels of impairment.

Regardless of the alcohol you’re consuming, it shouldn’t be taken with Benadryl.

Does Benadryl Affect the Taste of Alcohol?

Benadryl doesn’t normally affect the taste of alcohol, especially if it’s taken as a pill or capsule. That said, taking liquid Benadryl can impact the taste of alcohol. Liquid Benadryl can leave a nasty aftertaste in your mouth and can cause alcohol to taste more sour. In most cases it’s hard to notice the difference unless you consume alcohol seconds after you take liquid Benadryl.

How Much Benadryl can be Dangerous To Take With Alcohol?

A small dosage of 25 milligrams (mg) of Benadryl is dangerous to consume with alcohol. When you reach ranges upwards of 50mg the effects can really impact your judgment, wakefulness, and cognitive function. Everyone’s body reacts to Benadryl and alcohol differently, so it’s important to not combine the two substances.

While 25mg is the dosage that can cause issues, any amount of Benadryl and alcohol can cause an adverse reaction.

Is Using Liquid Benadryl with Alcohol Different Than Using Benadryl Pills?

Using liquid Benadryl and Benadryl in the pill form are not different. The only difference between the substances is that the dosages may vary depending on the amount of Benadryl consumed. For example, it’s easier to consume more pills because the liquid tends to taste bad. In these cases, using the pill form of Benadryl can be more dangerous.

Still, the differences between the two types of Benadryl won’t play a big role in how you’ll feel if you combine alcohol and Benadryl.

Can You Drive After You Take Benadryl and Alcohol?

Driving after you take Benadryl and alcohol should never happen. When alcohol and Benadryl are mixed people become impaired. While alcohol impairs people without other substances, adding Benadryl can make someone more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel and cause slowed reaction times. If you have to drive after consuming alcohol and Benadryl, make sure you wait until both substances have cleared your system. It can take alcohol and Benadryl several hours to leave the body.

Drinking and driving should never be done, especially if you’re on medication like Benadryl.

How Long Should You Take Benadryl?

Benadryl should only be taken for a short amount of time (less than 2 weeks). If you take Benadryl for more than 2 weeks your body can become dependent on the drug. Becoming dependent on Benadryl can lead to decreased immune function and more severe allergic reactions. In the short term, you should only take Benadryl every six hours to prevent yourself from taking too high of a dosage.

If you’re taking Benadryl for more than 2 weeks and your symptoms don’t improve, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider for an alternative.

Why Do Individuals Mix Benadryl With Alcohol?

Individuals mix Benadryl and alcohol for many reasons, some of them are even nefarious. One example is the Benadryl cocktail, which consists of the liquid version of Benadryl being added to someone’s alcoholic beverage. When Benadryl is mixed with alcohol in high qualities it can become a date-rape drug.

That said, people also mix Benadryl and alcohol by accident because they’re unaware of the negative side effects. When individuals mix alcohol and Benadryl for this reason the result is often increased drowsiness and feeling unwell. Some individuals may also mix Benadryl and alcohol to fall asleep faster or because they enjoy the effects of a slowed central nervous system (CNS).

Regardless of the reasoning, mixing alcohol and Benadryl is dangerous and should never be done.

What Side Effects Occur When You Combine Alcohol With Benadryl?

Mixing alcohol and Benadryl leads to several side effects. These side effects vary based on how much alcohol and Benadryl have been consumed. Consuming even a small amount of Benadryl (less than 25mg) can lead to negative side effects when taken with alcohol.

We list the most common side effects of alcohol and Benadryl below.

  • Dehydration
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Impaired memory
  • Trouble walking
  • Drowsiness
  • Higher risk of dementia (when consumed daily)
  • Trouble learning new things

Depending on how much Benadryl and alcohol you take these symptoms can be mild or severe.

1. Dehydration

Alcohol can lead to dehydration when consumed in large quantities. Moreover, consuming too much Benadryl can also lead to dehydration. When you mix both substances together the risk of developing severe dehydration increases. In some cases, severe dehydration can cause a visit to the hospital emergency room.

2. Dementia

Taking antihistamines over long periods can lead to a heightened risk of dementia. Dementia can also be caused by alcohol consumption, which is known as alcoholic dementia. When this occurs, people can experience gaps in memory, loss in cognitive functions, and eventually death. Combining alcohol and Benadryl often can increase the risk of developing dementia.

3. Loss of Consciousness

Alcohol and Benadryl have similar effects when it comes to loss of consciousness. Both substances slow down the central nervous system, so it’s not uncommon for people to become drowsy and uncoordinated when drinking alcohol or taking Benadryl. When alcohol and Benadryl are combined, these effects become worse and the chances of losing consciousness increase. A sudden loss of consciousness can lead to falling, which can cause trauma to the head and body.

4. Learning and Memory Impairment

Benadryl can slow down your central nervous system. The drug is known to impact the acetylcholine receptor in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that helps with learning and Memory. Alcohol can also slow down your central nervous system and lead to blacking out or gaps in memory. When these substances are combined symptoms get worse.

5. Complications in Older Adults

Older adults typically have lower alcohol tolerance. Alcohol tolerance begins to decrease rapidly in adults after the age of 65, which can lead to worse impairment and side effects of alcohol. When older adults combine alcohol and Benadryl the drowsiness and loss of coordination can become worse. In older adult, consuming too much of either substance can lead to loss of consciousness that can result in falling and getting hurt.

Is Taking Benadryl With Alcohol Dangerous for Everyone?

Is it safe to use Benadryl with Alcohol for everyone? No, it’s not safe. Taking alcohol and Benadryl is dangerous for everyone. Combining the two substances can lead to adverse health effects like a loss of consciousness, dehydration, and other symptoms. Depending on the amount of each substance taken, these symptoms can be mild or severe.

The combination of Benadryl and alcohol is dangerous for everyone because both substances slow down the central nervous system. If the central nervous system is slowed down individuals can experience trouble breathing, a slower heartbeat, and changes in blood pressure.

Can Mixture of Alcohol and Benadryl Lead to Death?

Yes, mixing alcohol and Benadryl can lead to death. If large enough doses are taken people can overdose on the combination. Alcohol and Benadryl slow the central nervous system, so consuming large quantities can cause someone’s breathing and heart rate to slow down. Slowed breathing and heart rate can lead to death if not treated properly. Alcohol-related death is not uncommon and can happen without mixing alcohol with other substances.

Does Alcohol Affect How Well Benadryl will Work?

Yes, alcohol affects how Benadryl will work. When mixed with alcohol the side effects of Benadryl become more intense. This can cause someone to feel more drunk, lose consciousness, fall, or have blurry vision.

While the drug will still treat the allergy you’re treating, the alcohol will make the side effects much worse. Even when taken in small doses Benadryl and alcohol don’t react well together.

How Long After Taking Benadryl can You Drink Alcohol?

To be safe you should wait 48 hours before drinking alcohol after taking Benadryl. If you’re taking an allergy medication like Benadryl for an extended period it builds up in your body. Therefore, it takes time for the substance to clear from your system. Giving your body at least 48 hours accounts for the length of time it takes to complete the process.

That said, you can wait a full day if you haven’t been taking Benadryl for an extended period. Your body clears it from your system faster, so you can drink alcohol faster. Still, you should always be careful when drinking alcohol and Benadryl.

What are Other Drugs That are Dangerous to Use With Alcohol?

Alcohol becomes more dangerous when it’s combined with other drugs. There are several drugs that are dangerous to combine with alcohol and some drugs can even cause death.

Other drugs that are dangerous to combine with alcohol are listed below.

These are only several medications that can cause negative effects when mixed with alcohol. Alcohol interacts with every medication differently, so you should always reach out to your doctor to see if it’s safe to combine any medications you’re taking with alcohol.

What Should Be Done to Reduce Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction happens when someone’s brain and body becomes dependent on alcohol to function properly. Chemicals in the brain like dopamine and serotonin become influenced by alcohol and when alcohol is no longer consumed people can experience symptoms of withdrawal. Alcohol dependence turns into alcoholism when withdrawal symptoms begin to appear.

Alcoholism treatment is be done in many ways. We list the most common methods include below.

If you or a loved one is suffering from alcoholism or other alcohol-related illnesses, it’s important to seek help today.