Getting High On Benadryl: How Much Is Safe
Benadryl is a brand name over-the-counter antihistamine medication. Histamine is a substance produced by the body in response to the presence of allergens like pollen, animal hair, or dust. Histamine release underlies certain symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, scratchy feelings in the nose or throat, runny nose, and difficulty breathing. Antihistamines like Benadryl combat the actions of histamine. Some people may also take Benadryl to reduce similar symptoms when they have a cold. Diphenhydramine is the main ingredient in this drug, and the substance can be found in other over-the-counter medications, too.1
Although Benadryl is sold without a prescription, the drug can cause drowsiness and sedation. Misuse of the medication may occur because people do not properly read the directions, mix it with alcohol or other intoxicants, or take too much of it at once. Any form of misuse can be dangerous and may result in severe side effects or an overdose.1
Just like with a prescription drug, it is important to follow the instructions on the package and only take Benadryl in recommended doses for a short period of time.
When To See A Doctor
Some side effects of taking antihistamines can mimic symptoms of an overdose. These include mild nausea, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
These symptoms dont usually require medical treatment, and may subside as your body adjusts to the medication. Even so, check with a doctor if you have side effects. You may need to reduce your dosage or take a different medication.
The difference between a side effect and an overdose is the severity of symptoms. Severe symptoms like rapid heart rate, tightness in the chest, or convulsions require a visit to the emergency room.
Antihistamines are safe when used properly. Here are some tips to avoid ingesting too much:
- Dont take two different types of antihistamines simultaneously.
- Dont take more than the recommended dosage.
- Dont double up on doses.
- Keep drugs out of reach of children.
- Dont take two doses too close together.
Make sure you read labels carefully. Some antihistamines can interact with other drugs you take. If you dont know whether its safe to combine an antihistamine with another medication, speak with a doctor or pharmacist.
Be mindful that some antihistamines include other ingredients like a decongestant. If you take these types of antihistamines, its important that you dont take a separate decongestant.
Can You Overdose On Claritin
Over 50 million people in the US suffer from allergies due to pollen, dust, foods, and drugs. With springtime in full force, Claritin®, also known as loratadine, is a popular antihistamine that is a common household medication. Claritin® has been available on the market since 1993 and is one of the most popular antihistamines today. But is it possible for someone to overdose on Claritin®? The short answer is, yes, it is possible to overdose on Claritin®.
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What Is Benadryl How Is It Taken Safely
Benadryl was the first antihistamine to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration . The brand name was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2007 and the medication remains a widely-used treatment for allergies and mild cold symptoms.1
Since the medication has been available for several decades, safe dosage and elimination time are well understood. Benadryl is available in a variety of formulations, including tablets, liquid gels, and chewables. The standard dose of diphenhydramine in brand name Benadryl is 25 mg per dose for adults and 12.5 mg per dose in childrens formulas. For the average healthy adult, elimination half-life ranges from 6.7 to 11.7 hours.2 So between 6 to 12 hours after taking Benadryl, half the drug will be eliminated from the body. Within two days, the drug will be completely gone from the body.
Common Side Effects Of Antihistamine
Over-the-counter antihistamines come with a variety of different side effects. Some of the less common side effects of antihistamines include drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating . Some of the antihistamines more common side effects include headache, fatigue, dry eyes, and itching. Some antihistamines have been known to cause hallucinations, delusions, and trouble sleeping in extreme cases.
People who take antihistamines regularly may build up a tolerance to the drug, which means they need to take higher and higher doses to get the same effect. This can lead to addiction. Antihistamines are often addictive because they work by blocking histamine receptors.
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What Happens If You Take A Lethal Dose Of A Drug
Taking lethal doses of a drug, including those prescribed by a doctor, can be deadly. If you suspect someone you know has taken a lethal dose of a drug, call 9-1-1 right away.
Common signs of drug overdose include:
- slow, shallow, or stopped breathing
- chest pain
- outpatient rehab
- medication-assisted treatment
Addiction recovery is possible. Call our helpline today to find a drug or alcohol addiction treatment program thats right for you.
Written by the Addiction Resource Editorial Staff
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- American ScientistThe Toxicology of Recreational Drugs
Side Effects Of Antihistamines
Like all medicines, antihistamines can cause side effects.
Side effects of antihistamines that make you drowsy can include:
- sleepiness and reduced co-ordination, reaction speed and judgement do not drive or use machinery after taking these antihistamines
- dry mouth
- feeling sick
- drowsiness although this is less common than with older types of antihistamines
Check the leaflet that comes with your medicine for a full list of possible side effects and advice about when to get medical help.
If you think your medicine has caused an unwanted side effect, you can report it through the Yellow Card Scheme.
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How Should I Use Cetirizine
Cetirizine oral is taken by mouth.
Cetirizine injection is given as an infusion into a vein. A healthcare provider will give you this injection once every 24 hours as needed to treat hives.
Use cetirizine oral exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.
Older adults may need to take a lower than normal dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
You may take cetirizine with or without food.
You must chew the chewable tablet before you swallow it.
Do not swallow the dissolving tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device .
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not allow liquid medicine to freeze.
Statistics On Antihistamines Overdose In The Usa
Antihistamines are used in the reduction of allergic conditions. Over the years, there have been several antihistamine overdose cases in the USA. The U.S Food and Drug Administration warns that taking higher than recommended doses of the common over-the-counter allergy medicine diphenhydramine can lead to serious heart problems, seizures, coma, or even death. There have been over 20 cases of antihistamine OD in the US, but this article will major on some and their dates of occurrence.
Antonio Pettigrew, the former world 400 meters champion, died in of an antihistamine OD, a state autopsy report said today. The death has been ruled a suicide with diphenhydramine toxicity as the cause, according to the autopsy and an accompanying investigation report released by the North Caroline Chief medical examiners office.
Also, a 15-year-old girl from Oklahoma is reported by KFOR to have died on the 9th of March, 2020, after overdosing on these medications after taking the Benadryl Challenge spread through the TikTok social media app.
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What Is Loratadine Used For
Doctors usually prescribe Claritin® to help people suffering from springtime allergies, but the drug can also help with other types of allergies. As an antihistamine, Claritin® works by reducing the natural chemical histamine in the body, which is produced by an allergic reaction. When someones body begins building up histamine, they may experience itching, watery eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Claritin® is used to relieve these symptoms, but some people use it to also treat skin hives or itching for people with chronic skin reactions.
Behind The Benadryl Challenge And Why Its Harmful
Teenagers are no strangers to taking on challenges. However, there is a new challenge thats sweeping across social media networks, and has the potential to be deadly. The Benadryl Challenge has been made popular on TikTok, urging viewers to take large doses in some cases as much as 10 times the normal dose of the drug diphenhydramine in order to give the user hallucinations or a trip.
We talked to Frank Cunningham, M.D., director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at JFK Medical Center to learn why the Benadryl Challenge is so harmful and things you can do as a caregiver to help.
Dr. Cunningham says that diphenhydramine, known more commonly by the brand name Benadryl, is an antihistamine and is commonly used in the treatment of allergies. The dose of Benadryl that kids are taking to hallucinate is very close to the dose that could be life-threatening.
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Lethal Dose Of Hallucinogens
Hallucinogens are a class of drugs that can affect the senses and perception. Hallucinogens are generally used for recreational purposes. They are also being studied for therapeutic use.
Some hallucinogens can be toxic when taken in very high doses or with other drugs.
Lethal doses of hallucinogens:
- lethal dose of ketamine: 4.2 grams
- PCP: 20 mg
Lethal Doses Of Benzodiazepines
Benzodiazepines, or benzos, are commonly prescribed for anxiety, panic, and seizures. Fatal overdose is not common from taking benzodiazepines alone.
Taking benzodiazepines with high doses of other depressants, such as opioids or alcohol, can lead to fatal consequences. Alone, a person would need to ingest thousands of milligrams.
Recommended daily limits of benzodiazepines:
The drugs listed above are unlikely to cause fatal overdose when taken alone. Combined with other drugs, such as alcohol or opioids, these drugs may become lethally toxic in high doses.
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Lethal Dose Of Cocaine
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that can be lethal in doses exceeding 1.2 g, on average. In people with high sensitivity to cocaine, fatal overdose may occur with doses over 30 mg.
People who use cocaine regularly and in high doses may have a higher tolerance for cocaine. This means a fatal dose for them may be higher than for the average person.
What Should I Discuss With My Healthcare Provider Before Using Cetirizine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to cetirizine or levocetirizine.
Cetirizine injection is not for use in children young than 6 years old who have liver or kidney disease.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take cetirizine oral if you have any medical conditions.
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Before you are treated with cetirizine injection in an emergency, you may not be able to tell caregivers about your health conditions. Make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows you received this medicine.
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Deaths From Antihistamine Overdose
There have been reports of death due to antihistamine toxicity. These include accidental overdoses and intentional misuse.
Death can occur when an overdose causes severe complications such as respiratory distress, cardiac arrest, or seizures. Each persons tolerance to medication can vary. However, toxicity usually occurs when a person ingests three to five times the recommended dosage.
To avoid life-threatening complications, call 911 or go to the emergency room if you have any symptom of an overdose. You can also call the Poison Control Help Line at 800-222-1222.
What To Expect At The Emergency Room
Take the container to the hospital with you, if possible.
The health care provider will measure and monitor the person’s vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.
Tests that may done include:
- Blood and urine tests
- Fluids through a vein
- Medicines to treat symptoms or reverse the effects of the overdose
- Activated charcoal
- Breathing support, including a tube through the mouth into the lungs and connected to a breathing machine
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Death From Cough Medicine Is Rare
Dr. Douglas Carlson, an emergency room pediatrician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, said the coroner’s report makes sense.
“While death is an unusual side effect of dextromethorphan, it is known to occur,” said Carlson, who did not treat Kimber. “The efficacy of over-the-counter cough medications is minimal in children, so we recommend not using them in less than 2 years and be careful with those under age 6.”
According to the coroner’s report, Kimber complained of leg pain, cramps and muscle spasms hours before her death. Huser said that was consistent with drug toxicity as her body began to shut down.
Carlson said those symptoms were inconsistent with dextromethorphan, which causes “drowsiness and fatigue.”
An overdose of dextromethorphan usually triggers changes in the child’s mental status leading to “irritability and confusion,” according to Carlson. “That’s why teens use it to get high — for the sensory perceptions.”
The drug in higher doses can cause cardiac abnormalities and arrhythmias that can cause the heart to stop functioning, he said.
“Dextromethorphan is the most common ingredient in the country,” said Carlson. “When you use it with small children, make sure to follow the label directions and measuring device with the bottle.”
“I am not aware of fatal reactions when used alone,” he said.
“Instead of sedation, which can occur with antihistamines, some children have a paradoxical reaction,” he said.
What Other Drugs Will Affect Cetirizine
Using cetirizine with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.
Other drugs may affect cetirizine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
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Can You Overdose On Antihistamines
A common question people ask about allergy drugs is can you overdose on allergy medicine? It is important to know what antihistamines OD is. This is simply when a patient takes more than the maximum single or daily dose of this medication. It goes without saying that when an individual overdoses, they will experience certain symptoms as a result, and it is recommended that they start addiction treatments once this happens. Therefore, they must follow the doctors instructions.
What Are The Active Ingredients In Benadryl
Benadryls active ingredient, diphenhydramine, is an antihistamine. Antihistamines treat allergies and nasal conditions, like rhinitis, by reducing or blocking histamines, which reduce symptoms of allergies and inflammation, explains Olivia Audrey, ND, a board-certified naturopathic physician and holistic health coach.
While prescription antihistamines do exist, antihistamines such as Benadryl, cetirizine , fexofenadine , or loratadine are available over the counter. This makes them more attractive to teens, as they are easy to get at a local drugstore. However, besides Benadryl, the other antihistamines are non-sedating and generally would not be thought to cause as much of the high.
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Can Someone Overdose On Claritin
Yes, someone can overdose on Claritin® . When taking Claritin®, do not go over the recommended dosage. Do not take another dose before the instructions say to do so. Read the instructions on the box carefully, and ask your doctor if you have any questions about how to take this medication. Common symptoms of overdosing on Claritin® may include drowsiness, headaches, and fast pounding heart rate.
For any questions or concerns you may have about taking Claritin® or if someone has had more than the prescribed dosage, . Specially trained nurses and pharmacists are available 24/7/365 to answer your questions. The service is free and confidential.
How Is An Accidental Overdose Possible
If you got yourself a cheap pack of antihistamines from a shelf in Boots, you might assume youre in possession of a mild medicine, but in actual fact, there is a risk of overdose.
Taking more tablets than youre supposed to can cause blurred vision, headaches, sedation, enlarged pupils, restlessness, itching, dry mouth and /or ringing in the ears.
More serious cases may experience tremors, palpitations, seizures and hallucinations.
You can also accidentally overdose if you take the medicine at the same time as certain other medications, like painkillers and decongestants.
Always read the labels and care leaflets fully, to see possible interactions.
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What About Oral Decongestants Like Sudafed
Sudafed can be pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, says Dr. Gels. The former now requires showing an ID and is behind the counter, though it does not require a prescription. It works a little better than the latter, which is on the shelves. Both may trigger insomnia or rapid heart rate especially when combined with caffeine, so talk to your doctor before going this route.
However, Sudafed should be avoided in patients younger than 4 because of an increased risk of toxicity, which can be fatal. Also, if you are on or have been on monoamine oxidase inhibitors antidepressants in the recent past, it should also be avoided.
And remember, you should always follow the dosing recommendations on the drug label, as overdosing on any medication can cause side effects. High doses of antihistamines can cause drowsiness and rapid heart rate, even the non-sedating kind. Medicines such as Zyrtec and Claritin are only non-drowsy at the FDA-approved dose. Whats more, an overdose of the sedating antihistamines can cause seizures and hallucinations.
Furthermore, some antihistamines are combined with pain medicine or decongestants. If you take another pain killer or decongestant at the same time, that could cause an overdose as well.
Heres to a healthy allergy season!