Benadryl and Alcohol: Why You Should Not Drink Alcohol While Taking Antihistamines

It is best to avoid mixing Benadryl and alcohol because it can worsen your allergy symptoms which can be dangerous. Am sure you are here because you have experienced some form of seasonal allergies such as watery and itchy eyes, sneezing or even a running nose. Luckily, there are several medications out there that can relieve you of suffering, Benadryl is one of them.

What is Benadryl?

benadryl and alcohol
Benadryl is the brand name for an antihistamine known as diphenhydramine. Like alcohol, it is a depressant that interacts with the central nervous system of the body (CNS).

“Antihistamines are responsible for interfering with the activities of histamine, a compound in the human body.” Histamines weaken your body’s reaction to attacks from allergies causing you to experience itchiness, sneezing or even running nose. Benadryl on the other hand works by hindering your body from reacting to the allergies.

Since Benadryl can easily be purchased online or by visiting your nearby dispensing chemist's, it is important to note that it is a strong drug and if mixed with alcohol the effects can be severe.

Can i Mix Benadryl and Alcohol?

Benadryl does not harm your liver like alcohol; it however inhibits your brain and spinal cord. Here’s why you should not mix the two:

1. Your thinking and alertness may be impaired

The combination of Benadryl and alcohol will affect coordination of your body functions which can affect your judgment.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Benadryl greatly affects a driver’s ability to stay alert than alcohol. “Drunk driving is very risky and dangerous, but mixing Benadryl and alcohol can be disastrous for motorists.”

2. Loss of Consciousness

Sedation can lead to loss of consciousness in some people. Combining alcohol and Benadryl can lead to accidents or serious injuries in the likelihood of sedation.

3. Loss of Memory

Benadryl blocks the activities of “neurotransmitters” called “acetylcholine” which is responsible for memorizing stuff.
Since alcohol also impairs your memory for short periods, combining these two depressants is likely to enhance loss of memory.

4. Dehydration

Alcohol and Benadryl are known to cause dehydration of the body. To avoid feeling uncomfortable during hangovers, don’t mix these two antidepressants.

5. Complications in the Elderly

Mixing these two drugs can cause body movements of the elderly to be unstable which can be dangerous.
This can lead to falls which can be hurtful considering their age.


Don’t stop taking your Benadryl medication because you want to drink. “Maintaining your daily dose” is important so as to ensure that your system works as intended. Taking breaks and getting back to your medication can make some of the interactions worse.

If you are worried by your addition to alcohol, you may benefit from programs related to alcohol and substance abuse counseling. If you are an “occasional drinker” then it’s ok to have a bottle or two once in a while, but consult your doctor first.

Benadryl is a strong antidepressant whose designed for short-term use. We advise that you avoid alcohol or products that list alcohol as an ingredient for the short duration you are on medication.