Is it Safe To Drink Alcohol With Benaryl?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not it is safe to drink alcohol and take Benadryl (diphenhydramine) at the same time.

Apr 28, 2018

Allen asked

Benadryl and alcohol. Safe?


Benadryl AlcoholBenadryl and Alcohol both act to depress your central nervous system and should not be taken together. Taking both Benadryl and consuming alcohol puts you at risk for potentially serious side effects. These side effects include:

  • Sedation
  • Slurred speech
  • Nausea
  • Loss of coordintion
  • Respiratory depression

Ideally, alcohol (ethanol) consumption of any kind should be avoided when taking Benadryl. This includes alcoholic beverages (e.g. beer, wine, and spirits) as well as alcohol that may be contained in other medications or food.


Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a sedating antihistamine used most commonly for the treatment of allergic reactions, seasonal allergies, symptoms associated with the common cold and insomnia. Benadryl crosses the blood brain barrier and depresses the central nervous system, with effects being pronounced if mixed with additional CNS depressants, (such as alcohol).

  • Benadryl and alcohol both depress your central nervous system resulting in side effects such as dizziness, confusion, impaired cognition and sedation.
  • Furthermore, Benadryl and alcohol together put you at risk for more serious side effects such as respiratory depression.


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