Taking Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) With Advil (Ibuprofen)

In our latest question and answer, our pharmacist discusses whether or not Benadryl (diphenhydramine) can be taken with Advil (ibuprofen).

Dec 04, 2017

Thomas asked

Also, can you take benadryl with Advil?


Yes, Benadryl (diphenhydramine) may be safely taken with Advil (ibuprofen). In fact, Advil PM is exactly this combination! Each dose of Advil PM contains 200 mg ibuprofen and either 25 mg of diphenhydramine hydrochloride or 38mg diphenhydramine citrate. The only difference in the two forms are how they are dispersed through the body due to their salt content (gelcap vs tablet form).

Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine marketed under many names, including Benadryl and ZzzQuil. Benadryl is well known for treating the itchiness resulting from allergic reactions to things like insect bites, laundry detergent, or poison ivy. It can be taken orally but also comes in a topical form. In addition to treating allergy symptoms, Benadryl can help with insomnia due to the sedation it causes.

Ibuprofen is an NSAID that is used to treat fever as well as pain and inflammation caused by headaches, muscle aches, arthritis, menstrual cramps, and toothaches to name a few. Ibuprofen comes in 200mg when sold over the counter. Ibuprofen comes in 400mg, 600mg, and 800mg when dispensed with a prescription. Ibuprofen is not recommended on a daily basis because it can cause stomach irritation or ulcers when taken chronically.

As mentioned above, when taken before bedtime, Advil and Benadryl are a safe combination.

It is important to note than Benadryl can cause confusion and dizziness leading to falls in seniors, so it is not recommended for this population. It is also not recommended for children unless a doctor has advised or prescribed it.  Always consult with your physician before taking any new medications. Each person's body reacts differently and it is good to talk to a doctor about new medications. 

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