Taking Benadryl With Echinacea

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not there is an interaction between Benadryl and Echinacea.

May 17, 2018

Chris asked

I was wondering if it was safe to take Benadryl and echinacea at the same time.


Echinacea and Benadryl do not interact with each other and are considered safe to take together. Their combined use is fairly common in those treating the common cold or flu symptoms.


Echinacea is a flowering plant that is related to sunflowers, daisies, and ragweed. The leaves, flower, and root of the plant are commonly used in herbal supplements. Echinacea is most often used for treating infections like the common cold, the flu, ear infections, and throat infections.

Echinacea is generally taken at the first sign of a cold or during an infection, with the goal of making symptoms less severe and resolving illnesses faster. The exact way that echinacea works is unknown, but it is thought to stimulate the body’s immune system, decrease inflammation, and it may also have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties as well.

Some studies have shown echinacea does reduce common cold symptoms but others offer conflicting data. Nevertheless, echinacea is generally well tolerated and has few reported side effects.


Benadryl is a "first-generation" antihistamine and is commonly used for the treatment of allergies and insomnia due to its sedating properties. Benadryl is well tolerated but can cause the following side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • Constipation

Benadryl begins to work about 30 minutes are taking by mouth and generally lasts for 4 to 6 hours.

  • Benadryl and echinacea are considered safe to take together.

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