Taking Benadryl With Goldenseal

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not there is a drug interaction between Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and goldenseal.

May 18, 2018

Jan asked

Is it safe to use Benadryl and goldenseal at the same time?


There is no known drug interaction between Goldenseal and Benadryl. They are considered to be safe to take together. 

It should be noted however that goldenseal may have sedative properties and its use with Benadryl could theoretically cause additive sedation.


Goldenseal is an herb that is native to northeastern United States and is one of the most commonly used herbal supplements in the world. The medicinal components are most often derived from the dried rhizome and root. Some other names by which the goldenseal may be known by are:

  • Eyebalm
  • Eyeroot
  • Yellowroot
  • Orangeroot
  • Indian turmeric.

Goldenseal herb has many potential uses including:

  • As a diuretic
  • Mental stimulant
  • Anti-infective
  • Drug masking agent

Goldenseal is also believed to play a role in suppressing mucus and has been included in some cold medications. While evidence lacks to prove its efficacy, it has been found to be generally safe in most populations with the exception of pregnancy, lactation and children.

In general, goldenseal does not seem to have many drug interactions but it may have sedative properties as it contains berberine. It is therefore recommended to be used cautiously with other medications that cause sedation.

In addition, goldenseal may inhibit the metabolism of certain medications. It is always a good idea to ask your pharmacist or doctor about whether or not goldenseal may interact with any prescription drugs that you take.


Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a first generation antihistamine, which are noted for their relatively short duration of action (~4 to 8 hours) and their sedating properties. In addition to its use for treating seasonal allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, Benadryl is also effective for treating symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and vertigo associated with motion sickness.

As Benadryl has fairly significant sedating effects, it is often used as a night time sleep aide and is common component of over the counter sleep products such as ZzzQuil.

Benadryl begins to work about 20 to 30 minutes after taking by mouth and maximum blood concentrations are reached after 1 to 2 hours. The duration of action varies by individual but generally lasts 4 to 6 hours. Benadryl is generally well tolerated but can cause the following side effects:

  • Sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Respiratory depression (rare)
  • There is no known interaction between Benadryl and goldenseal.
  • However, both Benadryl and goldenseal may cause sedation and could therefore cause additive sedation when used together.

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