Benadryl — a.k.a. Diphenhydramine — is a ubiquitous over-the-counter medication available in most countries (although it is illegal in Zambia). Its prime use is as an antihistamine for relieving symptoms of allergies, as an antiemetic, and as a sedative.

While it’s not generally known, Benadryl is commonly abused, at which point it might be considered a dangerous drug, due to some of the more alarming side effects that happen at high dosages (convulsions, coma, and the ever-popular “death”).

How Does Diphenhydramine Compare To Medical Marijuana?

Even though Diphenhydramine is an FDA-approved drug, it has a number of side effects, some of them potentially serious. Many people have died from taking overdoses of Diphenhydramine.

We’ve taken the following information from Wikipedia and PubMed, and highlighted in bold green any side effects or uses that match those known for cannabis.

In general, if you’re using Diphenhydramine for anything other than its antihistamine properties, you might consider trying a safer drug…like cannabis.

Trade Names: Benadyl, Dimedrol, Daedalon
Street Names: DPH, DHM
Generic NameDiphenhydramine

Some Typical Uses:

  • allergic symptoms and itching
  • symptoms of the common cold
  • used as sedative/for insomnia
  • used as antiemetic (motion sickness, etc.)
  • used as local anesthetic

Common Side Effects:

  • dry mouth, nose, and throat
  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation
  • increased chest congestion
  • headache
  • muscle weakness
  • excitement (especially in children)
  • nervousness

Less Common Side Effects:

  • motor impairment
  • flushed skin
  • blurred vision
  • abnormal sensitivity to bright light
  • difficulty concentrating
  • short-term memory loss
  • visual disturbances
  • irregular breathing
  • irritability
  • itchy skin
  • confusion
  • decreased body temperature
  • erectile dysfunction
  • painful urination

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