Zyrtec and Benadryl questions

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Jenchichi Posted: Wed, Feb 1 2012 12:08 PM

So...our Dr. said we can give DS both zyrtec and benadryl for his allergies. We have been giving him a small dose of Zyrtec for he last two weeks and have ntoiced an improvement, espeiclaly in his sleep. So, I'm wondering if it is worth it to try the benadryl and wondering if anyone else has actully given their LO two meds at teh same time.

Also, it seems that childen's benadryl has been pulled off the shelves of many places , but we did find CVS brand generic. Has anyoen used that with a one year old?


If anyone has foudn Children's benadryl, is it called Children's benadryl allergy or is the one with allergy in the name something else? we were confused by that.



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aprilFool1208 replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 2:01 PM

We used the walgreens brand benadryl for our son when he started having seasonal allergies at 9 months old per a doctor's recommendation.  We only used small doses, and really we only used it at night before bed.  You want to look for the following ingredient: Diphenhydramine.  This is the antihistamine in benadryl.  I don't know if there's a difference between children's benadryl and benadryl allergy, because as far as I'm aware the only purpose of benadryl is for allergies (except when used as a sleep aid, as it is in Tylenol PM).

Zyrtec is a completely separate drug, Cetirizine, which is also an antihistamine.  According to the following ( there is a moderate drug interaction between zyrtec and benadryl, mainly in that the combination can lead to drowsiness (i.e. don't drive a car).  It's nothing that I would be concerned about.

In my opinion, though, if he's doing fine with just the zyrtec, why bother with the benadryl?  I don't see any reason to put him on both if one is doing the trick.

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wishn4baby replied on Wed, Feb 1 2012 2:53 PM

When my daughter has allergies (or nasal congestion in general) we give her generic benadryl (usually CVS brand) at night because it dries her up and helps her to sleep better. If the allergies/congestion continue during the day  we give her a Zyrtec equivalent (usually generic Cetrizine). We find that Cetrizine doesn't make her sleepy like benadryl. So we do both, but not at the same time.

Both Zyrtec and Benadryl are allergy meds. I'm not sure what the added benefit would be to give both at the same time, in fact I'd think that could be harmful.

When he said you "can give DS both zyrtec and benadryl for his allergies" I think he meant in general (they are 2 allergy medication options), but not at the same time. Maybe call your pediatrician's office, or even the pharmacist at CVS for clarification.

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dj rayne replied on Thu, Feb 2 2012 5:32 AM

I did with mine. Actially still do. I do the same for myself. I only add the benadryl at night and only when allergies are at their absolute worst and impacting sleep and the claritin or zyrtec is not offering needed relief at night. I don't use in combination for more than three nights in a row and for both of us half a dose works great. No waking up tired ,cranky, with gummy eyes and sore throats. This happens once maybe twice a year. Look for diphenhydramine as the active ingredient. Usually the generic will say Children's Allergy and underneath "same active ingredient as ______" whatever med it is the off brand for. ETA hadnt read replies. Zyrtec and claritin are both 24hr meds. You take them once a day. I will say I don't stack them and take at the same time. i find a does of the 24hr med in the AM with the benadryl type at night offers the best 24hr relief and they are both working in your system at the same time. There is a 12hr zyrtec that I have used and we give that 6A and 6P and the benadryl before bed (after 8). If you are unsure call your ped to confirm.

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Jenchichi replied on Fri, Feb 3 2012 9:53 AM

thanks everyone. I think the Dr. meant inthe same day, but not dosing at the same time.  I thought the zyrtec was helping,but then it really warmed up here this week and he has had a hard time sleeping and been really stuffy at night. So, I think tonight we will try the benadryl. I need to find the dye free kind though as I recnetly read those dyes contain aluminum.


It is helpful to hear from other parents what they have done!

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