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Can you recommend a non-drowsy Benadryl alternative?

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I would not recommend the non-drowsy antihistamines for a peanut reaction. Zyrtec & Claritin are both are supposed to last 24 hours and you will not get the immediate effect as you do with benadryl. My dd does take Zyrtec(which can cause some drowsiness) daily and we just use benadryl for reactions. Someone else mentioned atarax (hydroxyzine) which might work okay but also has the drowsiness side effect.

I have been told that Zyrtec is almost better then Bendryl during a reaction....something about when Bendryl wears off they can have a worse rebound reaction, and that Zyrtec lasts longer, keeping a rebound reaction at that right???
Our allergist said to do both actually, take Bendryl to take care of the *now* reaction, and then take Zyrtec to cover the rebound reaction. I know all docs are different, but that was suggested to us.

Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)


A couple of things--and I read your airborne thread in Adults, so I think I know where this is coming from--at least most recently.

I do not have another recommendation, but I have found for my own reactions (unless it is ingestion) that the Triaminic Cough & Cold strips (12.5 mg of diphenhydramine), the childrens Benadryl strips (same basic dose) or adult Benadryl strips (25 mg) are really effective. For an ingrestion reaction, Id still go wtih liquid, as it just hits the spot in a GI reaction. But at work, I dont really have a way to measure it, and the strips give an exact dosage.

The childrens benadryl/triaminic strips deliver half an adult dose, but I find for me that thats been effective--for instance when Ive had Pizza Hut at lunch at work. I know how much Ive taken.

To be truthful, benadryl only knocks me out at a higher dose--probably around 50 mg. So I dont know if the childrens dose would be any better for you than what youve had.

But heres something Im really having to accept when I have a reaction at work: at some point, I just cant travel (home, one hour away--DHs office is 40 minutes away). As much as I dont want to, at some point I have to commit to staying in Houston for the duration of my reaction, because its not safe for me to drive with the benedryl Ive taken. Ive done it twice and have slapped myself afterward--but I wanted to be in my town, not alone or having to spend the night in a hotel after having had a reaction (and I cant think of anyone inside the city that doesnt have a pet--so I wouldnt want to go there to stay).

I talked with my doctor about this last week. I think if it can all be helped, that its more important to take the medicine and not travel.

I guess that Id advise you to do the same if you do not find another option.

FYI--I do take Allegra on occasion, and it doesnt make me sleepy, but I dont take it for a reaction, and Ive not talked with my doctor about it for a reaction.

I used to take benadryl, but now I take Zyrtec so I dont fall asleep. My allergist changed me to Zyrtec after I fell asleep from benadryl on a minor reaction. It caused me to not realize that I was having a secondary reaction a couple of hours later because I was still sleeping (fortunately I had someone monitor me just in case and they saw my body break out in a huge rash). I definitely recommend Zyrtec, its been working great, and although I get the tiniest bit tired from it, it is nothing compared to the knockout from benadryl. My allergist also has me take 40mg of prednizone with the Zyrtec. Hope this helps!

Thanks to everyone for their feedback on my question. Ill talk to the pharmacist, but will also give Zyrtec a try.

[This message has been edited by Adele (edited January 29, 2007).]

I checked with the pharmacist at Safeway yesterday. I asked, what can I use instead of Benadryl that is non-drowsy for a reaction to peanut dust when I fly?

He shrugged - pointed to the antihistamines - and said, any of those will work. He recommended Claritin.

So my question is, what is the difference between diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and another antihistamine (not diphenhydramine) and why wouldnt it counteract a peanut reaction? (I realize that Benadryl works faster)

The pharmacist acted like I asked a really stupid question.

Another thought....if you take Claritin - then have a major ingestion reaction, can you take Benadryl on top of it?


Im not a doctor, but our allergist told me it is really hard to OD on antihistamines and that the recommended dosages are low. He had my son layering several antihistamines at one point...

That being said, I would really advise you to speak with a knowledgable allergist, not your local pharmacist!

Also with my son on daily Zyrtec he still has occasional reactions, and the only antihistamine that calms them down is Benedryl. Talk to your allergist about your situation.

mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema

Of course, check with your doctor but both my kids have taken Benadryl and Zyrtec and the same time without a problem. I have also taken Allergra and Benadryl at the same time. Allergist said it was ok because they are different types of meds.

IMHO, Claritin is worthless (and overpriced!). Doesnt work for me (seasonal allergies) or for the kids. YMMV


Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 4 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

[This message has been edited by Momcat (edited February 03, 2007).]

I have used Zytec for years. I feel much better on it vs. Benadryl.

I use Zyrtec and I like it a lot better than Benadryl because it doesnt make me feel like I want to take a long nap. I cant function on Benadryl.

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