Depending on the severity of you or your loved one’s peanut allergy, the use of an antihistamine such as Benadryl may be recommended by your doctor to treat an allergic reaction to peanuts.
Antihistamines Not Appropriate For Severe Reactions
For example, if you typically have a mild reaction such as a runny nose or itchy skin, a dose or two of Benadryl may be all the treatment that is needed. However, if an allergic reaction to peanuts is more severe and serious in that it causes symptoms of anaphylaxis such as hives, swelling, closing of the throat or shortness of breath, you likely will need an injection of epinephrine that can be given by a self-injector or in an emergency room.
Following is an overview of important information regarding Benadryl:
Indications / Approved Uses
Oral Benadryl is an over-the-counter product that is approved to temporarily relieve symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, itchy/watery eyes and itching of the nose and throat caused by hay fever or other respiratory allergies. It also can be used to temporarily review the symptoms of a runny nose and sneezing due to the common cold.
How Bendaryl Works
Benadryl works by blocking histamine, a natural substance that the body makes during an allergic reaction. It also blocks another substance called acetylcholine, which works to have a drying effect on watery eyes and a runny nose.
For adults and children older than 12 years of age, 25 to 50 mg of Benadryl (1 to 2 capsules) is recommended every four hours. For children between the ages of six and 12, one capsule (12.5 to 25 mg) of Benadryl is recommended every four hours. For children under the age of 6, a doctor should be consulted before any dose is given.
Additionally, it is important to check the label of the Benadryl package that is being purchased to make sure it contains the appropriate dose for the age of the person who will be taking the medication.
Many Benadryl branded products currently are not available on pharmacy shelves due to recall issues. However, there are generic and store-brand versions of Benadryl available for purchase.