Can You Take Benadryl If You Have Emphysema?
The pharmacist discusses whether or not Benadryl is safe to take if you have been diagnosed with emphysema.
Why is it contraindicated to take Benadryl if you have emphysema?
While not absolutely contraindicated, Benadryl (diphenhydramine) should be used with caution in those with respiratory disease, such as:
- COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Taking Benadryl If You Have Emphysema
Antihistamines, like Benadryl (diphenhydramine), should be taken with caution in patients with emphysema due to the anticholinergic effects, which includes a strong "drying effect". The anticholinergic activity of antihistamines can cause thickened bronchial secretions in the respiratory tract, which can potentially exacerbate respiratory symptoms and cause labored breathing.
If you are looking to take an antihistamine and have been diagnosed with emphysema, it is preferable to take one with less anticholinergic activity, like the second-generation antihistamines, which include: