Pouring BenadrylChildren's Liquid Benadryl contains two sweeteners:
  • Monoammonium glycyrrhizinate
  • Sucrose

Monoammonium glycyrrhizinate is a derivative of glycyrrhetinic acid, a natural compound extracted from licorice root. It is a natural sweetener and is commonly used to sweeten products as well as to mask or eliminate bitter aftertastes. It is not thought to be carcinogenic.

Sucrose is a simple sugar and commonly known as table sugar.

Children's Dye-Free Liquid Benadryl does contain different sweeteners than the regular Children's Benadryl Liquid. It contains the following sweeteners:

  • Saccharin sodium
  • Sorbitol solution

Saccharin sodium is an artificial sweetener and is the ingredient in popular over the counter sweeteners such as Sweet and Low. Saccharin was at one time listed as a possible carcinogen (based on studies of it causing bladder cancer in rats) but is no longer listed as such in the United States according to the FDA.

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol and commonly used as a sweetener in many "sugar-free" products. It is most often manufactured from corn syrup but is also a natural compound found in nature. Sorbitol isn't thought to be carcinogenic and may even have anti-tumor properties. Nevertheless, sorbitol is not absorbed by the body and is well known to cause sometimes severe gastrointestinal side effects such as bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhea.

If you are looking to avoid the sweeteners in Benadryl Children's Liquid and Benadryl Dye-Free Children's Liquid, solid dosage forms such as tablets may be a better choice. Your pharmacist most likely could compound a sweetener free diphenhydramine (diphenhydramine being the active ingredient in Benadryl) product but it would need to be pursuant to a prescription from your doctor. In addition, it may be an expensive option as your insurance may not cover it.