Benadryl Surprises

Recently in my office, ways to solve everyday allergies became topic of conversation.  There was some bickering about which is better: Claritin-D versus Allegra-D, but then the conversation took a turn.  One of my coworkers said “I don’t take allergy medicine anymore because I can’t stay awake at work after I take it.”  This shocked me, especially because I know for a fact Claritin D has caffeine in it!  He said he would take Benadryl and it would make him SO sleepy.  I laughed out loud thinking how ridiculously hard it would be to focus on the job after taking Benadryl, which doctors sometimes prescribe to their patients as a means of helping them fall asleep.  But then it occurred to me—I too probably needed a brush up on my knowledge of Benadryl.

In my research, I was first reminded that Benadryl is typically prescribed by allergists on a reaction basis.  So only if you ingest a food item that swells your throat, touch poison oak that makes you itchy, pet a cat whose hair makes your eyes water, etc would you take Benadryl POST such an activity.  Then, I discovered something shocking: some Benadryl contains lactose!  According to multiple online sources, Benadryl capsules (not caplets) contain lactose.  The way you know it contains lactose is because one ingredient is “whey,” the liquid remaining after milk is strained or curdled.  I assumed Benadryl could be a source of relief for an individual who is lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy.  Shocking, right?

If you have any funny stories regarding Benadryl or remember any ways your friends/family/co-workers surprised you with their thoughts on a related topic, let me know!  Share your voice.

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