October 10, 2023

Is Mixing Benadryl and Alcohol Dangerous?

image of woman representing mixing benadryl and alcohol

Mixing Benadryl and alcohol is inadvisable and potentially dangerous, as the two substances can interact with each other and have adverse effects. 

Benadryl is a branded form of diphenhydramine, an antihistamine indicated for the treatment of allergy symptoms like coughs, sore nose and throat, and rashes.

Alcohol and Benadryl are both classified as CNS depressants. If you take Benadryl in isolation, the medication will not impact your liver directly. Taking Benadryl with alcohol, on the other hand, may increase the intensity of side effects, sometimes provoking serious adverse outcomes.

Today’s guide explores the following topics:

    • Does alcohol affect Benadryl?
    • What happens when you take Benadryl and drink alcohol?
    • Is Benadryl and alcohol dangerous?

    You will also discover how to connect with treatment if you develop an addiction to alcohol or prescription medications.

    What happens when you take Benadryl with alcohol, then?

    Can You Mix Benadryl and Alcohol?

    If you take Benadryl with alcohol, both substances work on your CNS (central nervous system). The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. Alcohol and Benadryl slow the CNS. If you combine alcohol with Benadryl, this can trigger the following alcohol and benadryl side effects:

      • Drowsiness and sedation
      • Problems with focus
      • Difficulty performing physical tasks

      Combining Benadryl with alcohol is never advisable, but it can be especially dangerous for seniors to drink on Benadryl.

      If you consume alcohol while taking Benadryl, you should not drive or operate machinery.

      If you unintentionally mix alcohol and diphenhydramine, rest in a safe environment to restore balance.

      Drinking on Benadryl

      When it comes to mixing alcohol and diphenhydramine (commonly known as Benadryl), the potential risks should not be taken lightly. This is because both substances can have a depressing effect on the central nervous system, potentially bringing about severe side effects. In particular, the slowing down of essential functions like respiration can occur when the CNS is depressed, and pairing alcohol with Benadryl can heighten the sedative effect, leading to extreme CNS sedation.

      Beyond this, both alcohol and Benadryl are known to have dehydrating effects on the body. When the two substances are combined, the risk of dehydration increases, which can lead to discomfort and inflame any hangover experienced the following day.

      While both alcohol and Benadryl are capable of causing sedation and drowsiness, it’s unwise to rely on these properties as a sleep aid. Attempting to do so can have adverse side effects that are detrimental to sleep, including dizziness and nausea. This means that it’s crucial to be mindful of the risks involved with alcohol and Benadryl side effects, and avoid mixing alcohol and Benadryl without first consulting a healthcare professional.

      Benadryl and Wine

      Wine is a popular alcoholic beverage that is often enjoyed with meals or as a social drink. However, when combined with Benadryl, the risks of adverse effects increase.

      The sedative effects of Benadryl can be enhanced when mixed with wine, leading to increased drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired coordination. The combination of alcohol and Benadryl can also provoke memory impairment and a higher risk of falls and accidents.

      Additionally, wine can dehydrate the body. When combined with Benadryl, the risk of dehydration increases significantly. Dehydration can cause discomfort, headaches, and loss of concentration. It can also worsen the side effects of Benadryl and alcohol, leading to a more severe hangover the next day.

      If you choose to consume wine and Benadryl together, it’s essential to be aware of the risks involved and limit your intake. You should also avoid operating heavy machinery or driving after mixing wine and Benadryl, as the combination can impair your coordination and reaction time. It’s always best to consult with a medical professional before combining any medications or substances, including Benadryl and wine.

      Benadryl and Beer

      For some people, combining Benadryl and beer is a concern if they are going to be drinking beer while sick.

      However, mixing Benadryl and beer can have serious and potentially dangerous consequences. Some of the most common consequences include increased drowsiness, impaired motor skills and coordination, cognitive impairment, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and more.

      Combining Benadryl and beer can intensify their individual effects and lead to a variety of adverse reactions, so it is not advisable to take Benadryl while drinking beer. 

      In fact, alcohol can be inflammatory and it’s always best to rest and restrict alcohol use while you are fighting a virus. 

      man looks out window representing tips for dry january

      Are Benadryl and Alcohol Dangerous to Mix?

      Both Benadryl and alcohol share the ability to suppress the central nervous system (CNS), which can have harmful consequences. The combined sedative effect may cause a drop in heart rate and slow breathing, potentially leading to heart problems or even loss of consciousness. In rare cases, CNS depression can even result in a coma or benadryl and alcohol death .

      Losing consciousness is a common risk associated with mixing alcohol and Benadryl, but there are other health hazards to consider as well. It’s important to be aware of the potential dangers and consult a healthcare provider before combining any medications or substances.

      Dangers of Mixing Benadryl and Alcohol

      Mixing Benadryl and alcohol can lead to a potent sedative effect, increasing the risk of accidents, falls, and difficulty performing daily tasks. The combination can also dehydrate the body, potentially worsening hangovers and causing discomfort and lack of concentration.

      Furthermore, long-term use of alcohol and anticholinergic drugs such as Benadryl has been linked to an increased risk of dementia. Combining Benadryl and alcohol, both of which can impair memory and learning, may have a more pronounced impact on cognitive functions.

      Older adults should be particularly cautious, as the aging process reduces the body’s ability to break down alcohol. Additionally, using Benadryl with other prescription drugs can produce harmful effects, especially when combined with alcohol.

      The sedative alcohol and Benadryl side effects of both alcohol and Benadryl can also disrupt normal sleeping patterns, causing excessive sleepiness, lethargy, nausea, and dizziness.

      Alcohol Addiction and Benadryl

      Alcohol addiction is a serious problem affecting millions of people worldwide, with approximately 29.5 million adults in the United States aged 18 and older experiencing alcohol use disorder (AUD) in 2021, according to NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

      The risks of addiction and overdose increase significantly when alcohol is combined with Benadryl. Benadryl’s sedative effect can enhance the effects of alcohol, leading to more significant intoxication and potentially causing individuals to develop a dependence on both substances.

      Individuals with a history of alcohol addiction or drug abuse are at heightened risk of abusing Benadryl due to seeking drugs that produce a similar sedative effect as alcohol. This misuse of Benadryl can lead to addiction and a higher likelihood of overdose. It is essential to consult a healthcare provider and seek help if you or a loved one struggles with addiction or substance abuse.

      Gratitude Lodge's Southern California rehab representing blue xanax addiction treatment.

      Get Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

      If you arrived here today wondering, “Can I take Benadryl with alcohol”, it should now be clear that drinking with Benadryl is potentially dangerous. Maybe you are ready to address issues of alcohol abuse but unsure where to turn. We can help you combat alcohol use disorder here at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California beginning with a supervised medical detox.

      After a week or so, you will be ready to transition into one of the following treatment programs at rehab centers in Long Beach and Newport Beach, CA:

        • 30-day inpatient program
        • Dual diagnosis treatment program (for alcohol addictions with co-occurring mental health conditions)

        All treatment programs for alcohol and Benadryl side effects at Gratitude Lodge combine evidence-based treatments and holistic therapies, including:

          • Psychotherapy
          • Medication-assisted treatment
          • Group therapy
          • Individual counseling
          • Family therapy
          • Holistic therapies (yoga, mindfulness, meditation)

          To kickstart your recovery from alcohol addiction call admissions today at 800-994-2184.

          Want to learn more?

          Recent Articles

          Begin your journey
          to recovery.

          Get evidence-based treatment in a peaceful location, with a
          team of dedicated, expert staff. 
          Share on Facebook
          Share on Twitter
          Share on Linkedin
          Share on Email
          Joe Gilmore

          Joseph Gilmore

          Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
          Jenni Bussi

          Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

          Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

          Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox, facilitating the beginnings of a successful recovery at our rehab addiction centers in Orange County, CA.

          Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

          Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox may not take as long or produce severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an essential beginning to your recovery.

          Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.
          an image of clients representing drug detox california

          Holistic Therapy

          Our holistic therapy treatments offer a full-scope approach to recovery, addressing your mind, body, and emotions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This therapy is designed to help address underlying issues and integrate alternative therapies to promote overall health and well-being.
          Gratitude Lodge clients laughing, representing drug detox california

          Psychotherapy

          An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.
          woman at beach representing drug detox in california

          Dual Diagnosis

          Dual Diagnosis is a highly effective addiction treatment that addresses substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously. Often co-occurring, these disorders are best managed when treated together with specific and targeted therapy.
          an image of a client and therapist at Gratitude Lodge's Long Beach addiction treatment center

          Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

          Medication-Assisted Treatment provides you with FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while you’re in treatment. This makes the detox process easier and safer, as well as increasing the chances of a successful recovery.
          an image of clients outside after getting help at Gratitude Lodge's rehab in Long Beach, California

          Sober Living

          Sober living provides a supportive and substance-free living environment for your ongoing recovery. We partner with a number of upscale and carefully vetted sober living homes that are available to our clients after inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
          an image of clients at Gratitude Lodge's drug rehab program

          Outpatient Treatment

          Once detox and inpatient are complete, we provide an easy transition to outpatient care through our hand-selected partners. This program offers a more flexible approach, allowing you to ease back in to daily life while still receiving frequent & effective care.
          An image of clients going through inpatient substance abuse treatment

          Inpatient
Treatment

          Inpatient treatment provides an intensive and comprehensive addiction treatment program in a structured environment. You will receive 24/7 expert care, therapy, and support as you build your foundation for long-term recovery.
          an image of clients at clients at Gratitude Lodge's representing fear in recovery

          Drug & Alcohol Detox

          A crucial first step in the recovery process, our detox program provides a comfortable, medically supervised environment that addresses the physical aspect of addiction and eliminates substances from your body.

          Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.