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Taking Benadryl with Suboxone: What You Need to Know

August 9, 2021

Allergy season is upon us and like the thousands of other allergy sufferers you are looking for relief from itchy eyes, congestion, runny noses, and hives. Most people will find relief with antihistamines like Benadryl. However, you also are currently taking Suboxone to help with your recovery treatment and you are worried about possible drug interactions. Internet searches only added to the confusion. Luckily, we have all the information you need right here.

First, it is important to know what is in Suboxone and Benadryl. Suboxone is a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine blocks opiate receptors in the brain, helps to reduce urges, and staves off withdrawal symptoms. Naloxone helps reverse the symptoms of an opioid overdose by blocking and reversing the effects of opioids on a person’s nervous system. Benadryl is a combination of acetaminophen, diphenhydramine, and phenylephrine. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer found in over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that reduces allergy symptoms, and can be used to treat motion sickness, induce sleep, and help treat certain symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Phenylephrine is a decongestant used to treaty stuffy noses and sinus congestion.

Of the three drug components in Benadryl, diphenhydramine can cause problems when mixed with Suboxone. Taking the two drugs together can increase side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. Elderly patients in particular need to avoid mixing the two drugs as they can cause an impairment in thinking and judgment, and a loss of motor coordination. Mixing these two drugs is especially dangerous because it can lead to a depression of your respiratory and central nervous systems. These depressions severely impair your ability to breath and can lead to death.

If you are desperately seeking allergy relief, try other drugs without diphenhydramine like Zyrtec or Allegra. If you have and they are not working, talk to your doctor to see if there is a way to safely combine your Suboxone treatment therapy with Benadryl. You can also consult with one of our addiction specialized doctors.

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