What allergy medicine is good for coughing
Generic Name:diphenhydramine (DYE fen HYE dra meen)
Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD Final updated on Dec 18, 2018.
You can enquire a pharmacist about:
- cough medicine (some cough medicines should not be given to children under 12)
- cough syrup
- cough sweets
These will not stop your cough, but will assist you cough less.
Decongestants and cough medicines containing codeine will not stop your cough.
Find a pharmacy
What happens at your appointment
To discover out what’s causing your cough, your GP might:
- order an X-ray, allergy test, or a test to see how well your lungs work
- take a sample of any mucus you might be coughing up
- refer you to hospital to see a specialist, but this is extremely rare
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:
- you’re losing weight for no reason
- you own had a cough for more than 3 weeks (persistent cough)
- you feel extremely unwell
- your cough is extremely bad or quickly gets worse – for example, you own a hacking cough or cannot stop coughing
- the side of your neck feels swollen and painful (swollen glands)
- you discover it hard to breathe
- you own chest pain
- you own a weakened immune system – for example, because of chemotherapy or diabetes
See a GP urgently if you’re coughing up blood.
Antibiotics are not normally prescribed for coughs.
Your GP will only prescribe them if you need them – for example, if you own a bacterial infection or you’re at risk of complications.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Benadryl if you are allergic to diphenhydramine.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you own other medical conditions, especially:
cough with mucus, or cough caused by smoking, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis;
blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines);
liver or kidney disease;
bladder obstruction or other urination problems;
heart disease, low blood pressure;
a thyroid disorder; or
a colostomy or ileostomy;
asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other breathing disorder;
if you take potassium (Cytra, Epiklor, K-Lyte, K-Phos, Kaon, Klor-Con, Polycitra, Urocit-K).
It is not known whether Benadryl will harm an unborn baby.
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant.
Diphenhydramine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby.
Antihistamines may also slow breast milk production. Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are breast-feeding.
Older adults may be more likely to own side effects from this medicine.
What causes coughs
Most coughs are caused by a freezing or flu.
Other causes include:
- allergies – for example, hay fever
- heartburn (acid reflux)
- infections love bronchitis
- mucus dripping below the throat from the back of the nose
A cough is extremely rarely a sign of something serious love lung cancer.
Media final reviewed: 14 May 2018
Media review due: 9 May 2021
Sheet final reviewed: 18 December 2017
Next review due: 18 December 2020
What is Benadryl?
Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body.
Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.
Benadryl is used to treat sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, hives, skin rash, itching, and other freezing or allergy symptoms.
Benadryl is also used to treat motion sickness, to induce sleep, and to treat certain symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
How you can treat a cough yourself
There’s generally no need to see a GP.
- drink plenty of fluids
You could also try:
- hot lemon and honey (not suitable for babies under 1 year old)
- a herbal medicine called pelargonium (suitable for people aged 12 or over)
There’s limited evidence to show these work.
Hot lemon with honey has a similar effect to cough medicines.
You should not use Benadryl to make a kid sleepy.
When taking Benadryl, use caution driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities.
Diphenhydramine may cause dizziness or drowsiness.
If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.
Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while taking Benadryl.
Do not give this medication to a kid younger than 2 years ancient.
Always enquire a doctor before giving a cough or freezing medicine to a child. Death can happen from the misuse of cough and freezing medicines in extremely young children.