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Diphenhydramine (Hydrochloride)(DH) is a commonly used antihistamine medication found in common allergy medicines such as Benadryl, as well as 'over the counter' (OTC) sleeping aids such as Tylenol PM and Nytol.

While Diphenhydramine is safe, if taken in its 'normal recommended dosages', it is also a poisonous ingredient which can lead to overdosing if misused and abused.

This overdose will occur when someone intentionally or accidentally takes more than the recommended dosage of the drug.

Typically, a 'safe' recommended DH dose for adults is: 25 to 50 mg every 6 to 8 hours.That said however, it is important to know remember that since we are all different, we can and do react differently to things. For example, a dosage that would be considered an overdose for one person could be normal for another and vice versa.

Therefore, it is very possible for someone to overdose on and (however rare), even die from DH overdose.

For this reason, especially when a drug is available OTC, you should always speak to your doctor, so you are well-informed and advised BEFORE starting any new medicines or supplements.

That said, however, although death is not usually and may not be an immediate effect of Diphenhydramine overdose.

How one reacts to all drugs including Diphenhydramine can depend on for example: medical history and pre-existing conditions, weight, allergies, age, previous consumption of food, drug or drink that reacts unfavorably with DH, the strength of the DH that was taken, and the time it was taken.

However, call emergency and seek medical help as soon as you suspect there is a problem, and that something seems to be "just off.' When in doubt, leave the guessing game and the figuring out to medical professionals. As the case is in every health scare or situation, time is of the essence in a suspected (accidental or intentional) overdose. NEVER make the mistake in delaying that call for help if you cannot figure out what drug was even taken. Call for help immediately. The good thing is that with most drugs, symptoms of overdose will be similar, as they relate to DH; some of the more common overdose symptoms can include but are not limited to:

  • Fever
  • Agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Delirium
  • Grogginess
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Flushing
  • Dry mouth
  • Hallucinations
  • Blurred vision
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Stomach pain
  • Fainting or Coma
  • Inability to sweat
  • Inability to urinate
  • Intestinal Problems
  • Motor skills difficulties
  • Flushing of the face and skin
  • Joint and muscle weakness
  • Mental fog and confusion

Suspected, and dealt with immediately, the outlook in most cases is usually very promising. Particularly if the individual survives and progressively gets better within the first 24 hours. Recovery will also be more likely if there are no major pre-existing conditions, especially "matters of the heart," and/or respiratory problems.

Again, while the majority of people taking DH will not die from an overdose. Why take the chance? One death is one too many. When it involves your health; your only excuse should be to: Play it safe. Take very good care of yourself-Always. There should be no compromise for your health.

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