Sounds Like: dai·fuhn·hai·druh·meen
Controlled Substance Act Schedule: V (low potential of abuse)
Other names for Diphenhydramine (DPH)
Diphenhydramine, or DPH, is found in many over-the-counter allergy and cold medications. Considered an antihistamine, the medication can relieve symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing and congestion. Diphenhydramine essentially blocks some allergic reactions. Some people take DPH for motion sickness. It can cause drowsiness. While the potential for abuse of DPH is low, taking high doses of this drug can result in elevated mood, increased energy levels, mild euphoria and hallucinations.
In 2020, a dangerous online trend emerged involving Benadryl, a popular antihistamine containing DPH. Many teens were taking the “Benadryl challenge,” which involved taking more than the recommended amount of DPH in a short amount of time. This caused many people to experience heart problems, seizures and even death.
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In 1943, George Rieveschle, a chemical engineering professor at the University of Cincinnati discovered Diphenhydramine. Rieveschle was searching for muscle relaxing medications, when he found that DPH blocked histamine. The medication was approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 1946, as the first prescription antihistamine. It has since been approved for over-the-counter use.
DPH can be taken as a tablet, capsule or liquid. It is swallowed. Rapidly-dissolving tablets should be allowed to dissolve on the tongue then swallowed. Chewable tablets should be well chewed and swallowed. Most people ingest DPH as a liquid or pill.
The dosage depends on your age, body weight and medical condition. A single dose is quickly absorbed, with effect usually felt in an hour. A single dose of DPH is usually effective for between four and six hours. The drug is widely distributed throughout the body, including the central nervous system.
Uncontrolled cravings for DPH.
Unsuccessful attempts to stop using the drug.
Prioritizing use of the drug over spending time with family or friends.
Legal or financial problems.
Use of DPH despite adverse or negative behaviors.
DPH can interact with alcohol and other depressants, increasing the effects of those drugs.
Consuming more than 500mg of DPH could lead to an overdose.
A 14-year-old girl who took 150 capsules of DPH in one sitting was declared brain dead the following day.