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All about: Diphenhydramine Cream

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Generic Name: Diphenhydramine Cream and Gel (dye-fen-HYE-dra-meen)
Brand Name: Examples include Benadryl and Dermarest

Diphenhydramine Cream is used for:

Temporarily relieving pain and itching associated with insect bites, minor burns, sunburn, minor skin irritations, minor cuts, scrapes, and rashes due to poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.

Diphenhydramine Cream is an antihistamine. It works by blocking the action of histamine, which reduces the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Do NOT use Diphenhydramine Cream if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Diphenhydramine Cream

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Diphenhydramine Cream:

Some medical conditions may interact with Diphenhydramine Cream. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have porphyria

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Diphenhydramine Cream. Because little, if any, of Diphenhydramine Cream is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Diphenhydramine Cream may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Diphenhydramine Cream:

Use Diphenhydramine Cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Diphenhydramine Cream is for external use only. Avoid contact with the eyes. Diphenhydramine Cream may be harmful if swallowed.
  • Wash and completely dry the affected area. Gently rub the medicine in until it is evenly distributed. Apply to the affected area not more than 3 to 4 times a day.
  • Wash your hands immediately after using Diphenhydramine Cream.
  • If you miss a dose of Diphenhydramine Cream and you are using it regularly, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Diphenhydramine Cream.

Important safety information:

  • Diphenhydramine Cream may be harmful if swallowed. If you or someone you know may have taken Diphenhydramine Cream by mouth, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
  • If condition worsens, or does not improve within 7 days or if symptoms continue for more than 7 days or clear up and occur again within a few days, stop using Diphenhydramine Cream and talk with your doctor.
  • Do not use on chicken pox, measles, or on large areas of the body, including large areas of poison ivy, sunburn, or broken, blistered, or oozing skin, unless advised to do so by your doctor.
  • Diphenhydramine Cream contains diphenhydramine. Before you begin taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medicine including one used on the skin, read the ingredients to see if it also contains diphenhydramine. If it does or if you are uncertain if it does, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Diphenhydramine Cream is not recommended for use in CHILDREN younger than 2 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Diphenhydramine Cream during pregnancy.

Possible side effects of Diphenhydramine Cream:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Skin irritation.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Diphenhydramine Cream:

Store Diphenhydramine Cream at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep Diphenhydramine Cream out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Diphenhydramine Cream, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Diphenhydramine Cream is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Diphenhydramine Cream. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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