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DIPHENHYDRAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE. (Benadryl). Class: Antihistamine; h1-receptor antagonist. Action: significant anticholinergic activity.

Competes for H1-receptor sites on effector cells, thus blocking histamine release. Effects in parkinsonism and drug-induced extra pyramidal symptoms are apparently related to its ability to suppress central cholinergic activity and to prolong action of dopamine by inhibiting its reuptake and storage. Normal Dosage: Adult: PO 25 50 mg t.i.d. or q.i.d. (max: 300 mg/d) IV/IM 10 50 mg q4 6h (max: 400 mg/d). Route.PO/IM/IV. Uses:Temporary symptomatic relief of various allergic conditions and to treat or prevent motion sickness, vertigo, and reactions to blood or plasma in susceptible patients. Also used in anaphylaxis as adjunct to epinephrine and other standard measures after acute symptoms have been controlled; in treatment of parkinsonism and drug-induced extrapyramidal reactions; as a nonnarcotic cough suppressant; as a sedative-hypnotic. Side Effect: Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth, nose, or throat; excitability, headache; loss of appetite; nausea; nervousness; restlessness; trouble sleeping; vomiting. Most serious side effect. Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; trouble breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue) Nursing considerations: Monitor cardiovascular status especially with preexisting cardiovascular disease. Monitor for adverse effects especially in children and the older adult. Supervise ambulation and use side-rails as necessary.