Has Anyone Ever Heard NEVER to Give Their Asthmatic PA Child Benadryl?

Posted on: Fri, 04/27/2001 - 12:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pAnother PA parent approached me this week with information she had received from her son's doctor. He told her NEVER to use Benadryl for her PA son because he is also asthmatic. He actually told her to throw the Benadryl out of her house. Needless to say, she is quite confused because we all know that Benadryl is the antihistamine of choice if there is a PA reaction. Her doctor advised to just use the Epi-pen./p
pNow, I did check a bottle of children's Benadryl this morning and it does indicate that it should not be given to children with chronic lung disease, which I think includes asthma. I looked at the children's Claritin and it did not have this warning./p
pWe just really wanted to know if anyone else had heard this information. I do not know if her child has had any PA reactions, or if he has how severe they have been./p
pI do know that despite Jesse's asthma we have been advised to have some Benadryl at home (but not at school), and our line of dealing with PA is Epi-pen first, Benadryl second. No one has ever said NO Benadryl because he is asthmatic./p
pAny assistance would be greatly appreciated both by the other PA parent and myself./p
pBest wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]/p

Posted on: Fri, 04/27/2001 - 2:56am
EILEEN's picture
Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

From the Clinical Pharmacology Online Drug Interactions Report (plug in Benadryl in the Search box).
Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is contraindicated in asthma (as well as bladder obstruction, breast-feeding, cardiac disease, children, closed-angle glaucoma, contact lenses, COPD, elderly,GI obstruction,
hepatic disease,ileus,neonates,pregnancy, prostatic hypertrophy, urinary retention.
"...The anticholinergic activity of H1-antagonists may result in thickened bronchial secretions in the respiratory tract thereby aggravating an acute asthmatic attack or COPD. Although antihistamines should be avoided during an acute asthmatic attack, these anticholinergic effects do not preclude the use of antihistamines in all asthmatic or COPD patients, particularly if the above respiratory symptom is not a primary component of the illness. Because diphenhydramine exhibits a significant amount of anticholinergic activity, the use of an H1-antagonist with less anticholinergic effects is preferable when therapy is indicated....."
"....Diphenhydramine should be used cautiously in children since a paradoxical CNS stimulation can occur. There have been a number of cases of respiratory depression, sleep apnea, and SIDS in children receiving phenothiazine antihistamines. The mechanism of this reaction is not yet known; therefore, H1-antagonists should be used with extreme caution in children with a family history of SIDS or sleep apnea. H1-antagonists should not be used in neonates due to the possibility of paradoxical CNS stimulation or seizures...."
Cindy your doctor is the best person to advise you on this question.
[This message has been edited by EILEEN (edited April 27, 2001).]
[This message has been edited by EILEEN (edited April 27, 2001).]

Posted on: Fri, 04/27/2001 - 3:15am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Eileen, thank-you for your response. In my original post, you can see that the answer to this question is really not for me so I don't feel the need to speak with my doctor about it. My doctor does know that Jesse is asthmatic but has advised Epi-pen first, Benadryl second. He has never said to throw the Benadryl out period.
Now, I can understand if that was the daily antihistamine that Jesse was taking and I would then have concerns. But it isn't. Again, it was another PA parent that was told specifically to throw out the Benadryl with her asthmatic child, even for use during a PA reaction.
Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 04/27/2001 - 5:47am
marla's picture
Joined: 01/15/2001 - 09:00

I have noticed the same contraindication, but I took it to mean--avoid Benadryl when your child is actually having an asthma attack. I think I remember asking my doctor once and he said not to worry. My intuitive guess would be that some parents might think that since Benadryl is labeled for allergy and related symptoms, like coughing, that they could give Benadryl when their child has an asthma attack, instead of a prescription asthma drug, which would certainly be inappropriate.

Posted on: Fri, 04/27/2001 - 6:56pm
williamsmummy's picture
Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

hello , when william saw his allergist we were told not to givr him regular doses of priton, because of the possible side affects, ie, that if he came in contact with an allergen his body would not react as quickly and there was a risk that he would have a big reaction later on. At the time he was taking piriton twice a day to help him sleep and control his skin. l have never heard of benadryl,? l dont think its over here, (well l could be wrong on that!?) is it the same as piriton ? THANKS WILLIAMSMUMMY

Posted on: Sun, 04/29/2001 - 11:47pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Cindy - I found this information on a Physician's Resource web site. Perhaps the other PA parent could print it out and show it to her doctor. The brief article specifically mentions that Benadryl doesn't need to be withheld from asthmatic patients unless a previous reaction indicates that it should. Did her child have a previous adverse reaction to Benadryl? Here is a quote from the article, as well as the direct link:
"Although antihistamines are not first-line drugs for the treatment of asthma, they should not be withheld from patients with asthma who require treatment for concomitant disorders, such as allergic rhinitis, allergic dermatoses, and urticaria."
Hope this helps!

Posted on: Mon, 04/30/2001 - 8:47am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cayley's Mom, thank-you for your response. No, her child had not had a negative reaction to Benadryl, she was simply told to throw it out because he is asthmatic, even for use during a PA reaction.
Also, I have actually dealt with another Mother whose children have uncontrolled asthma. She tested them by giving them a dose of Benadryl during a coughing spell (after having given them their reliever puffers) and both children actually calmed down coughing after the Benadryl took effect.
This to me, Dr. Cindy, meant that one of her children's triggers was allergies and the antihistamine did help with their asthma because it dealt with whatever they were reacting to in their toxic home (I'm a fine one to talk about toxic homes where my frequent companions are dust bunnies [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] ), but her's was an asthmatic's nightmare!
Again, thank-you for this information. I'm simply e-mailing the notification I get from this thread to the parent in question so she can come in and read whenever there is a new response to her question.
I do know that she will be seeing her allergist tomorrow and discussing this with him/her.
Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/08/2001 - 1:07am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

The PA parent I had posted this on behalf of, had heard the information I posted from her family doctor. Here is the response she got from her allergist when she saw him:-
We just got back from the allergist a little while ago & I wanted to
tell you what he told us re: asthma & benadryl. He said that benadryl was
to use, just not on a daily basis ( for asthmatic children). He said that my
pediatrician probably said what he said b/c Benadryl is a very drying
antihistamine - it's so drying that it can sometimes cause wheezing. He said
that if Andrew was on a antihistamine on a daily basis, there are much better
antihistimines for asthmatic & allergic children - for example, claritin.
said that it's OK to use Benadryl during a reaction. ( He, of course,
stressed that I need to use the epi-pen as well, if he's having a reaction
from pnuts.) He did make me feel better.
For me, it was good to see that the question was actually clarified for her, but I really feel it's another case of where one doctor will tell you one thing and another doctor (although the allergist, and therefore should be more qualified to give a proper answer) will give you a different one.
That's why I think we very often find this very difficult to deal with, especially if we can't get consistent answers from all of our caregivers. Not all of us deal with our allergists re everything to do with our children, we trust in the family doctor to provide a general level of care for our families.
However, at least this one was able to get sorted.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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