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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Message Board

Diphenhydramine & IBS

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Old 10-30-2007, 07:17 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 73
mitchiesmom HB User
Diphenhydramine & IBS

I have just been recently diagnosed with the constiptation form of IBS and I've just starting changing several things about my diet and habits to see if I can pinpoint anything that makes the constipation worse. I just read in a book that antihistamines such as Benedryl can cause constipation. I've been taking 50 mg of Diphenhydramine which is the ingredient in Benedryl for almost two years to give my sleep a little extra boost. I just stopped taking it 4 nights ago and I haven't seen a change yet. Has anyone else had this experience with Diphenhydramine?

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Old 10-30-2007, 09:13 AM   #2
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Location: Tallahassee, Florida
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pattywhack HB User
Re: Diphenhydramine & IBS

I have no answers to this question- sorry. But I do hope someone else will respond, because I too take benadryl on occassion for sleep and would very much like to know if benadryl could be a culprit in IBS or constipation issues.
I have taken benadryl on and off for years, and it has never caused constipation, but I did take HYCODAN several weeks ago for a bad cough and cold, and have had bowel issues ever since- bloated, gassy, crampy constipation.
Looking up HYCODAN I learned it contains homatropine, which is an anticholenergic. I was concerned I had had a bad effect from the Homatropine, not so much the hydrocodone in the cough syrup. The anticholinergic relaxes smooth muscle, and anticholinergics are actually given to people who suffer from IBS.
My point is, benadryl is listed as an antihistamine, but also has ANTICHOLENERGIC effects. Maybe some savvy person out there will be able to shed some light on this subject.

Old 10-30-2007, 09:18 AM   #3
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
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bellyblues HB User
Re: Diphenhydramine & IBS

I stopped taking Benadryl a few years back because of it's constipating effects. I would only take it now if I was having a severe allergic reaction to something!

My doc told me this was a typical side effect. For those of us with IBS, it can be even more problematic.

Old 10-30-2007, 02:28 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 73
mitchiesmom HB User
Re: Diphenhydramine & IBS

Very interesting. I wonder how long it will take to get the Diphenhydramine out of my system so that I can judge if it is really what is causing my IBS? It's been 4 days now and I've not seen any changes except I can't sleep

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