Friends with Benadryl

You may have thought you were up for a visit and maybe even some late-night sexytime, but think again:

Over-the-counter antihistamines, especially diphendyramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), may alleviate your allergies, but temporarily affect your love life. The solution here could be as simple as carefully timing when you take the drug. “Many of these drugs do not last 24 hours and certainly their side effects don’t,” says Allison Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D., a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. “Antihistamines should be cleared in eight hours in younger and healthier patients.” Keep in mind that antihistamines are also found in many combination cough-and-cold medicines so read the label. You may be taking antihistamines and lowering your libido without knowing it.

I’d worry about this more, I think, if they’d paid more attention to their spearchucker spellchecker: it’s actually diphenhydramine. (Then again, “chlorpheniramine” is now the officially adopted US spelling for what the rest of the world — including, until about ten minutes ago, me — calls “chlorphenamine.”)

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