October 28, 2006,
D.D. asks from Dallas, TX on October 24, 2006
Benadryl at Night
My almost 4 year old son has been waking up at night with a stuffy/blocked nose. I have given him Benadryl 1 tsp. for the last two nights and he has slept through the night without getting up. How long can I give him Benadryl for? I have heard its pretty safe for kids. Can they take it for an extended period of time (like everyday for months)? I am already waking up at least twice in the night due to my 5 month old and could really use some sleep!
M.F. answers from Dallas on October 24, 2006
I'd put a humidifier in his room too. If he's only stuffy at night, I don't see why it would hurt. Lots of kids take Zyrtec as a "maintenance" medicine every day for months. If he's also having congestion during the day, I wouldn't let it go on longer than 2 weeks without taking him to the doctor. You might want to make sure he's drinking plenty of fluids during the day. When I have to take antihistamines daily for a long time, I know that I feel kind of dry and thirsty. The fluids should help with his congestion too. Maybe add a glass of orange juice too (for the vitamin C).
Hope you get some sleep!
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C.F. answers from Dallas on October 24, 2006
Hi Deepa - I remember we gave our daughter Benadryl when she was a toddler. As for the stuffy nose and congestion, our pediatrician years ago told us to raise her mattress up just a bit at the head so that she could rest w/o getting stuffy. We did that for about a month and she's never had a problem since.
I don't know how long you can give a child Benadryl but from the looks of the responses it appears there are several alternatives that may work as well.
Hope you get a restful night soon.
Y.M. answers from Dallas on October 24, 2006
My son's pediatrician said it was safe for my 8 month old at the time (now 10 months) to take it as needed. He has allergies and I felt guilty giving it to him but the Dr. said it was safe and I'd be doing him some good.
C.K. answers from Dallas on October 28, 2006
I do give my kids (now 4 and 8) Benadryl at night when their noses are runny and sneezing. However, I do NOT give them Benadryl for stuffy or blocked noses. Benadryl reduces the level of histamines that cause runny, itchy noses and sneezing. However, our pedi does not recommend it for stuffy noses because it has a drying effect that can cause the stuffiness to worsen. When my girls have stuffy noses and congestion, I give them a decongestant that's made for children. When they were younger I would flush their noses with a saline solution and then suction with a bulb every night just before bedtime.
S.J. answers from Dallas on October 24, 2006
Rest easy (pun intended). My pediatritian has my daughter taking Benadryl nightly to relieve itching from eczema. My 7 month old niece is taking to for sleeping problems also. I am not sure if her doctor wanted her on it long term, but she has been taking it for a month or too.
S.C. answers from Dallas on October 24, 2006
Our pediatrician told us not to give our 2 year old daughter Benadryl for her nasal allergies/congestion as it causes the mucus to clump together and make it more difficult to get out of the lungs. I don't know if that's accurate or not, but you should ask your doctor. We now only use Benadryl for skin allergy reactions.
D.W. answers from Dallas on October 24, 2006
The pedi I work for uses Benadryl all of the time. A maintaince dose once a night through allergy season should be fine.
You can also do Saline drops/spray aty bedtime that helps a lot!
K.R. answers from Dallas on October 24, 2006
I agree with the other two mom's my doctor has said its safe regularly too. For my 8 mon old he perscribed Zyrtec and along w/ her humidifier its been helping us all sleep 8 hours a night!!