Question about Benadryl


New Member
My difficult child's psychiatrist suggested that I give him Benadryl since he is not in school to see if he is better. I bought him Children's Benadryl. Is that what I was supposed to buy? I know a few folks on the board have tried Benadryl.

Also, I gave him 1 tsp at 9am and it seems to have had no effect at all. Since this morning he has had several angry outbursts--screaming and throwing things. And he has been hitting me and his baby sister.

Is the Benadryl supposed to take effect right away? My husband thinks it would take a few doses, but I'm not sure.



New Member
Hi, I'm not familiar with the post that recommended Benadryl, but when my difficult child was a lot younger, we did use Benadryl. We were very careful to only use the dye,sugar and alcohol free Benadryl.
The other ones sent him off the wall due to the red #40 dye and the sugar.



Benadryl does take effect right away because it has sedative qualities. Like Donna, we've always used the dye and alcohol free Children's Benadryl. Did the doctor give you a dosage? For allergies, Benadryl is dosed by weight. If a teaspoon didn't work, the dose may not be right, or it may be having a negligible or negative (paradoxial effect, which causes increased hyperactivity) effect on your difficult child. Check with the prescribing doctor.

by the way, angry and aggressive outbursts may not be ADHD at all. You may be looking at another disorder entirely.


Well-Known Member
My daughter has needed to take quite a bit of Benadryl over the years due to severe allergies. We tend to stick to the dye-free elixir variety and we haven't had additional agitation from it. You need to make sure that you aren't cross-dosing or overdosing your son because too much can be very dangerous. Also, I'd be concerned about long term use for a non-allergic reason because of cognitive dulling. There have been a few studies suggesting that school aged kids who routinely take Benadryl have a harder time picking up new concepts.


Active Member
I would definitely suggest dye-free....But I'm the one who said that I stay away from it, because of it's effects days after not being on it. It set my difficult child into ultra difficult child-mode.

I've gotten this stuff called Calms Forte at the Health Food store. I've had better results from that. It has things like Chamomile and Pulsatilla which have calming effects.


New Member
Thanks. I bought the dye free, sugar free one. The psychiatrist told me he was comfortable prescribing Adderall since he isn't in school yet. But he gave me a prescription for Adderall-XR and he told me to give it to him if i need to. Honestly, I don't know what that means. The reason I took him is because his behavior was out of control. He told me that at 4 the aggression is a symptom of the ADHD. I am still going to have him evaluated by the children's hospital thanks to the advice I received on the board.

Anyway, I'm really confused righ now. I'm going to give him a call and have him explain some more. He told us that he has ADHD and he was talking so fast I was struggling to catch everything he was saying.


With all due respect to the psychiatrist you saw, he can't be positive your difficult child, at age 4, has ADHD without extensive testing. (My difficult child 1 was diagnosed with ADHD at age 9, but the neuropsychologist difficult child 1, at age 13, recently saw for 10 hours of testing is questioning whether he really has it.) I'm glad you're having further evaluation at the children's hospital.


Well-Known Member
Basically, you're using the medications to determine cause and effect, a cheap, supposedly easy way to reach a diagnosis. doctors do it all the time with-other drugs, we just don't notice it as much because it's for sniffles or that sort of thing.
It's basically trial and error.
It's hard to give a tsp and watch, and wonder if there's going to be a miracle or a disaster or a flop. We love our g'sfg and during times of drug trials, it's hard to imagine that we're conducting experiments, but that's what it is.
We're all taking part in one, big experiment and that's why we're here to help one another.
Best of luck. Keep us posted... literally.


I tried this when my oldest was in 1st grade, it made him drousy and irritable