FDA: Do Not Swallow Topical Benadryl

WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about swallowing Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel, a product designed for use on the skin.

FDA officials said they have received reports of serious side effects in people who have mistakenly swallowed the product. People swallowing the gel can ingest a dangerous amount of the active ingredient, diphenhydramine, of which large doses can result in serious side effects such as unconsciousness, hallucinations and confusion.


Officials said the manufacturer, Johnson and Johnson, has taken several actions to help consumers recognize Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel is meant for use on the skin, including changing the product label to add a prominent statement “For Skin Use Only.” The company is also attaching a sticker to the cap of the product that displays a similar warning.

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