Diphenhydramine hydrochloride is an antihistamine drug having the chemical name 2-(Diphenylmethoxy)-N, N-dimethylethylamine hydrochloride. It occurs as a white, crystalline powder, is freely soluble in water and alcohol and has a molecular weight of 291.82. The molecular formula is C H NO • HCl.
Diphenhydramine hydrochloride in the parenteral form is a sterile, pyrogen-free solution available in a concentration of 50 mg of diphenhydramine hydrochloride per mL. The solutions for parenteral use have been adjusted to a pH between 5.0 and 6.0 with either sodium hydroxide or hydrochloric acid and contains 0.1 mg/mL benzethonium chloride as a germicidal agent.
Diphenhydramine hydrochloride has an atropine-like action and, therefore, should be used with caution in patients with a history of bronchial asthma, increased intraocular pressure, hyperthyroidism, cardiovascular disease or hypertension. Use with caution in patients with lower respiratory disease including asthma.
Diphenhydramine hydrochloride is an antihistamine with anticholinergic (drying) and sedative side effects. Antihistamines appear to compete with histamine for cell receptor sites on effector cells. Diphenhydramine hydrochloride in the injectable form has a rapid onset of action. Diphenhydramine hydrochloride is widely distributed throughout the body, including the CNS. A portion of the drug is excreted unchanged in the urine, while the rest is metabolized via the liver.
For amelioration of allergic reactions to blood or plasma, in anaphylaxis as an adjunct to epinephrine and other standard measures after the acute symptoms have been controlled, and for other uncomplicated allergic conditions of the immediate type when oral therapy is impossible or contraindicated.
For active treatment of motion sickness.
For use in parkinsonism, when oral therapy is impossible or contraindicated, as follows: parkinsonism in the elderly who are unable to tolerate more potent agents; mild cases of parkinsonism in other age groups, and in other cases of parkinsonism in combinations with centrally acting anticholinergic agents.
Us e in Neonates or Premature Infants
This drug should not be used in neonates or premature infants.
Us e in Nursing Mothers
Because of the higher risk of antihistamines for infants generally, and for neonates and prematures in particular, antihistamine therapy is contraindicated in nursing mothers.
Use as a Local Anesthetic
Because of the risk of local necrosis, this drug should not be used as a local anesthetic.
Antihistamines are also contraindicated in the following conditions: Hypersensitivity to diphenhydramine hydrochloride and other antihistamines of similar chemical structure.