FDA Warns Consumers Against Swallowing Topical Benadryl

Diphenhydramine in product can lead to unconsciousness, hallucinations, confusion
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has alerted consumers regarding potentially serious side effects associated with mistakenly swallowing Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel, an over-the-counter (OTC) product intended only for topical use.

The FDA issued the warning after receiving reports of adverse events in individuals who mistakenly swallowed the product. While many OTC Benadryl products are intended for swallowing, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel is only intended for topical use. People who swallow it can take in unsafe amounts of the active ingredient, diphenhydramine, which can lead to unconsciousness, hallucinations and confusion.

Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel, has already changed the product label to add a new, prominent statement, "For Skin Use Only." In addition, a sticker was added to the cap of the product that also states "For Skin Use Only."

"Consumer confusion and incorrect product use are serious public health issues," Carol Holquist, director of the FDA's Division of Medication Error Prevention and Analysis, said in a statement. "FDA is advising consumers and pharmacies to store products for the skin separately from products that should be swallowed."

More Information

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Debunking Three Rape Myths
Journal of Forensic Nursing, October/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2.5 $24.95


Drug updates and approvals: 2014 in review
The Nurse Practitioner, 13December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:3 $27.95


Can Food Processing Enhance Cancer Protection?
Nutrition Today, September/October 2014
Expires: 10/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95


More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events