Swallowing an over-the-counter medication meant to be rubbed on the skin can have harmful effects, warns the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA has received reports of serious side effects—such as unconsciousness, hallucinations, and confusion—in people who mistakenly swallowed Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel.
Although there are other over-the-counter liquid Benadryl products intended to be swallowed, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel is not one of them. It is a topical product meant for use only on the skin.
Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel is safe and effective when used on the skin as directed. People who swallow it can receive dangerously large amounts of the active ingredient, diphenhydramine.
Many pharmacies and grocery stores sell other diphenhydramine topical gels that look very similar in packaging to Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel. Consumers should not swallow these products either. Swallowing them can also result in serious side effects.
For more information visit the Food and Drug Administration Web site.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun