Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Does Benadryl Affect Arthritis?

Monday, 19 July 2010 12:57 PM

Question: Have any studies been done on long term use of Benadryl and the increase or decrease in incidence of arthritis? I have noticed fewer arthritis symptoms when I take Benadryl but since the immune system is suppressed, am I also more susceptible to cancer?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Let’s deal with Benadryl first. Benadryl is an effective over-the-counter non-prescription antihistamine with lots of side effects, but it is not an immune suppressant.

Our immune system responds to allergens by releasing histamines. Benadryl acts as an inhibitor to histamine release and does not affect how the immune system functions. Benadryl has no anti-arthritic effects, and is not an anti-inflammatory or an arthritis medication.

If your body releases histamine as a result of your immune system being activated because of arthritis, you may have obtained unexpected symptom relief with the use of Benadryl, even though there is no supporting literature. Be warned that despite the improvement of your arthritis symptoms with Benadryl, you should seek professional consultation to treat your arthritis to possibly prevent permanent joint damage and deformity from an unrestrained autoimmune attack on your body's tissues.

© HealthDay

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