Safety Alerts & Recalls

What does this mean?

Many pharmacies and grocery stores sell many different types of Benadryl products and other products containing the active ingredient diphenydramine, including diphenhydramine topical gels that look very similar in packaging to Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel. It is important that consumers avoid swallowing Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel or other topical gel products for the skin. The FDA reminds consumers to always read the "Drug Facts" box to identify active ingredients, directions for use, and warnings before using any OTC drug product.

If you are using a liquid form of Benadryl or diphenhydramine, please read the label carefully to make sure you have purchased the intended product and are using it correctly. If you have any questions about the label information or are still unsure about how to use the product, please be sure to ask your pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects from Swallowing Topical Benadryl Product

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 for itching of the skin caused by a rash or hives and is meant only to be rubbed on the skin. People who swallow it can receive dangerously large amounts of the active ingredient, diphenhydramine.

To help consumers recognize that Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Gel is meant for use on the skin, the manufacturer, Johnson and Johnson, has changed the product label to add a new, easy-to-see statement "For Skin Use Only" and attached a sticker to the cap of the product that says "For Skin Use Only."

For more information, please visit: more information here and

more information here

Source: FDA
Publication Date: 2010-05-12
Last Updated: 2010-05-15

Visit the medication page for the following drugs:

Share your story Share your story! Tell us how MediGuard has helped you or someone you love. Mobile graphic Download the MediGuard Mobile App to manage your prescription and over-the-counter medications, for free. Registration Info Taking multiple medications puts you at risk for possible drug-drug interactions Registration Info Monitor the medical treatment of you and your loved ones.