How to Use Benadryl for Allergies, Cold and Flu

Benadryl box

Diphenhydramine is a must-have pill for travelers. It reduces the symptoms of allergies, cold, and flu; acts as a sleep aid, especially in higher doses; and is an antiemetic that treats motion sickness and nausea.

It comes in a pill, liquid, spray, and cream. The cream and spray are for external use only. The liquid and the pill are taken orally. I recommend the pills for keeping in a first aid kit because they’re small and lightweight.

Purchasing the individually packaged aluminum blister packs helps keep multiple types of pills organized inside your first aid kit. Diphenhydramine has other uses not listed here as they are not typically associated with first aid.


The typical adult dose is 25 to 50mg for most uses. See here for more detailed information.


  1. Generic drugs are subject to the same FDA requirements as name brand medication. If the active ingredient is the same it will do the same thing[1].


  • Uses - allergies, sleep aid, and motion sickness
  • 2 types - oral and topical
  • Individually wrapped pills are easy to organize and carry in a first aid kit
  • Typical dose - 25 to 50mg

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About Peter Oldani - Author of Inside First Aid

About the author

Peter Oldani graduated college with a B.S. in biomedical engineering, worked as an EMT to gain hands on experience in emergency medicine and completed active shooter training as part of New York State’s initiative to prepare civilian organizations for disaster response.