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Xyzal vs Benadryl For Allergic Reactions – Comparison

Allergies are hypersensitive responses from the immune system to substances which either enter or come into contact with the body.

Substances which usually cause an allergic reaction include:

  • molds;
  • pet dander;
  • pollen;
  • certain plants;
  • certain medications, like – penicillin or aspirin;
  • certain foods, including shellfish or nuts;
  • bee stings or bites from other insects.

An estimated 1 in 5 people in the United States suffers from some type of allergies, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America.


Common symptoms include:

  • rashes are common and often itch;
  • swelling may occur in larger areas under the skin (angioedema);
  • hives, also referred to as urticaria – they are small, red, slightly elevated areas of swelling which often have a pale center;
  • sneezing;
  • itchy skin;
  • a runny nose;
  • watery and itchy eyes.

Note – certain allergic reactions, called anaphylactic reactions, can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis include – a sudden and severe drop in blood pressure, inability to breathe, and swelling of the airways.


The most effective treatment of an allergy is avoidance of the allergen.

Below is a comparison of two antihistamines.


It is the brand name for levocetirizine, a medication that is used to treat chronic hives and to relieve the symptoms of seasonal and indoor allergies.

This medicine is a potent antihistamine that has the ability to inhibit cutaneous histamine-induced itching.

It is a 3rd-generation non-sedative antihistamine, that was developed from the 2nd-generation antihistamine cetirizine.


It is the brand name of diphenhydramine, a first-generation H1-antihistamine that has been approved to treat common viral infections including itching.

It is marketed by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.


Xyzal is commonly recommended for:

  • skin inflammation;
  • inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose;
  • reddish itchy weals;
  • hay fever;
  • swelling in the skin;
  • dust or pet allergies;
  • symptoms of allergic conditions.

In addition, it is recommended for the treatment of uncomplicated skin manifestations of chronic idiopathic urticaria (long-lasting hives with an unknown cause).

Benadryl is indicated for:

  • falling asleep (since it can help you to relax);
  • vomiting, nausea, and dizziness caused by motion sickness;
  • sneezing;
  • runny nose;
  • cough;
  • itchy eyes/nose/throat;
  • watery eyes;
  • rash.

Mechanism of Action

Both work by reducing histamine receptor activity on nerves or by blocking the binding of histamine to its receptors.

Side Effects


The most common adverse events include:

  • weight gain;
  • dry mouth;
  • constipation;
  • weakness;
  • diarrhea;
  • drowsiness;
  • vomiting;
  • cough;
  • sore throat;
  • sinus pain;
  • stuffy nose;
  • tired feeling.

Serious side effects can include:

  • loss of appetite;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • stomach pain;
  • nosebleed, particularly in children;
  • fever;
  • foul-smelling stools;
  • dark-colored urine;
  • painful or difficult urination;
  • jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes);
  • numbness or tingling around your mouth or lips;
  • hallucinations;
  • hearing problems;
  • aggression;
  • agitation;
  • depression;
  • pain or fullness in your ear.


Possible side effects include:

  • hallucinations;
  • dry mouth;
  • confusion;
  • irritability;
  • skin flushing;
  • blurry vision;
  • drowsiness;
  • problems with urination.


The recommended dose for Xyzal is 5 mg orally once per day in the evening.

The recommended Benadryl dose for children 6 to 12 years old is 12.5 mg to 25 mg every 4 to 6 hours.

For adults and children over 12, the dose is 25 mg to 50 mg every 4 to 6 hours.

Note – do not to exceed 6 doses in a 24-hour period.

Warnings & Precautions


You should not take this medicine if you have:

  • gallbladder problems;
  • if you are on dialysis;
  • spinal cord lesion;
  • enlarged prostate;
  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • end-stage kidney disease.


Do not use this antihistamine if you have:

  • an overactive thyroid;
  • high blood pressure;
  • heart disease;
  • asthma;
  • difficulty urinating due to a blockage in the bladder;
  • angle-closure glaucoma;
  • an enlarged prostate;
  • bowel obstructions;
  • peptic ulcer disease.

Drug Interactions


It may interact with the following medications:

  • Theophylline;
  • other antihistamines (including natural antihistamines);
  • Ritonavir (an antiretroviral medication that is used to treat HIV/AIDS);
  • sedatives of all kinds;
  • antidepressants;
  • sleep medications;
  • pain relievers;
  • narcotics.


It may interact with the following medications:

  • medicines used to treat heart conditions, high blood pressure, and prevention of migraines;
  • opioid analgesics that are used to treat pain;
  • medicines with strong anticholinergic effects;
  • sleep medicines;
  • hypnotics;
  • sedatives;
  • tranquilizers;
  • medicines used to help you relax;
  • medicines used to treat depression, like monoamine oxidase inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants.


The intake of alcohol will increase your susceptibility even further to drowsiness and dizziness.

Is It Safe During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding?

Both antihistamines should only be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding if the benefits outweigh any potential risks.

Xyzal vs Benadryl – Which Is Better For Allergic Reactions?

Xyzal (levocetirizine) is an antihistamine medicine that is specifically indicated for the relief of symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis (seasonal and perennial) and chronic idiopathic urticaria in adults and children 6 years of age and older.

It belongs to a group of drugs called antihistamines. In addition, it is also called a non-sedating antihistamine as it doesn’t enter the brain in substantial amounts.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a first-generation antihistamine drug that can be purchased without a prescription. It is indicated in treating symptoms of the cold and mild allergy, including sneezing, hives, a runny nose, and itching.

First-generation antihistamines (like – diphenhydramine) are more sedating than the newer agents. Therefore, the actual difference between these two antihistamines is a less sedating effect on the central nervous system.

This makes Xyzal ideal for people who need to avoid sleepiness.

7 Natural Allergy Relief Remedies

#1 Bentonite Clay

It benefits the human body by helping it to expel toxins, reducing inflammation and increasing immunity.

#2 Ginger

Ginger given orally reduces congestion and sneezing as well as it lowers mast cell response, according to a 2016 study that was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

#3 Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle (scientific name – Urtica dioica), also called common nettle, has been known to have strong anti-histamine properties.

#4 Acupuncture

Specialists believe that acupuncture reduces inflammatory immune-system substances involved in allergic reactions.

#5 Soak In An Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal is a humectant, meaning that it helps moisturize skin since it contains potent inflammation-quelling compounds.

Bathing the skin in colloidal oatmeal has shown effective results in providing relief for allergic skin rashes.

#6 Turmeric

It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic attributes which are remarkable for combating allergies and other health issues.

#7 Garlic

Eaten every day, raw garlic will fight off all types of allergies since it enhances your immune system immensely.

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