Drug Interactions, Kratom Guides

Is It Safe to Mix Kratom & Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)?

Taking kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) and Benadryl (diphenhydramine) together is a dangerous mix. Although Benadryl can potentiate kratom (make it stronger), it may also lead to devastating consequences, including death.

Therefore, it’s best not to take these two substances together. Always ask your doctor about kratom if you’re using prescription medications. 

Last updated 4 weeks ago by Wade Paul

Is It Safe to Mix Kratom & Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)?

Does Kratom Interact with Benadryl?

Several case studies indicate that taking kratom and Benadryl can cause people to pass out. This appears to happen because of an agonistic interaction — a pharmacological term to describe the interaction between two substances that potentiate each other’s effects.

Kratom and Benadryl have similar effects on the body — especially in higher doses. Both substances inhibit brain activity and make us feel sleepy.

In lower doses, kratom has the opposite effect and may negate some of the drowsy side effects of Benadryl. However, getting the dose right is critical for this outcome.

Is it Safe to Take Kratom with Benadryl?

Some people purposefully take kratom with Benadryl because it potentiates the experience. This can be very dangerous, and it isn’t a good idea. If you’re determined to try the two together, speak to your doctor first.

Kratom and Benadryl are noted in a case report where the user died [1]. The 24-year-old had kratom, venlafaxine, diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and mirtazapine in his system.

In another study, multiple people died with diphenhydramine and kratom in their system [2]. Morphine was also usually present. Diphenhydramine is a CYP2D6 inhibitor, and this enzyme metabolizes kratom. This is one of the reasons why this combination is so dangerous [3].

The FDA tracks deaths that have any relation to kratom. They discovered at least two additional people who had died after taking kratom and Benadryl. 

California Poison Control also listed a case report where a user passed out and was unresponsive. He had taken Benadryl and kratom to help himself sleep. He was eventually revived but needed medical attention.

What is Benadryl?

Diphenhydramine —known by the trade name Benadryl —is an antihistamine created in 1946 by Johnson & Johnson.

It’s available over the counter, which means you won’t need a prescription to buy it.

In high doses, Benadryl is a powerful deliriant. Some users take it recreationally but be warned — the effects of high-dose Benadryl are not enjoyable. The delirium it induces is terrifying, chaotic, and long-lasting. Most people who take Benadryl for its psychoactive effects immediately regret it once it wears off.

What is Benadryl Used For?

As an antihistamine, Benadryl’s primary usage is relieving hay fever symptoms and allergies. It can also be used to treat the common cold and motion sickness.

Benadryl is NOT approved for usage in children under the age of 6.

Despite this, some people choose to give their children Benadryl if they can’t get to sleep. This practice is highly controversial and could lead to long-term harm. 

Benadryl Specifications

Drug NameDiphenhydramine
Trade NameBenadryl
Other Names (generics)Nytol, Banophen, Diphen, Diphenhist, Sleep Aid (diphenhydramine), Nighttime Sleep Aid (diphen), Wal-Sleep Z, Geri-Dryl
ClassificationAntihistamine
CYP MetabolismCYP2D6, CYP1A2, CYP2C9
Interaction with KratomAgonistic Interaction
Risk of InteractionHigh 

What’s the Dose of Benadryl?

The average dose of Benadryl is 25 – 50 mg for people over 12. This can be taken once every four to six hours or as directed by a doctor [4].

Children between the ages of 6 and 12 should stick with 25 mg, taken once every four to six hours or as directed by a doctor.

Children under the age of 6 should not take Benadryl for any reason. 

Generic & Brand Name Versions

Diphenhydramine is most commonly associated with Benadryl and is available in multiple forms. These include Benadryl Allergy, Benadryl Allergy Relief, Benadryl Topical, and Benadryl Cough Syrup.  

It is also sold as Nytol, Banophen, Diphen, Diphenhist, Sleep Aid (diphenhydramine), Nighttime Sleep Aid (diphen), Wal-Sleep Z, and Geri-Dryl.

What Are the Side Effects of Benadryl?

  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry throat/mouth/nose
  • Stomach upset

More serious side effects may include [4]:

  • Itching/swelling (throat, tongue, and face)
  • Rash
  • Severe dizziness
  • Trouble breathing

What is Kratom?

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is an evergreen tree that comes from Southeast Asia. It has been used for centuries as traditional medicine to relieve pain and fatigue.

What’s Kratom Used For?

Aside from its traditional uses, kratom can be used to prevent opioid withdrawal and for recreational purposes.

Other uses for kratom include:

What’s The Dose of Kratom?

Kratom can be taken in a dose that ranges from 2 – 12 grams. You should be careful taking more than 6 – 8 grams. If you’re a beginner, definitely stick with a low dose. 

  • Low-Dose Kratom (2 – 6 grams of dried powder)
  • High-Dose Kratom (6 – 12 grams of dried powder)

Also see: How Long Should I Wait Between Kratom Doses?

What are the Side Effects of Kratom?

When taken within the dose range and properly spacing the doses, kratom is relatively safe and will not cause severe adverse effects. However, everyone is different, and some bodies might be more sensitive to kratom than others.

The most common side effects of kratom include:

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Using Kratom Safely

What are the Different Types of Kratom?

Kratom is available in four different strains. There is some controversy over the fourth strain (yellow or gold), though, as it doesn’t grow in nature. Instead, it’s been created by kratom cultivators. 

  • White Vein Kratom —Believed to be the most stimulating option. Suitable for breakfast time.
  • Red Vein Kratom —More sedating and relaxing than other strains. Good for sleep support and pain.
  • Green Vein Kratom —Stimulating but provides more prolonged effects than the white strain.
  • Yellow Vein Kratom —Mimics the effects of green vein kratom. Good for a burst of energy.

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Mix Kratom & Benadryl?

Case studies make it clear that Benadryl and kratom shouldn’t be mixed. However, if you’re determined to do so anyway, it’s best to consult with a medical professional first.

It’s also a good idea to take kratom while in the presence of another person. That way, if something bad happens when you mix these two substances, someone will be present to call for help.

References

  1. McIntyre, I. M., Trochta, A., Stolberg, S., & Campman, S. C. (2015). Mitragynine ‘Kratom Related fatality: a case report with postmortem concentrations. Journal of analytical toxicology, 39(2), 152-155.
  2. Afzal, H., Esang, M., & Rahman, S. (2020). A case of kratom-induced seizures. Cureus, 12(1).
  3. Hamelin BA et al. Significant interaction between the nonprescription antihistamine diphenhydramine and the CYP2D6 substrate metoprolol in healthy menwith high or low CYP2D6 activity. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2000 May 67 466477
  4. Sicari, V., & Zabbo, C. P. (2021). Diphenhydramine. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

Learn More About Kratom-Drug Interactions