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Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) Blood Test

The Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) Blood test measures the diphenhydramine levels in the blood.


Test Code: 808420

CPT Code: 80299

Also Known As: Dimenhydrinate; Nytol; Unisom; Antihistamine, Actifed®, Benadryl®

Methodology:

Liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS-MS)

Preparation:

No special preparation required.

Test Results:

8-10 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.


Test Code: 34002

CPT Code: 80299

Also Known As: Dimenhydrinate; Nytol; Unisom; Antihistamine, Actifed®, Benadryl®

Methodology:

High Performance Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)

Preparation:

No special preparation required.

Test Results:

8-10 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.

Description

This test measures the diphenhydramine drug levels in the blood to screen for potential overdose. Diphenhydramine is a type of antihistamine that helps treat allergy symptoms by preventing the effects of histamine, which is the chemical in the body released during an allergic reaction. Diphenhydramine can also treat hay fever symptoms, the common cold, and in some cases, motion sickness. Therefore, diphenhydramine is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter allergy and sleep medications, especially Benadryl.

Due to its usage to treat various medical conditions, diphenhydramine is one of the most abused medications in the US. The National Center for Health Statistics conducted a study in 2018 on drugs most frequently involved in drug overdose deaths in the US. It revealed that diphenhydramine overdoses accounted for approximately 3.2% of drug overdose deaths.

A diphenhydramine overdose may occur when an individual takes more than the recommended dose of this medication. In addition, an overdose can happen by accident or intentionally. Diphenhydramine can be harmful when consumed in large amounts and potentially life-threatening if not treated promptly.

Symptoms of a diphenhydramine overdose may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry, red skin
  • Inability to urinate
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Seizures
  • Tremor
  • Unsteadiness
  • Vomiting

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