For Dialysis patients, leading a healthy and normal life is nearly impossible. Itching, anxiety, allergies, common cold (due to low immune system), and insomnia are just a few of the side effects associated with Dialysis for which Chronic Kidney Disease patients must contend. In the Chronic Kidney Disease Community one medicine, Benadryl, has largely suppressed these complications and allowed Dialysis patients to maintain a higher quality of health for a longer time. However, Consumer Reports and studies are now suggesting that long-term use of the drug is not safe, and Chronic Kidney Disease patients may be at risk.
A patient asked, "I’ve been using Benadryl regularly for years. How unhealthy or serious of an issue is this?" In response, expert Dr. Lisa Shives said, "One of Benadryl's (Diphenhydramine’s) side effects is sleepiness, but other side effects include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, increased chest congestion, headache, muscle weakness, and nervousness."
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To be clear, typically taking Benadryl on occasion is safe with your Nephrologist's recommendation. However, daily or consistent use of the medication for extended periods of time may lead to Low Blood Pressure, heart palpitations, serious heart complications, confusion, and increased Dementia risk.
Further, if patients continue to take the drug frequently, then they may physically need more and more of it to receive the desired result. If dosages are increased, then the risks and side effects may also increase. Some Chronic Kidney Disease patients may already be experiencing this problem. Finally, there is the potential of a psychological addiction, meaning that a patient has been using Benadryl as a "lifestyle crutch" for so long that they no longer know how to function without it.
Hence, while those with Chronic Kidney Disease who utilize Benadryl should not stop using the drug "cold turkey," they may consider discussing gradually lowering the dose and use of Benadryl over time with their Healthcare Team to avoid long-term complications. "Patients who actively participate in their medical care — including understanding their medicines — usually come out ahead when it comes to feeling their best," noted DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.
The mission of KidneyBuzz.com is to teach those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives. Therefore, print this article and share it with your Healthcare Team if you believe that you are utilizing Benadryl frequently. Moreover, Like the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page (nearly 32,000 Friends) so you do not miss any of the latest breaking news and information. While you are there, share tricks you have learned to better manage your lifestyle with Chronic Kidney Disease and/or Dialysis.