Benadryl / diphenhydramine HCl products with the fewest additives.

Diphenhydramine HCl (hydrochloride) is the active ingredient in regular Benadryl, and is useful as an antihistamine and sleep aid. However, manufacturers commonly include questionable additives in their diphenhydramine HCl products, so I've created a comparison below.

I treat products for sleep and allergy relief equivalently, since they're share the same active ingredient, usually in similar amounts.

Best option I've found for avoiding as many additives as possible:

Photo of Walgreens Dye-Free Wal-Dryl Allergy Relief (Liquigels)
Walgreens Dye-Free Wal-Dryl Allergy Relief (Liquigels)
Available on Walgreens.com
Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • titanium dioxide-free
  • talc-free
  • no artificial colors
Negatives:
  • contains PEG (polythylene glycol)
All ingredients:

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: gelatin, glycerin, polyethylene glycol, purified water, sorbitol.

Other good options:

Benadryl Allergy Dye-Free (Liquigels)
Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • titanium dioxide-free
  • talc-free
  • no artificial colors
Negatives:
  • contains PEG (polythylene glycol)
All ingredients:

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: gelatin, glycerin, polyethylene glycol, purified water, and sorbitol. Capsules are imprinted with edible dye-free ink.

Rite Aid Maximum Strength Sleep Aid (LiquiCaps)
Available on riteaid.com
Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • titanium dioxide-free
  • talc-free
Negatives:
  • contains PEG (polythylene glycol)
  • uses artificial colors
All ingredients:

50 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: edible white ink, FD&C blue 1, gelatin, glycerin, polyethylene glycol, purified water and sorbitol special.

Safeway Maximum Strength Sleep Aid (Liquicaps)
Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • titanium dioxide-free
  • talc-free
Negatives:
  • contains PEG (polythylene glycol)
  • uses artificial colors
All ingredients:

50 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: edible white ink, FD&C blue #1, gelatin, glycerin, polyethylene glycol, purified water, sorbitol special.

Sleepinal (Gelatin Capsules)
Positives:
  • silica-free / silicon-dioxide-free
  • titanium dioxide-free
  • PEG (polythylene glycol)-free
Negatives:
  • contains talc
  • uses artificial colors
All ingredients:

50 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: FD&C blue 1, gelatin, lactose, magnesium stearate, talc.


Ingredient information for other products:

The following are some of the other products I gathered ingredient data on, sorted alphabetically. I went through hundreds of products when researching this page using the NIH's DailyMed (among others), so check there if you're curious about a products that might be available in your local store.

Name Ingredients
7 Select (7-Eleven Store Brand) Allergy (Tablets)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, crospovidone, FD&C red 27 aluminum lake, dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, pregelatinized starch, stearic acid, titanium dioxide.

Alka Seltzer Plus (Tablets)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, D&C red #27, dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, talc, titanium dioxide.

Benadryl Allergy KAPGELS (Gelcaps, Discontinued)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: benzyl alcohol, butylparaben, carboxymethylcellulose sodium, crospovidone, FD&C red 28, dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, edetate calcium disodium, FD&C red #40, gelatin, hypromellose, iron oxide, magnesium stearate, methylparaben, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, propylparaben, red iron oxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium propionate, titanium dioxide, yellow iron oxide.

Benadryl Allergy Ultratabs (Mini Tablets)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients (formulation #1): carnauba wax, crospovidone, FD&C red 27 aluminum lake, dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, pregelatinized starch, stearic acid, titanium dioxide.

Inactive igredients (formulation #2): carnauba wax, croscarmellose sodium, FD&C red 27 aluminum lake, dibasic calcium phosphate, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, titanium dioxide.

Benadryl Children's Allergy (Cherry-Flavored Liquid)

12.5 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: anhydrous citric acid, FD&C red 33, FD&C red 40, flavors, glycerin, monoammonium glycyrrhizinate, poloxamer 407, purified water, sodium benzoate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sucrose.

Benadryl Children's Dye-Free Allergy (Bubblegum-Flavored Liquid, Currently Unavailable)

12.5 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: anhydrous citric acid, carboxymethylcellulose sodium, flavors, glycerin, purified water, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate, sodium citrate, sorbitol solution.

CVS Allergy (Capsules)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: black iron oxide, D&C red 28, D&C red 33, FD&C blue 1, FD&C red 40, FD&C yellow 6, gelatin, lactose, magnesium stearate, methylparaben, polysorbate 80, pregelatinized starch, propylparaben, silicon dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate.

Dimetapp Children's Nighttime Cold & Congestion (Liquid)

6.25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose (also includes 2.5 phenylephrine HCl as a decongestant).

Inactive ingredients: anhydrous citric acid, artificial flavor, FD&C blue 1 (CI 42090), FD&C red 40 (CI 16035), glycerin, propyl gallate, propylene glycol, water (purified), sodium benzoate, sodium citrate, sorbitol solution, sucralose.

Equate (Walmart Store Brand) Allergy Relief (Tablets)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, crospovidone, FD&C red 27 aluminum lake, dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, pregelatinized starch, stearic acid, titanium dioxide.

Equate (Walmart Store Brand) Nighttime Sleep Aid (Mini Caplets)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, crospovidone, dibasic calcium phosphate, FD&C blue 1 lake, FD&C blue 2 lake, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, starch, stearic acid, titanium dioxide.

Family Dollar Allergy Relief (Capsules)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: butylparaben, corn starch, D&C red #28, edible ink, FD&C blue #1, FD&C red #40, gelatin, lactose, magnesium stearate, methylparaben, propylparaben, polysorbate 80, silica gel.

Guardian Dye-Free Children's Allergy Relief (Liquid, Bubblegum Flavor)

12.5 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: carboxymethylcellulose, sodium, citric acid, flavors, glycerin, purified water, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate, sorbitol.

Kirkland Signature (Costco Store Brand) Allergy Medicine (Mini Tablets)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: corn starch, D&C red #27 aluminum lake, dicalcium phosphate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, silicon dioxide, stearic acid, talc, titanium dioxide.

Kroger (AKA King Soopers) Allergy (Liquid)

12.5 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: anhydrous citric acid, D&C red #33, FD&C red #40, flavor, glycerin, high fructose corn syrup, poloxamer 407, purified water, sodium benzoate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sorbitol solution.

Meijer Maximum Strength Sleep Aid (LiquiCaps)

50 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: edible white ink, FD&C blue #1, gelatin, glycerin, light mineral oil (may contain) polyethylene glycol, purified water, sorbitol-sorbitan.

Publix Allergy (Capsules)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose, benzyl alcohol, butylparaben, D&C red no. 28, edetate calcium disodium, edible ink, FD&C blue no. 1, FD&C red no. 40, gelatin, magnesium stearate, methylparaben, polysorbate 80, propylparaben, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium propionate.

Safeway Allergy Relief (Capsules)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: butylparaben, corn starch, D&C red #28, edible ink, FD&C blue #1, FD&C red #40, gelatin, lactose, magnesium stearate, methylparaben, polysorbate 80, propylparaben, silica gel.

Simply Right / Member's Mark (Sam's Club Store Brand) Allergy Relief (Tablets)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, crospovidone, D&C red 27 aluminum lake, dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, pregelatinized starch, stearic acid, titanium dioxide.

Simply Sleep (From the Makers of Tylenol PM) Sleep Aid (Mini Caplets)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, dibasic calcium phosphate, FD&C blue 1, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, polyetheylene glycol, polysorbate 80, titanium dioxide.

Smart Sense (Kmart Store Brand) Allergy Relief Antihistamine (Capsules)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: benzyl alcohol, butylparaben, D&C red 28, D&C yellow 10, edetate calcium disodium, edible ink, FD&C blue 1, FD&C blue 2, FD&C red 40, gelatin, lactose, magnesium stearate, methylparaben, polysorbate 80, propylparaben, silicon dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium propionate.

Sominex Original Formula Nighttime Sleep Aid (Tablets)

50 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: dibasic calcium phosphate, FD&C blue 1 (CI 42090), magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, silicon dioxide, starch.

Unisom SleepGels Nighttime Sleep Aid (Softgels)

50 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: FD&C blue 1, gelatin, glycerin, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl acetate phthalate, propylene glycol, sorbitol, titanium dioxide, water.

Up & Up (Target Store Brand) Nighttime Sleep Aid (Mini Caplets)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: corn starch, dicalcium phosphate, FD&C blue #1 aluminum lake, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, silica gel, stearic acid, talc, titanium dioxide.

Walgreens Nighttime Sleep Aid (Mini Capsules)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: corn starch, dicalcium phosphate, FD&C blue 1 aluminum lake, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, silica gel, stearic acid, talc, titanium dioxide.

Walgreens Sleep II Nighttime Sleep Aid (Tablets)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, dicalcium phosphate, FD&C blue 1 aluminum lake, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, silicon dioxide, stearic acid.

Walgreens Wal-Dryl Allergy Relief (Coated Mini Tablets)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: cornstarch, FD&C red 27 aluminum lake, dicalcium phosphate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl alcohol, silicon dioxide, stearic acid, talc, titanium dioxide.

Walgreens Wal-Sleep Z Sleep Aid (Softgels)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: FD&C blue 1, FD&C red 40, gelatin, glycerin, methylparaben, polyethylene glycol, propylparaben, purified water, sorbitol, titanium dioxide.

ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep Aid (LiquiCaps)

25 mg diphenhydramine HCl per dose.

Inactive ingredients: FD&C blue 1, FD&C red 40, gelatin, glycerin, polyethylene glycol, purified water, sorbitol sorbitan solution, titanium dioxide.


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