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Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
Legal Status
by Erowid
U.S. FEDERAL LAW #
Caution :   All legal information should be verified through other sources. [see below]
U.S. FEDERAL LEGAL SUMMARY
Diphenhydramine
REGULATED
Yes
STATUS
Over-The-Counter
SCHEDULE
Un-Scheduled
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is unscheduled in the United States. It is sold over-the-counter as an approved drug and is legal to buy, possess, and ingest without a license or prescription. Sales for human consumption are regulated by the FDA and each formulation or product requires specific FDA approval.

INTERNATIONAL LAW #
Australia #
Diphenhydramine is widely available over-the-counter in Australia. (unconfirmed) (thanks MP)
Austria #
Diphenhydramine is widely available over-the-counter in Austria, common brand name Calmaben (50 mg tablets). (thanks FK) (last update Feb 8 2016)
Belgium #
Diphenhydramine is widely available over-the-counter in Belgium, brand name Nustasium, in flat tablets (50 mg each). (unconfirmed) (thanks G) (last updated Aug 24 2010)
Brazil #
Diphenhydramine is reportedly a prescription medicine that one visitor tells us is sold at almost all pharmacies without a prescription needed. Diphenhydramine is not scheduled but is only approved for selling in pharmacies with associations, meds can be OTC or prescription only depending on concentration in a given form. As a pure drug, it is restricted to hospital environment as IV or IM injections. See http://www.anvisa.gov.br/medicamentos/validados/tb_ntvisa.htm. Commonly available, non-prescription products include chewable tablets, pills, and syrups. Most contain acetaminophen, guaifenesin, ammonium chloride, trisodium citrate, etc. (thanks r) (last updated Nov 20, 2012)
Bulgaria #
Diphenhydramine is widely available over-the-counter in Bulgaria, brand names include Calmaben (coated tablets, 50mg each) and APAP Night (coated tablets, 500 mg paracetamol and 25mg diphenhydramine). (unconfirmed) (thanks m) (last updated Nov 7 2014)
Canada #
Diphenhydramine is widely available over-the-counter in Canada. (thanks to AJS)
Germany #
Diphenhydramine is widely available over-the-counter in Germany. (thanks to BF) (last updated Apr 9 2007)
New Zealand #
Diphenhydramine and dimenhydrinate are controlled under the "Sedating Antihistamines" category and are restricted to pharmacy sales and prescriptions. See www.medsafe.govt.nz/downloads/mcc33SedatingAntihistamines.doc. (thanks R) (last updated Feb 16 2011)
South Africa #
Widely available over-the-counter in South Africa, brand name "Betasleep". Each Betasleep capsule contains 50 mg Diphenhydramine. It is a schedule 2 drug according to the South African classification system. The package insert gives no warning of hallucination on overdose. (unconfirmed) (thanks FP) (last updated May 29 2007)
United Kingdom (Britain, U.K., UK) #
Diphenhydramine is widely available over-the-counter, but is not normally sold to people under 16, although is often sold if the purchaser does not look suspicious even if under age. (thanks pf, DP) (last updated Mar 23 2011)
Zambia #
Diphenhydramine is a controlled substance in Zambia and the US State Department warns "The Zambian Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has detained a number of U.S. citizens for possession of antihistamines such as Benadryl and other over-the-counter medications, which contained small quantities of diphenhydramine, an active ingredient that is on Zambia’s list of controlled substances. Although unaware of these restrictions, U.S. citizens have been charged with drug-trafficking offenses, had their passports confiscated, and have been jailed. " http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1062.html (thanks l) (last updated Oct 23 2013)
Diphenhydramine is sold over-the-counter without prescription in most countries where it is available. Zambia stands out as a country to avoid bringing over the counter medications to.
If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other country, please let us know.

CAUTION & DISCLAIMER #
Erowid legal information is a summary of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, websites, and other resources. We are not lawyers and can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided here. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but laws are complex and constantly changing. Laws may also vary from one jurisdiction to another (county, state, country, etc)...this list is not comprehensive.