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Antipruritic (On the skin)

Treats itchy skin caused by psoriasis, seborrhea, dandruff, or other conditions. Some forms of this medicine treat scaling and dry skin, which may cause itching.

Brand Name(s):

AmLactin, Amlactin Distribution Pack, Anti-Itch, Anti-Itch Cream, Aveeno Anti-Itch, Balnetar, Banophen, Benadryl, Benadryl Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream, Benadryl Itch Relief Stick, Benadryl Itch Stopping Gel, Calagel, Caldyphen Clear, DHS Tar, DHS Tar Gel Shampoo

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients.

How to Use This Medicine:

Oil, Spray, Shampoo, Soap, Liquid, Gel/Jelly, Ointment, Cream, Lotion

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • If you are using this medicine with a prescription, the medicine might come with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • This medicine is for use on your skin only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away. Some forms of this medicine should not be used on your face, genitals, or rectum. If you are not sure what body areas you can use this medicine on, ask your pharmacist.
  • For the cream, soap, oil, liquid, lotion, ointment, or gel: Apply a thin layer of the medicine to the affected area. Rub it in gently. You might need to shake the liquid medicine before you use it.
  • To use the shampoo: Wet your hair and scalp thoroughly with water. Work the shampoo into a lather and gently massage it over your whole scalp for 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse your hair thoroughly. Wash your hair again and leave the shampoo on your scalp for another 3 to 5 minutes. Use at least twice a week for best results, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Do not use the spray near heat or open flame, or while smoking.

If a dose is missed:

  • Apply a dose as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and apply a regular dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Ask your pharmacist or doctor how to dispose of the medicine container and any leftover or expired medicine.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not put cosmetics or skin care products on the treated skin.
  • Ask your doctor before you start taking any oral medicine while you are using this topical medicine. This includes non-prescription (over-the-counter) medicines.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you are allergic to preservatives or dyes.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse. Let your doctor know if your symptoms go away but come back again within a few days.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat a skin problem your doctor has not examined.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Stinging or burning on your skin.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Rash.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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