Massive diphenhydramine overdose resulting in death

Ann Emerg Med. 1982 Apr;11(4):212-3. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(82)80501-5.


Overdosage of diphenhydramine may result in the development of anticholinergic symptoms, seizures, and coma. A fatal outcome following a diphenhydramine overdose does not commonly occur. This report describes the largest documented overdosage of diphenhydramine (7.5 g) which resulted in the death of a 14-year-old girl. The patient initially developed seizures following by cardiac conduction and hemodynamic compromise resulting in death despite life support measures.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / chemically induced
  • Diphenhydramine / poisoning*
  • Female
  • Gastric Lavage
  • Heart Arrest / therapy
  • Humans
  • Resuscitation
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Suicide*


  • Diphenhydramine