Ten female inmates from the Maine Correctional Women’s Center in Windham were treated at hospital Monday evening after taking an excessive amount of Benadryl, the Maine Department of Corrections said.

The women were taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland around 5:45 p.m., Corrections Commissioner Randall Liberty said in an email Monday night.

Liberty said that Benadryl, an over-the-counter medicine used primarily for treating colds, is authorized in small amounts to medium level offenders.

“They can purchase the cold medicine through their commissary purchases,” Liberty said. “This was non-life threatening and they are being returned to the facility now.”

Liberty told News Center Maine (WCSH-TV) that the inmates took more medicine that what had been prescribed. He said the women confessed to taking the medicine. There was no explanation offered as to why so many prisoners took the medicine at the same time.

Benadryl – its generic name is diphenhydramine – is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever and the common cold. It can also be used to help someone relax and fall asleep.

The prison is located off River Road in Windham.



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