What is hydroxyzine?

By

Generic Name: Hydroxyzine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is hydroxyzine used for?

Hydroxyzine is used to treat itching caused by allergies. It is an antihistamine and works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. Hydroxyzine may also be used short-term to treat anxiety or to help you feel sleepy/relaxed before and after surgery.

How should I take hydroxyzine?

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually three or four times daily. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. In children, the dosage may also be based on weight. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than directed.

Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

How do I store hydroxyzine?

Hydroxyzine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store hydroxyzine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of hydroxyzine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush hydroxyzine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using hydroxyzine?

Before taking hydroxyzine,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to hydroxyzine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in hydroxyzine tablets, capsules, syrup, or suspension. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, vitamin A, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antihistamines; medications for colds, allergies, or hay fever; medications for depression or seizures; muscle relaxants; narcotics (pain medications); sedatives; sleeping pills; and tranquilizers. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma, glaucoma, ulcers, difficulty urinating (due to an enlarged prostate gland), heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, seizures, or an overactive thyroid gland.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking hydroxyzine, call your doctor.
  • talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking hydroxyzine if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take hydroxyzine because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking hydroxyzine.
  • you should know that this medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  • ask your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while you are taking this medication. Alcohol can make the side effects of hydroxyzine worse.

Is it safe to take hydroxyzine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category C according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of hydroxyzine?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using hydroxyzine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck;
  • tremor (uncontrolled shaking);
  • confusion;
  • seizure (convulsions).
  • Less serious side effects may include:
  • dizziness, drowsiness;
  • blurred vision, dry mouth;

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with hydroxyzine?

Hydroxyzine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Before using hydroxyzine, tell your doctor if you regularly use other medicines that make you sleepy (such as cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression, or anxiety). They can add to sleepiness caused by this medicine.

Does food or alcohol interact with hydroxyzine?

Hydroxyzine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with hydroxyzine?

Hydroxyzine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • Asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problem;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Heart disease or high blood pressure;
  • Stomach ulcer, blockage in your stomach or intestines;
  • Thyroid disorder;
  • Enlarged prostate or problems with urination;
  • Liver disease;
  • Kidney disease.

Understand the Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of Hydroxyzine for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Anxiety: 50 to 100 mg orally or by intramuscular injection 4 times a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Pruritus: For pruritus due to an allergic condition (chronic urticaria, atopic and contact dermatoses, or histamine mediated pruritus): 25 mg orally or by intramuscular injection 3 to 4 times a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Sedation: Before and after general anesthesia: 50 to 100 mg orally or by intramuscular injection.

Usual Adult Dose for Pain: 25 to 100 mg by intramuscular injection pre- or postoperatively or postpartum.

Usual Adult Dose for Nausea/Vomiting: 25 to 100 mg by intramuscular injection pre- or postoperatively or postpartum.

What is the dose of Hydroxyzine for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Sedation: As a sedative when used as a premedication and following general anesthesia:
oral: 0.6 mg/kg/dose
intramuscular: 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/dose

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anxiety: For symptomatic relief of anxiety and tension associated with psychoneurosis and as an adjunct in organic disease states in which anxiety is manifested and in the management of pruritus due to allergic conditions such as chronic urticaria and atopic and contact dermatoses, and in histamine mediated pruritus:
less than 6 years of age:
50 mg orally per day in divided doses
6 years and older:
50 to 100 mg orally per day in divided doses
Alternative dosing:
Oral: 2 mg/kg/day divided every 6 to 8 hours
Intramuscular: 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/dose every 4 to 6 hours as needed

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pruritus: For symptomatic relief of anxiety and tension associated with psychoneurosis and as an adjunct in organic disease states in which anxiety is manifested and in the management of pruritus due to allergic conditions such as chronic urticaria and atopic and contact dermatoses, and in histamine mediated pruritus:
less than 6 years of age:
50 mg orally per day in divided doses
6 years and older:
50 to 100 mg orally per day in divided doses
Alternative dosing:
Oral: 2 mg/kg/day divided every 6 to 8 hours
Intramuscular: 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/dose every 4 to 6 hours as needed

Usual Pediatric Dose for Nausea/Vomiting: intramuscular: 1.1 mg/kg/dose

How is hydroxyzine available?

Hydroxyzine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Capsule, Oral, as pamoate: 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg
Solution, Intramuscular, as hydrochloride: 25 mg/mL (1 mL), 50 mg/mL (1 mL, 2 mL, 10 mL)
Solution, Oral, as hydrochloride: 10 mg/5 mL (473 mL)
Syrup, Oral, as hydrochloride: 10 mg/5 mL (118 mL, 473 mL)
Tablet, Oral, as hydrochloride: 10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of hydroxyzine , take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

Want to live your best life?
Get the Hello Doktor Daily newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.
You might also like