Vistaril

By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel

Uses

What is Vistaril® (hydroxyzine) used for?

Vistaril® reduces activity in the central nervous system. It also acts as an antihistamine that reduces the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of itching, or hives on the skin.

Vistaril® is used as a sedative to treat anxiety and tension. It is also used together with other medications given during and after general anesthesia.

Vistaril® is also used to treat allergic skin reactions such as hives or contact dermatitis.

How should I take Vistaril® (hydroxyzine)?

Take Vistaril® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Vistaril® is for short-term use only.

You should not take Vistaril® for longer than 4 months. Call your doctor if your anxiety symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

How do I store Vistaril® (hydroxyzine)?

Vistaril® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Vistaril® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Vistaril® 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 Vistaril® 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.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Vistaril® (hydroxyzine)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Vistaril® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

You should not use Vistaril® if:

  • You have long QT syndrome.
  • You are allergic to cetirizine (Zyrtec) or levocetirizine (Xyzal).
  • You are pregnant, especially during the first or second trimester. Hydroxyzine could harm the unborn baby or cause birth defects. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Vistaril® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Vistaril®. Vistaril® is pregnancy risk category N, 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

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Vistaril® (hydroxyzine)?

Common side effects may include:

Stop using Vistaril® and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Fast or pounding heartbeats
  • Headache with chest pain
  • Severe dizziness
  • Fainting
  • A seizure (convulsions)

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Vistaril®: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, Vistaril® may cause a severe skin reaction. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have sudden skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes white or yellow pustules, blistering, or peeling.

Side effects such as drowsiness and confusion may be more likely in older adults.

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.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Vistaril® (hydroxyzine)?

Vistaril® 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.

Does food or alcohol interact with Vistaril® (hydroxyzine)?

Vistaril® 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 Vistaril® (hydroxyzine)?

Vistaril® 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.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines)
  • Bladder obstruction or other urination problems
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart disease
  • Slow heartbeats
  • Personal or family history of long QT syndrome
  • An electrolyte imbalance (such as high or low levels of potassium in your blood)
  • A heart attack

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Vistaril® (hydroxyzine).

What is the dose of Vistaril® (hydroxyzine) for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Anxiety:

Oral: The recommended dose is 50 to 100 mg 4 times a day.

IM: The recommended dose is 50 to 100 mg immediately, then every 4 to 6 hours as needed.

Usual Adult Dose for Pruritus:

Oral: The recommended dose is 25 mg 3 or 4 times a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Sedation:

Oral: The recommended dose is 50 to 100 mg orally.

IM: The recommended dose is 25 to 100 mg.

Usual Adult Dose for Nausea/Vomiting:

IM: The recommended dose is 25 to 100 mg.

What is the dose of Vistaril® (hydroxyzine) for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Sedation:

Oral: The recommended dose is 0.6 mg/kg.

IM: The recommended dose is 0.5 mg/lb of body weight.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Anxiety:

Under Age 6:

Oral: The recommended dose is 50 mg/day in divided doses.

Age 6 and Over:

Oral: The recommended dose is 50 to 100 mg per day in divided doses.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pruritus:

Under Age 6:

Oral: The recommended dose is 50 mg/day in divided doses.

Age 6 and Over:

Oral: The recommended dose is 50 to 100 mg per day in divided doses.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Nausea/Vomiting:

IM: The recommended dose is 0.5 mg/lb of body weight.

How is Vistaril® (hydroxyzine) available?

Vistaril® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Capsules and oral suspension: hydroxyzine pamoate 25mg

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 Vistaril®, 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.

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Review Date: July 14, 2017 | Last Modified: December 19, 2019

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