Common Brand Name(s): Atarax
Important: How To Use This Information
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Hydroxyzine is used for the short-term treatment of nervousness and tension that may occur with certain mental/mood disorders (e.g., anxiety, dementia). It is also used to help manage withdrawal symptoms (e.g., anxiety, agitation) in alcoholics. Other uses include helping to decrease anxiety and nausea before/after surgery or during childbirth or helping certain narcotic pain relievers (e.g., meperidine) work better.
Hydroxyzine belongs to a class of medications called antihistamines. It is thought to work by affecting certain natural substances (acetylcholine, serotonin) in your body or by acting directly on certain parts of the brain. Hydroxyzine also blocks a natural substance that your body makes during an allergic reaction (histamine).
How To Use
This medication is given by injection into a muscle as directed by your doctor. Dosage is based on your age, weight, medical condition, and response to treatment.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
Drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth, constipation, or headache may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To relieve dry mouth, suck on sugarless hard candy or ice chips, chew sugarless gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
- mental/mood changes (e.g., worsening anxiety, confusion, hallucinations)
- shaking (tremor)
- trouble urinating
- vision changes
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including:
- fast/irregular heartbeat
- severe dizziness
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
- itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat)
- severe dizziness
- trouble breathing
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using hydroxyzine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to cetirizine; or to levocetirizine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
- breathing problems (e.g., asthma, emphysema)
- a certain eye problem (glaucoma)
- high blood pressure
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- stomach/intestine problems (e.g., ulcer, blockage)
- overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
- urination problems (e.g., due to enlarged prostate, urinary retention)
Hydroxyzine may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using hydroxyzine, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions:
- certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG)
- family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death)
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using hydroxyzine safely.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
To reduce dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, confusion, constipation, trouble urinating or QT prolongation (see above). Drowsiness and confusion can increase the risk of falling.
Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to its effects. In young children, this drug may cause agitation/excitement instead of drowsiness.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include:
- anticholinergics (e.g., trihexyphenidyl)
- antispasmodics (e.g., atropine, belladonna alkaloids)
- MAO inhibitors (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, safinamide, selegiline, tranylcypromine)
- tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline)
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or other antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine, promethazine).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (allergy skin tests, urine corticosteroids), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe dizziness/drowsiness.
Do not share this medication with others.
Do not use for several days before allergy testing because test results can be affected.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised November 2019.
Copyright(c) 2019 First Databank, Inc.
Conditions of use: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information in not intend to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects nor should it be construed in indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.