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- Instructions for use
- Hydroxyzine for anxiety
- Hydroxyzine for sleep
- Hydroxyzine for allergies
- Hydroxyzine side effects, warnings and interactions
- Hydroxyzine and blood pressure
- Warnings about hydroxyzine
Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine. Usually it is used for itching or for hives. It is also used to control nausea and vomiting, to help sleep, as well as for other indications. You can feel its action in less than an hour.
Instructions for use
As a rule, Hydroxyzine is used three times a day. It is possible that your pharmacist has indicated a different schedule that is more appropriate for you. Usually it is used only as needed.
It is not recommended to chew, crush or open the capsule of Hydroxyzine, as it tastes bad. It is important to respect the dosage indicated on the label. Do not use more, or more often than indicated.
Hydroxyzine can be taken with or without food, regardless of meals or snacks. Avoid taking grapefruit or grapefruit juice during your entire treatment. Grapefruit can significantly change the effect of Hydroxyzine.
Taking alcohol can increase the effect of Hydroxyzine. It is therefore recommended to avoid taking alcohol or products that contain it while you are using Atarax.
In addition to its desired effects, Atarax may occasionally cause certain undesirable effects (side effects), including :
- it can make the mouth dry
- it can cause headaches
- it can cause diarrhea
- it can cause dizziness or make you fall asleep - be careful before getting behind the wheel
- it can cause unusual fatigue
Each person can react differently to a treatment. If you believe that Atarax is the cause of a problem that bothers you, whether it is mentioned here or not, discuss it with your healthcare professional. They can help you determine if your treatment is indeed the cause and, if necessary, help you manage the situation properly.
Like most medicines, you should keep Hydroxyzine at room temperature. Keep it in a safe place where it will not be exposed to heat, moisture or sunlight. Have any quantity that you have left after its expiration date destroyed in a safe way.
What is hydroxyzine?
Hydroxyzine is a prescription antihistamine that is used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Antihistamines - including hydroxyzine - work by decreasing the effects of histamine. Histamine is a chemical substance in your body that produces an allergic reaction.
Even though many antihistamines are available over the counter (which means you can buy them without a prescription), Atarax is a prescription drug.
Hydroxyzine for anxiety
In addition to being an antihistamine, hydroxyzine is also a serotonin antagonist, which means that it acts in a similar way to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are another type of medication that can be used to treat anxiety. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps to balance your mood and has an impact on feelings of optimism, satisfaction, contentment and general well-being. Hydroxyzine increases the amount of serotonin in your brain by preventing it from being reabsorbed into neurons.
When taken for anxiety, the dosage of Atarax is usually divided into several doses per day. Adults usually take 50 to 100 mg, four times a day, although some people may need higher doses to relieve their symptoms. The maximum recommended dose for children under 6 years of age does not exceed 50 mg per day.
Although you can take hydroxyzine with or without food, if you find that taking it without food bothers your stomach, you may want to try taking it with food. Hydroxyzine can be taken daily at regular times or as needed. Your doctor, prescribing nurse or healthcare professional will tell you when and how often to take this medicine—as well as the maximum amount that can be taken per day.
Hydroxyzine for sleep
Hydroxyzine is sometimes also prescribed to relieve sleep disorders or insomnia. Just as other antihistamines—such as Benadryl—can make you sleepy when you take them, hydroxyzine works in the same way.
Although the recommended dosage of Atarax for sleep varies depending on your age and your body's reaction to the drug, the typical dose for adults ranges from 25 to 100 mg. This should be taken before bedtime and can be taken with or without food. Your doctor or mental health professional will work with you to determine the right dose for your needs.
Hydroxyzine for allergies
Because it is an antihistamine, Benadryl-hydroxyzine is sometimes prescribed to relieve the symptoms of allergic reactions. However, hydroxyzine and Benadryl should not be used together.
Hydroxyzine usually helps relieve skin symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as itching or hives. Benadryl, on the other hand, usually helps with red/watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose.
Hydroxyzine side effects, warnings and interactions
Side effects of hydroxyzine
Common side effects of hydroxyzine include:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
- Urinary retention
Rare or serious side effects of hydroxyzine include:
- Allergic reaction to the drug, even though the drug is usually taken to reduce allergic reactions (symptoms of which could include: difficulty breathing, hives and swelling of the lips, tongue or face)
- Increased heart rate and/or abnormal heart rhythm
- Priapism (erection lasting more than 4 hours)
- Skin rash
Hydroxyzine and blood pressure
In some cases, hydroxyzine can cause low blood pressure. Although this side effect was not noted in the first clinical trials before its approval by the FDA, it has since been reported.
Interactions with hydroxyzine
Hydroxyzine and alcohol
You should not drink alcohol while you are taking hydroxyzine. As with many medications, alcohol can increase the negative side effects—such as sedation—and decrease the benefits. Alcohol can also impair both judgment and memory, which can lead to an accidental overdose if you unknowingly take a higher dose of hydroxyzine than prescribed.
Symptoms of a hydroxyzine overdose include:
- Decreased coordination
- Difficulty urinating
- Dry mouth
- Rapid heartbeat
- Slowed reflexes
Warnings about hydroxyzine
Hydroxyzine and pregnancy
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, it is important that you discuss your anxiety or insomnia treatment plan with your doctor. As a rule, hydroxyzine should not be taken during the first trimester of pregnancy or just before or during labor. However, it can be taken in the second and third trimesters.
Taking hydroxyzine during breastfeeding is not recommended. This is because the medicine can be transmitted to your baby through breast milk.