Hydroxyzine (patient information)
Why this medication is prescribed
Hydroxyzine is used to relieve the itching caused by allergies and to control the nausea and vomiting caused by various conditions, including motion sickness. It is also used for anxiety and to treat the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How this medication should be used
Hydroxyzine comes in capsules, tablets, a syrup, and suspension to take by mouth. It usually is taken three or four times a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take hydroxyzine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the suspension (Vistaril) well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
Do not give this medication to children less than 12 years of age unless a doctor directs you to do so.
Before taking hydroxyzine:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to hydroxyzine or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antihistamines; medications for colds, allergies, or hay fever; medications for depression or seizures; muscle relaxants; narcotics (pain medications); sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; and vitamins.
- 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.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking hydroxyzine.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
What to do if you forget a dose
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Minor side effects
Hydroxyzine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- dry mouth, nose, and throat
- upset stomach
- chest congestion
- reddening of skin
Severe side effects
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing
- muscle weakness
- increased anxiety
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Storage conditions needed for this medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
- Atarax® Syrup