Why is this medication 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.
How should this medicine be used?
Hydroxyzine comes as 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.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
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.
- 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.
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.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I 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.
What side effects can this medication cause?
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
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing
- muscle weakness
- increased anxiety
Hydroxyzine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
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/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
What should I know about storage and disposal of 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.
What other information should I know?
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.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
¶ This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.
Last Revised - 09/01/2010