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Atarax (Generic Hydroxyzine)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Both adults and children can use hydroxyzine to treat itching brought on by allergic skin reactions. Both adults and children can use it by alone or in combination with other drugs to reduce stress and anxiety. Along with other drugs, hydroxyzine is also used as a sedative before and after general anaesthesia for surgery in both adults and children. Antihistamines are a group of drugs that includes hydroxyzine. It functions by preventing the body’s natural histamine from producing the symptoms of allergies. Additionally, it acts by lowering brain activity.

How should this medicine be used?

The oral forms of hydroxyzine include capsules, pills, syrup, and suspension. Typically, it is consumed three or four times a day. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the medication’s directions precisely. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Before each use, thoroughly shake the suspension to combine the medication.

Other uses for this medicine

Other prescriptions for this drug are possible. For more information, consult your physician or pharmacist.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking hydroxyzine,

  • If you have an allergy to hydroxyzine, cetirizine (Zyrtec), levocetirizine (Xyzal), any other drugs, or any of the ingredients in hydroxyzine preparations, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. For a list of the ingredients, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Inform your physician and pharmacist of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and dietary supplements you are currently taking or intend to take. Be certain to bring up any of the following: Antihistamines, azithromycin (Zithromax, ZMax), specific antidepressants like citalopram (Celexa) and fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem, Selfemra), sedatives, some medications for arrhythmias like amiodarone (Cordarone, Nexterone, Pacerone), procainamide, quinidine (in Nuedexta), and sotalol (Betapace, Sorine); barbiturates, gatifloxacin, erythromycin (Eryc, Ery-Tab, PCE, others), droperidol (Inapsine), clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac), clozapine (Clozaril, Fazaclo ODT, Versacloz), iloperidone (Fanapt), quetiapine (Seroquel), and ziprasidone (Geodon); meperidine (Demerol), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), moxifloxacin (Avelox), painkillers, ondansetron (Zofran, Zuplenz), pentamidine (Nebupent, Pentam), and sedatives, sleeping aids, and tranquillizers are some examples of other drugs. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you have a prolonged QT interval, a very uncommon heart condition that can result in an erratic heartbeat, fainting, or sudden death. Also let them know if you are or will be pregnant. Most likely, your doctor will advise against taking hydroxyzine.
  • Inform your doctor if you or anyone in your family has ever experienced a prolonged QT interval, a slow or irregular heartbeat, low potassium or magnesium levels in the blood, heart failure, a heart attack, or heart disease.
  • Inform your doctor if you are nursing a child. If you are taking hydroxyzine, stop breastfeeding.
  • If you are 65 years of age or older, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of taking hydroxyzine with your doctor. Because hydroxyzine is less safe than other drugs that can be used to treat the same illness, older persons should often avoid taking it.
  • You should be aware that this medicine may cause you to feel sleepy. Prior to understanding how this drug affects you, avoid using machinery or driving a car.
  • Inquire with your doctor if drinking is okay for you to do while taking this medicine. The negative effects of hydroxyzine can be exacerbated by alcohol.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you are prescribed hydroxyzine by your doctor, take the missed dose as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Side effects are possible with hydroxyzine. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Mouth ache
  • Constipation (particularly in older persons) (especially in older adults)
  • Confusion (particularly among older individuals) (especially in older adults)
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Trembling or shaking that is unintentional
  • Seizures

The following signs of a significant skin issue should prompt you to stop taking hydroxyzine and contact your doctor right away:

  • Rash
  • Regions of the skin that are swollen and red, blister-like sores (lesions), and have a fever


Other negative effects of hydroxyzine are possible. If you have any strange side effects while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right once.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from light, excessive heat, and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose signs could include the following:

  • Sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your doctor’s appointments.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Atarax®
  • Hypam®
  • Orgatrax®
  • Vistaril®
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