Hydroxyzine HCL: Usage, Dose, Side Effects, and Interactions

Hydroxyzine HCL is used to calm energy in the brain, which assists in the treatment of allergic reactions, nausea or vomiting. Learn the correct usage.

Hydroxyzine HCL is used to decrease activity in the central nervous system, and can also be used as an antihistamine to reduce allergic reactions and similar symptoms. Given the wide variety of uses, it is difficult to determine how this medication should be administered, so you will need to follow the instructions set by your doctor. Do not make any changes to your prescription before speaking to your doctor and receiving permission to do so. You will also need to talk with your doctor about how to alter other prescriptions you may be using as these can cause a negative reaction in the body if paired incorrectly.

Indications and Usage

Hydroxyzine is sold under the brand names Atarax or Vistaril. It is used as an antihistamine to help reduce the occurrence of sneezing or runny nose. Unlike some antihistamines you can use this drug to treat allergic reactions on the skin, such as hives or contact dermatitis. In some cases, this medication is also used in conjunction with other substances as an anesthesia or to control nausea or vomiting. Hydroxyzine is available in tablet and liquid form. Dosage will vary based on the nature of your symptoms and the condition of the patient. Do not take more of your medication than prescribed as this can lead to severe side effects.

If you are taking a tablet form of this drug, take your dose with a full glass of water. Those using the liquid form of this medication should use the dose measuring spoon provided rather than a utensil from their home to ensure that they are getting the proper dose. If you do not have a dose measuring spoon, you can ask your pharmacist for one. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is close to the time when you would be taking your next dose. Do not double up doses to make up for those you have missed.


Hydroxyzine HCL Dosage

  • Adults using this drug to treat anxiety will be given 50-100 mg per day in divided doses. Children under 6 may be prescribed up to 50 mg per day in divided doses. Those treating an allergic reaction may be given 25 mg for an initial dose, which can be increased to 50-100 mg per day in divided doses if necessary.
  • When using this drug as a sedative, adults can be given 50-100 mg followed by general anesthesia. Children under 6 will be given 0.6 mg of medication for every kilogram of body weight. Subsequent doses of this drug may be given after your procedure to help with anxiety or reactions following your treatment.
  • Those who are pregnant should not take this drug as is can cause damage to the unborn baby. This medication has been rated in pregnancy category D. It can also harm a child who is breastfeeding, so it is important to talk with your doctor about these risks before you start your prescription.
  • Elderly patients are more likely to suffer from side effects of this medication than other age groups. Talk with your doctor about this risk and whether or not you will require additional monitoring or an adjusted dose to help combat this concern.


Hydroxyzine HCL Side Effects

Some side effects of this drug include dry mouth, drowsiness and shakiness. These side effects are considered bothersome, but not necessarily dangerous. It is not known what percentage of the population suffers from these side effects. In most cases, these side effects become less severe as you continue to use your medication. If you begin to suffer from these effects, or your side effects begin to get worse, contact your doctor to determine if a change in your prescription is necessary.

If you begin to suffer from tremors, confusion, seizures, or restless muscle movements in the neck, mouth, or face, you may be suffering from a severe reaction to your medication. Contact emergency medical services immediately. Have as much information as possible available regarding how much of your prescription you have taken and how recently.

Should you begin to experience nausea, vomiting, or feeling as though you may pass out after taking your prescription, you may be suffering from an overdose. Contact emergency medical services as quickly as possible to get the necessary assistance to treat this condition.



Medications that cause drowsiness, including cold or allergy medications, sedatives, narcotic pain relievers, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, seizure medication, or medication used to control depression or anxiety may increase your reaction to Hydroxyzine HCL to an unsafe level. You will need to talk with your doctor about any medications you are taking, including over the counter remedies, to help avoid this negative reaction.

Hydroxyzine may make you drowsy or otherwise impair your ability to think and reason at your normal level. Do not drive or perform any tasks that will require your full attention until you know how this drug will affect your system. Drinking alcohol can increase this risk as well as the risk of developing other side effects, and therefore should be avoided when using this drug.

If you suffer from seizures, liver or kidney disease, you may not be able to take this drug. This medication can interact with your other prescriptions, which could cause a potentially dangerous reaction. Those suffering from liver or kidney disease may also have trouble clearing this mediation from your body which could lead to an overdose.



Diovan is used to manage high blood pressure. This medication is often prescribed in addition to other medications to manage your condition.

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