IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
HYDROXYZINE HYDROCHLORIDE – ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Atarax
USES: Hydroxyzine is used to treat itching caused by allergies. It is an antihistamine and works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. Hydroxyzine may also be used short-term to treat anxiety or to help you feel sleepy/relaxed before and after surgery.
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually three or four times daily. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. In children, the dosage may also be based on weight. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often than directed. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
SIDE EFFECTS: Drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or dry mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To relieve dry mouth, suck (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as restlessness, confusion, hallucinations), shaking (tremor), difficulty urinating, fast/irregular heartbeat. Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizures. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking hydroxyzine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to cetirizine; or to levocetirizine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: breathing problems (such as emphysema, asthma), high pressure in the eye (glaucoma), heart problems, high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver problems, seizures, stomach/intestine problems (such as ulcer, blockage), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), difficulty urinating (for example, due to enlarged prostate). This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Liquid products may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, liver disease, or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug. This drug can often cause excitement in young children instead of drowsiness. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness and confusion. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness including alcohol, other antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers (such as codeine). Check the labels on all your medicines (such as allergy or cough-and-cold products) because they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Ask your pharmacist about using those products safely. Do not use with any other antihistamines applied to the skin (such as diphenhydramine cream, ointment, spray) because increased side effects may occur. Hydroxyzine is very similar to cetirizine and levocetirizine. Do not use these medications while using hydroxyzine. This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including allergy skin testing, urine corticosteroids level), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US National Poison Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, seizures. In children, mental/mood changes (such as restlessness, irritability) may occur before drowsiness.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze liquid forms of this medication. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised May 2012. Copyright(c) 2012 First Databank, Inc.