Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine medication used to treat itching or hives caused by allergies. It blocks histamine, a natural substance the body makes during an allergic reaction. This drug can also be used as a short-term treatment for anxiety and tension. It is used with other medications to make a patient relaxed or sleepy during general anaesthesia.
Hydroxyzine has 3 strengths: 10 mg, 25 mg, and 50 mg. The prescription will be based on what you are treating, other medical conditions you have and your age.
For the treatment of anxiety, hydroxyzine can be taken by adults in doses of 50 mg to 100 mg daily in divided doses of 25 mg 2 to 4 times. For sedation before surgery or other medical procedures, your doctor will recommend 100 mg taken in divided doses.
The recommended dose for itching or allergic reactions is 25mg, which can be increased depending on your response to treatment.
Children of 6 years and above can take more than 50mg of hydroxyzine; the exact dosage still depends on the condition being treated, but those below 6 years of age will get their specific dosage based on their weight and condition.
Side Effects of Hydroxyzine
Although it is rare, hydroxyzine can cause a severe skin reaction. Get emergency medical attention if you notice sudden skin redness or a rash that causes yellow or white bumps, peeling, or blistering.
Some common side effects of hydroxyzine include:
- Skin rash.
- Dry mouth.
- Muscle tremors.
- Low blood pressure.
Some more severe side effects include:
- Severe dizziness and fainting.
- Fast, pounding heartbeat.
- Headache and severe chest pain.
- Fluttering feeling in your heart.
- Allergic reaction.
Before taking hydroxyzine, tell your doctor if you have any drug allergies and if you have a medical history of breathing problems, high blood pressure, liver problems, kidney disease, GIT problems such as ulcers, difficulty urinating due to enlarged prostate, hyperthyroidism, and glaucoma.
Hydroxyzine may cause QT elongation, which affects heart rhythm and causes irregular heartbeat and other symptoms. If you notice this problem, contact your doctor right away and stop using the drug.
This medication can also make you drowsy or dizzy, so do not drive, use machinery or take anything that can make the dizziness worse, such as alcohol.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor if you are using hydroxyzine and also note that this drug may cause over-excite in young children. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before taking this drug.