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Hydroxyzine is used for treatment of anxiety and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in adults. It is also used to relieve the itching caused by allergies and to control the nausea and vomiting caused by various conditions, including motion sickness in adults and children.

How it works

Hydroxyzine belongs to the group of medicines called antihistamines with antimuscarinic and sedative properties. It acts by inhibiting histamine receptor-mediated reactions, such as vasodilation, flare and itch reactions and sneezing.

Common side effects

Drowsiness, Anxiety, Dizziness, Dry mouth, Dry nose, Dry throat, Dry skin, Shortness of breath, Muscle weakness, Nasal congestion, Chest congestion, Skin redness, Stomach upset


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Expert advice

  • Do not start or continue the hydroxyzine tablets, if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to hydroxyzine or any of the other ingredients of hydroxyzine tablet.
  • The drug can cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not take hydroxyzine with other medicines that cause drowsiness like other antihistamines, pain or sleep medications or alcohol.
  • Stop using hydroxyzine and call your doctor immediately, if you have a serious side effect such as tremors, confusion, seizures, or restless muscle movements in your eyes, tongue, jaw, or neck.
  • Do not use hydroxyzine without telling your doctor, if you are pregnant or breast feeding.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is hydroxyzine hydrochloride a steroid/ narcotic/ benzo/ pain killer /addictive?
No, it is an antihistaminic drug and not a steroid/ narcotic/ benzo/ pain killer/ addictive.Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use.
Q. Is hydroxyzine a controlled substance/ over the counter (OTC)?
No, it is not controlled substance. It is available with doctor’s prescription only.
Q. Is hydroxyzine Hcl like Xanax?
No, hydroxyzine Hcl is different from Xanax. Xanax contains the drug alprazolam.Both Xanax and hydroxyzine are used for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use.
Q. Can I take hydroxyzine for allergies/ pain/ anxiety/ cold?
Hydroxyzine is specifically used for the management of anxiety, itching due to allergies.Patients should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use.
Q. How much hydroxyzine can I take for anxiety/for sleep?
Patient should take hydroxyzine for prescribed dose and duration as advised by doctor.
Q. Can I take hydroxyzine with Benadryl/ Nyquil/ tramadol/ Lexapro/ Ambien/ Paxil/ Percocet/ Advil/ cyclobenzaprine/ Tylenol?
Taking other medicines with hydroxyzine may alter the effects of hydroxyzine. Always consult your doctor for the change of dose regimen or an alternative drug of choice that may strictly be required.
Q. Does hydroxyzine lower blood pressure /raise blood pressure/ make you tired/ make you gain weight/ get you high/ hair loss/ drowsiness?
Hydroxyzine causing these side effects is rare or uncommon; however consult your doctor if you experience any of these side effects.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)