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- What are the uses for hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
- What are the side effects of hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
- What is the dosage for hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
- Is hydroxyzine (Vistaril) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
What is hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
What brand names are available for hydroxyzine?
- Vistaril is the brand name available for hydroxyzine in the US.
- Atarax and Hy-Pam25, Orgatrax brands have been discontinued and are no longer available in the US.
Is hydroxyzine (Vistaril) available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
What are the uses for hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
What are the side effects of hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
Common side effects of hydroxyzine are:
- Disturbed coordination
- Drying and thickening of oral and other respiratory secretions
- Stomach distress
Other important side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Loss of appetite
Hydroxyzine should be used with caution (if at all) in persons with narrow-angle glaucoma, prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate gland), hyperthyroidism, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and asthma.
What is the dosage for hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
- Hydroxyzine has its maximal effect about 30 to 60 minutes after it is taken. Its effects last for 4 to 6 hours.
- The recommended dose for treating itching (pruritus) is 25 mg given 3 or 4 times daily by mouth or by intramuscular injection.
- When used for sedation, the recommended dose is 50 to 100 mg orally or 25 to 100 mg by intramuscular injection.
- Anxiety and tension are managed with 50 to 100 mg in 4 divided doses or 50-100 mg intramuscular injection in 4 or 6 divided doses.
- Alcohol withdrawal is treated with a 50-100 mg injection and may be repeated every 4 to 6 hours as needed.
- The dose for nausea and vomiting is 25 to 100 mg by injection.
- Hydroxyzine can be taken with or without food.
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Which drugs or supplements interact with hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
Hydroxyzine also adds to the sedating effects the narcotic class of pain medications and its derivatives, for example
- oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet),
- hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Vicodin),
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid),
- propoxyphene (Darvon).
Hydroxyzine also adds to the effects of the tricyclic class of antidepressants, for example
Hydroxyzine can also intensify the drying effects of other medications with anticholinergic properties, for example
- dicyclomine (Bentyl),
- bethanechol (Urecholine),
- amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), and
- chlorpromazine (Thorazine).
When using these drugs, the dose of hydroxyzine may require reduction.
Is hydroxyzine (Vistaril) safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
- A limited number of studies of hydroxyzine in pregnant women suggests that there may be a relationship between its use in the first trimester of pregnancy and congenital abnormalities in the fetus. Therefore, hydroxyzine should be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy.
- It is not known if hydroxyzine is excreted into breast milk. In general, antihistamines are not recommended for use during breastfeeding because they can cause stimulation or seizures in newborns.
What else should I know about hydroxyzine (Vistaril)?
What preparations of hydroxyzine (Vistaril) are available?
- Tablets: 10, 25, 50 and 100 mg.
- Capsules: 25, 50 mg.
- Syrup: 10 mg per teaspoonful (5mL).
- Suspension: 25 mg per teaspoonful (5mL).
- Injection: 25 and 50 mg/ml
How should I keep hydroxyzine (Vistaril) stored?
- Capsules, tablets, and liquids should be stored at room temperature 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
- Liquid should not be frozen and should be shaken well prior to each use.
- Injectable hydroxyzine should be stored below 30 C (86 F).
How does hydroxyzine (Vistaril) work?
- The body releases histamine during several types of allergic reactions and, to a lesser extent, during some viral infections, such as the common cold. When histamine binds to its receptors on cells, it causes the cells to release chemical messengers that lead to sneezing, itching, and increased mucus production. Antihistamines, like histamine, bind to the histamine receptors. When they bind to the receptors, however, they do not stimulate the cells to release chemical messengers. In addition, they prevent histamine from binding and stimulating the cells. Hydroxyzine itself has no histamine-like activity. After ingestion, it is converted to its active form. The active form of hydroxyzine is a drug called cetirizine (Zyrtec). Although, both hydroxyzine and cetirizine act as antihistamines, hydroxyzine causes more sedation than cetirizine.
When was hydroxyzine (Vistaril) approved by the FDA?
- The FDA approved hydroxyzine in 1956.
Hydroxyzine (Vistaril) is a drug prescribed to treat itching caused by a variety of allergic conditions, nausea, vomiting, and alcohol withdrawal. Review drug interactions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information prior to taking hydroxyzine.
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Flea Bites (In Humans)
Flea bites are caused by the parasitic insect, the flea. The most common species of flea in the US is the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. Signs and symptoms of flea bites in humans include itching, hives, a rash with bumps, red spots with a "halo," and swelling around the bite. Treatment for flea bites includes over-the-counter medicine and natural and home remedies to relieve and soothe itching and inflammation. The redness of a flea bite can last from a few hours to several days.
Hives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin. Most often the cause of hives is unknown. Sometimes it is a sign of an allergic reaction to food or medications, but the cause of the allergy (the allergen) is unknown. Dermatographism and swelling (angioedema) may accompany hives. Treatment to get rid of hives and alleviate symptoms typically includes antihistamines.
Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip
Chronic rhinitis (non allergic rhinitis) causes runny nose, sneezing, nasal itching and congestion. Post-nasal drip is drainage of mucus from the sinuses into the throat. Treatment includes over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching including infection (jock itch, vaginal itch), disease (hyperthyroidism, liver or kidney), reactions to drugs, and skin infestations (pubic or body lice). Treatment for itching varies depending on the cause of the itch.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life-threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers. Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Eczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from oozing blisters to crusty plaques of skin. Treatment varies depending upon the type of eczema the person has.
The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and maybe a fever. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments.
Alcohol and Teens
Alcohol is the most frequently used drug by American teenagers. Teens that drink are more likely to drive under the influence, have unprotected sex, and use other drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Symptoms of alcohol abuse in teens include lying, breaking curfew, becoming verbally or physically abusive toward others, making excuses, smelling like alcohol, having mood swings, and stealing.
Sleep Disorders (How to Get a Good Night's Sleep)
A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep; 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement). The side effects of lack of sleep or insomnia include: Irritability Tiredness Feeling sleepy during the day Concentration or memory problems Lack of sleep and insomnia can be caused by medical conditions or diseases, medications, stress, or pain. The treatment for lack of sleep and insomnia depends upon the cause.
Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
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Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)
Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is an irritation of the nose caused by pollen and is associated with the following allergic symptoms: nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, eye and nose itching, and tearing eyes. Avoidance of known allergens is the recommended treatment, but if this is not possible, antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays may help alleviate symptoms.
Are Hives (Urticaria) Contagious?
Hives are not contagious are triggered by an allergic response to a substance. Symptoms and signs of hives include a raised, itchy red rash on the skin. An individual should seek medical care for hives if he or she develops dysphagia, wheezing, shortness of breath, or throat tightening.
Insomnia Treatment (Sleep Aids and Stimulants)
Insomnia is difficulty in falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are medications, psychological conditions, environmental changes and stressful events. Treatments may include non-drug treatments, over-the-counter medicines, and/or prescription medications.
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