Atarax or Hydroxyzine is a drug which reduces the central nervous system’s activity and also acts as an antihistamine to reduce the body’s natural chemical histamine which produces skin hives and symptoms of sneezing and a runny nose.
Atarax is also used as a sedative to treat tension and anxiety, and is used with other medications prescribed for anesthesia. It can be used for treating allergic skin reactions as hives or other contact dermatitis, and other purposes not mentioned here.
Do not take hydroxyzine if you are allergic to it or pregnant. There is a chance of it harming your unborn baby. It’s better to use some effective birth control while taking hydroxyzine, and inform your doctor if you do get pregnant during the treatment.
As hydroxyzine can impair your thinking or reactions, be careful while driving or doing anything where you need to be alert.
Stop Atarax (Hydroxyzine) immediately if you experience serious side effects like tremors, seizures, confusion or restlessness in the eyes, jaw, neck or tongue.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Atarax as alcohol increases some of its side effects.
Before taking hydroxyzine or Atarax
Before you start taking hydroxyzine, it’s important you tell your doctor if you suffer from any of these conditions:
- - Epilepsy or any seizure disorder
- - Glaucoma
- - Liver or kidney disease
- - Enlarged prostrate or urinary problems
- - Heart disease or high blood pressure
- - Stomach ulcer or blockages in your intestines or stomach
- - Thyroid disorder
- - Asthma, emphysema or any other breathing difficulties
As it is not known if hydroxyzine passes into breast milk or if it can harm a nursing baby, do not take it without informing your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
The chances of older people suffering from the medication’s side effects are higher.
Possible side effects of Atarax (Hydroxyzine)
Act swiftly and seek emergency help if you experience any of these extreme signs of an allergic reaction like swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, hives or breathing difficulties.
Stop taking hydroxyzine and inform your doctor immediately if you have serious side effects like confusion, seizures or convulsions, tremor or uncontrolled shaking and restless movements in the eyes, jaw, neck or tongue.
The less serious side effects of hydroxyzine are headache, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision or dry mouth.
As this is not a complete list of possible side effects of using hydroxyzine, and there is a chance of other side effects occurring in some people, call your doctor immediately if you notice any side effects.
Atarax (Hydroxyzine) interactions
It is better to avoid alcohol while taking Atarax as it can increase the chances of the occurrence of its side effects.
As Atarax can hamper your thinking and reactions, and when you drive or do anything which requires your attention, be careful if you take Atarax and do anything which requires your alertness.
Do inform your doctor if you take any other medication which make you sleepy on a regular basis like sleeping pills, cold or allergy medicine, muscle relaxers, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine and medicine for seizures, anxiety and depression. This is because if you take these medicine while taking hydroxyzine, there is a chance of the drugs adding to the sleepiness caused by hydroxyzine.
This list however is not complete. So do tell your doctor about any other medications you take like over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, vitamins and herbal products as some other drugs may interact with hydroxyzine. Moreover, do not start any new medicine without informing your doctor first.
Dosage of Atarax (Hydroxyzine)
It is important that you follow the exact prescription prescribed by your doctor and nothing in larger or smaller amounts, or for a longer period than recommended. Just follow the instructions on the prescription label, with a full glass of water.
All liquid medicine including Atarax syrup has to be measured using a special dose-measuring spoon or cup and not a regular tablespoon. Ask your pharmacist for one if you don’t have such a dose-measuring device.
Always store Atarax at room temperature, away from any moisture and heat.
Symptoms of overdose of the drug are extreme drowsiness, feeling like you will pass out, nausea and vomiting. Do seek emergency medical attention in cases of an overdose.
Any missed dose should be taken as soon as you remember. However if you remember when it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, just skip the missed dose. Do not take any extra dose or medicine to compensate for the missed dose.