We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Hydroxyzine?

By D. Jeffress
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Hydroxyzine is a generic prescription drug used to manage a variety of symptoms and conditions. Most commonly, it is given to patients who suffer from dermatitis, severe allergies, and other conditions that cause chronic skin rashes. Hydroxyzine has also proven effective at relieving anxiety and symptoms related to motion sickness. The drug comes in oral syrup, tablet, and injection forms, and the risk of experiencing serious side effects is low. It is important to explain all current medication use and medical history to a doctor before taking hydroxyzine to limit the risks of adverse reactions.

Doctors frequently prescribe this medication to children and adults who have itchy, red skin rashes from various causes. The drug is primarily an antihistamine, meaning that it works by seeking out and inhibiting inflammation-inducing chemicals produced by the immune system. Hydroxyzine also has sedative properties that can help with symptoms of anxiety disorders, insomnia, and motion sickness. In addition, surgeons often administer intravenous dosages of the medication along with general anesthesia to quickly sedate patients. Patients who take the medication for skin rashes commonly experience drowsiness as a side effect rather than a therapeutic benefit.

Other side effects that may occur when taking the medication include dizziness, mild headache, confusion, dry mouth, and blurry vision. Some people experience more severe central nervous system problems, such as tremors and muscle spasms. Seizures and loss of consciousness are rare but possible, and such reactions become more likely with long-term use of the drug. It is also possible to be allergic to the drug, which may may make skin rashes worse and potentially cause breathing problems.

Dosing amounts and frequencies are determined based on a patient's age and specific condition. Most people with skin problems are instructed to take 25 to 50 milligram doses two to three times a day until symptoms resolve. Patients with chronic anxiety usually take similar daily dosages indefinitely so long as the medication is effective. Doctors suggest that patients return for regular checkups when taking the medication for any cause to determine if dosage amounts need to be adjusted.

It is essential to follow a doctor's orders exactly when taking this drug. If a person overdoses, the effects on the central nervous system can induce coma or even death. In addition, some prescription and over-the-counter medications might react with hydroxyzine, increasing or altering its effects. By taking the drug as prescribed and asking a doctor before starting a new medication, most patients are able to recover from their symptoms and avoid lasting health problems.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By SZapper — On Aug 19, 2011

@indemnifyme - That's rough! It sounds like this drug would be great for someone who had allergies and anxiety though. From what I understand medicines that have a sedative affect wouldn't make someone with anxiety tired. It would just bring them down to a normal level.

By indemnifyme — On Aug 18, 2011

It's unfortunate that so many antihistamines have sedative affects. I've been an allergy sufferer for pretty much my whole life, so I've had a lot of experience with allergy medicine.

Unfortunately, medicines like hydroxyzine that cause drowsiness actually work better for me than the non-drowsy antihistamines. But I can't function in my daily life if I'm drowsy all the time! So I have to make a decision, and usually alertness wins every time.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.