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Hydroxyzine HCl

Hydroxyzine HCl

Basic Information

Hydroxyzine HCl is an H1 receptor antihistamine. It competes with histamine for receptor sites on the target cells in the respiratory tract, intestines, blood vessels, and the skin. Pharmacologic effects of antihistamines include anticholinergic, sedative, antispasmodic, local anesthetic, mild bronchodilation, and antiemetic. Hydroxyzine is well-absorbed after oral administration and generally takes 20-45 minutes to exert an effect.

Antihistamines including hydroxyzine act more rapidly if given systemically although the intravenous route is more likely to cause side effects and is not used commonly. If antihistamines alone are unable to control all of the allergic signs, they may be used with corticosteroids allowing use of a lower dose of the corticosteroids.

Hydroxyzine HCL Side Effects

Sedation is the most-common side effect of antihistamine use.

Dogs: Less-common side effects include excitement, fine tremors, whole body tremors, and seizures.

Cats: Less-common side effects include polydipsia, depression, or behavioral changes.

Precautions

Individuals may react differently to antihistamines. The dose of hydroxyzine should be tailored to the individual animal. Older humans are more sensitive to the side effects from antihistamines. It may be prudent to start older animals at the lower end of the dose range.

Hydroxyzine should be used with caution in animals with glaucoma, prostatic hypertrophy, bladder neck obstruction, pyeloduodenal obstruction, cardiac arrythmia, or heart failure.

At very high doses, hydroxyzine has been shown to be teratogenic in laboratory animals. It should be used during pregnancy (particularly the first trimester) only when the benefits outweigh the possible risks.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

How does Hydroxyzine HCl work?

Hydroxyzine blocks the effects of histamine in the body. Hydroxyzine also depresses activity of the central nervous system and is also used to treat anxiety disorders and tension in stressful situations.

Overdose

Overdose may cause increased sedation and possible hypotension. Depending on the circumstances, gut emptying and supportive care should be considered.

Uses

Hydroxyzine is used to treat itching caused by allergies. It is an antihistamine and works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. Hydroxyzine may also be used short-term to treat anxiety or to help you feel sleepy/relaxed before and after surgery.

How to use Hydroxyzine Hcl

Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually three or four times daily. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.

Precautions

Before taking hydroxyzine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to cetirizine; or to levocetirizine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Hydroxyzine may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.

Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug. This drug can often cause excitement in young children instead of drowsiness.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

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