Hydroxyzine Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, and More – Know It All

Hydroxyzine Side Effects - Bottle of Hydroxyzine Tablets

Despite having miraculous benefits for the body of a patient, medicines can still cause some side effects. The side effects of the medicine can occur for various reasons, including but not limited to interaction with other medicines and interaction with food.

Hydroxyzine side effects also occur owing to these reasons. The hydroxyzine drug is a prescription drug used for multiple purposes. Its first use is to provide relief from symptoms caused by allergic reactions in both children and adults. These symptoms include itching skin, hives, and more. Allergic reactions can take place due to skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) and chronic urticaria. Hydroxyzine medicine belongs to a class of medicines called ‘antihistamine’. In fact, it is a first-generation antihistamine.

So, it prevents the effects of or blocks a natural substance called histamine that the body produces when suffering from an allergic reaction. The second use of this medicine is to treat anxiety and tension experienced by patients due to the events happening in their life, as it can reduce activity in the central nervous system.

As you must have guessed, the second use is limited to adults only. The medical professional may prescribe hydroxyzine alone or in combination with other drugs depending on your condition. The third use of the hydroxyzine drug is to sedate children and adults before and after general anesthesia during medical surgery. It can be given alone or with other medicines.

Though hydroxyzine side effects can cause health-related problems in patients, medical professionals prescribe this medicine to them. The reason behind this is that it’s quite useful in many ways, as you must have understood by reading about its uses. If you, as a patient or as an acquaintance of a patient, want to avoid side effects, you should start by acquiring information about the same.

Is Hydroxyzine the Name of a Drug or a Brand?

The growing awareness amongst the people about generic drugs and non-generic drugs (brand-name drugs) has changed the way the drugs are prescribed and bought. Today, whenever any medicine is prescribed to them, most patients try to find out whether it’s a brand-name medicine or generic medicine. As generic medicines are less costly as compared to their brand-name counterparts despite both of them having the same active ingredients, people prefer buying generic drugs.

Hydroxyzine Side Effects - Molecular Formulation of Hydroxyzine

Before learning about the hydroxyzine side effects, you should know that this drug is available in both forms, i.e., generic form and brand-name medicine form. It’s worth mentioning here that the active ingredient in this medicine is hydroxyzine.

This active ingredient, i.e., hydroxyzine is used in two versions of hydroxyzine medicine. These two versions are ‘Hydroxyzine Hydrochloride’ (Orgatrax) and ‘Hydroxyzine Pamoate’ (Vistaril). The first one is available only as a generic medicine, whereas the second is available as both brand and generic medicine.

What are the Form and Recommended Dosage?

Hydroxyzine side effects are applicable to all forms of hydroxyzine. This drug is available in the form of tablets, syrup, and capsules. While taking medicine in the form of syrup, you should shake the bottle properly. The dosage in the case of children is less than the dosage in the case of adults. When it comes to tablets and capsules, understanding the dosage is easy.

But when it comes to syrup, you might have to take the help of a measuring spoon or medicine cup. You should take this medicine as per the dosage recommended by the medical professional you consult. They will also inform you about the number of days for which you have to take this medicine.

Hydroxyzine Side Effects - A Pack of  Hydroxyzine Tablets
Image Credit: Indiamart

You should store the medicine at room temperature. It should be placed in such a way that it does not get exposed to light, excess heat, and moisture. Keep the medicine out of sight and reach of children. Also, ensure that the container of the medicine is tightly closed just like it was when you bought it.

What are the Different Hydroxyzine Side Effects?

Various side effects that can happen due to consuming hydroxyzine medicine can be categorized into not-so-serious side effects and serious side effects based on their severity. First, we have listed down those hydroxyzine side effects that can be considered not-so-serious.

  • Headache
  • Dry Mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Constipation

Then, we have listed down those side effects that can be considered serious or severe.

  • Seizures
  • Drowsiness
  • Hallucination
  • Mood Swings
  • Chest Pain
  • Irregular Heart Rate
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Trouble in Swallowing
  • Difficulty Urinating
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Trembling in the Body

Whenever you encounter any of these side effects, you should approach your doctor immediately, especially in the case of severe side effects. If you feel that the side effects that you are experiencing are tolerable or manageable, you should continue taking medicine.

What are the Precautions You Should Follow?

Along with finding out about the hydroxyzine side effects, you should also learn about the precautions you should follow whenever hydroxyzine is prescribed. The most important precaution is regarding the missed dose. If you forget to take the dose of this medicine or miss it for any reason, you should take the next dose as per the schedule recommended by your doctor. You should not take two doses together to compensate for the missed dose.

Another precaution is regarding your medical condition and the drugs you are currently taking. You should inform your doctor if you have suffered or are suffering from any disorder/disease other than the one for which you have been prescribed hydroxyzine.

Hydroxyzine Side Effects - 2 Tablets of Hydroxyzine
Image Credit: WebMD

If you want to avoid hydroxyzine side effects that can become dangerous, you should also inform your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to get pregnant. If you want to consume alcoholic drinks while taking this medicine, you should ask your doctor first.

As far as food or diet is concerned, you should eat what you regularly eat. However, if your doctor has instructed you to consume or restrict certain food items or certain amount of calories, you should adhere to that instruction. While it’s impossible to eliminate the hydroxyzine side effects completely, the best way to prevent or avoid them is to share all the possible details about your medical history with your doctor.


As mentioned in this blog post, hydroxyzine is an effective medicine for many health-related issues. You just need to be careful regarding its side effects.

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