General Practice 2022

Hydroxyzine hydrochloride: what is it for and how to take it

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Hydroxyzine hydrochloride: what is it for and how to take it
Hydroxyzine hydrochloride: what is it for and how to take it

Hydroxyzine hydrochloride is an antiallergic indicated for the treatment of skin allergies, such as hives, atopic dermatitis or itching, as it acts by preventing the action of histamine, a substance involved in the body's allergic response, which helps to relieve symptoms such as itching, blistering or redness of the skin.

This drug can be found in pharmacies or drugstores under the trade names Hixizine, Pruri-gram or Pergo, or as a generic under the designation “hydroxyzine hydrochloride” or “hydroxyzine dihydrochloride”.

Hydroxyzine can be purchased in the form of 25 mg tablets or 2 mg/mL or 10 mg/5mL syrup, suitable for adults or children, and should only be used with medical advice and prescription.

What is it for

Hydroxyzine hydrochloride is indicated for the treatment of skin allergies such as:

  • Atopic dermatitis;
  • Contact dermatitis;
  • Urticaria;
  • Pruritus.

Hydroxyzine helps relieve allergy symptoms such as itching, irritation, blistering or redness of the skin. See how to identify skin allergy and other ways to treat it.

This medication starts to work after about 20 to 30 minutes and lasts up to 4 to 6 hours.

How to take and dosage

Hydroxyzine hydrochloride should be taken orally, before or after a meal, and at the times established by the doctor.

Hydroxyzine hydrochloride dosage depends on the dosage form, age and condition being treated, which includes:

1. Hydroxyzine Syrup 2mg/mL

Hydroxyzine syrup, also called oral solution, is available in 120 mL bottles containing 2 mg/mL or 10 mg/5mL of hydroxyzine hydrochloride or hydroxyzine dihydrochloride.

Typically recommended doses of hydroxyzine syrup vary by age, and include:

  • Adults: the normally recommended dose for adults is 12.5 mL of hydroxyzine oral solution 3 to 4 times a day, i.e. every 8 hours or every 6 hours, respectively, as directed by the doctor;
  • Children over 6 months: The recommended dose for children is 0.7 mg per kg of body weight, which is equivalent to 0.35 mL for each Kg of body weight, 3 times a day, that is, every 8 hours, as recommended by the pediatrician.

The use of hydroxyzine by adults or children over 6 years old must be done for a maximum of 10 days of treatment.

Hydroxyzine oral solution should be measured using the 5 mL dosing syringe provided in the package. If the dose volume is greater than 5 mL, refill the syringe.

2. Hydroxyzine 25 mg tablets

The recommended dose of hydroxyzine tablets for adults or children over 12 years old is 1 tablet per day, up to a maximum of 10 days of treatment.

In some cases, the doctor may recommend a different dosage from that indicated on the package insert.

Possible side effects

The most common side effects that can arise during treatment with hydroxyzine are drowsiness or dry mouth. Therefore, it is recommended not to consume alcoholic beverages, or to take other medicines that depress the central nervous system such as analgesics, opioids and barbiturates, while using this medicine because this tends to increase the effects of drowsiness.

Also, although rarer, hydroxyzine can cause side effects that need immediate medical attention, such as a fast or rapid heartbeat, headache with chest pain, tremor, agitation, dizziness, fainting, or seizures.In these cases, the treatment should be interrupted and the nearest emergency room should be sought.

Does hydroxyzine hydrochloride make you sleepy?

One of the most common side effects of this drug is drowsiness, so it is very likely that people who take hydroxyzine hydrochloride will feel sleepy.

Who should not use

Hydroxyzine should not be used by pregnant or lactating women, or by people who are allergic to any of the components of the tablet or syrup.

In addition, hydroxyzine should only be used medically in patients with renal failure, epilepsy, glaucoma, asthma, emphysema, stomach or intestinal ulcer, hyperthyroidism, enlarged prostate, liver failure or Parkinson's disease.

Hydroxyzine should not be used by babies younger than 6 months, and use by children should only be done under the advice of a pediatrician.

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