Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine that lessens the impact of the body's own histamine, a natural chemical. Histamine is capable of causing sensations like itching or the development of hives on the skin. Hydroxyzine is employed to manage allergic skin responses like hives or contact dermatitis.

Hydroxyzine also finds application in the treatment of allergic skin reactions, including hives and contact dermatitis.

How should I take hydroxyzine?

Adhere to your doctor's instructions precisely when taking hydroxyzine. Abide by all guidelines outlined on your prescription label. Your doctor might occasionally modify your dosage. Avoid using this medication in quantities that are greater or smaller than advised, and refrain from extending its usage beyond the recommended duration.

Before measuring a dose, ensure you shake the oral suspension (liquid) thoroughly. Employ the provided dosing syringe, a designated dose-measuring spoon, or a medicine cup to measure the liquid medicine. If you lack a suitable measuring tool, consult your pharmacist to obtain one.

How long does hydroxyzine stay in your system?

Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine commonly used to treat allergies, anxiety, and certain other conditions. The duration that hydroxyzine stays in your system can vary based on factors such as your metabolism, dosage, frequency of use, and individual differences.

The elimination half-life of hydroxyzine can range from around 3 to 14 hours. This means that it takes this amount of time for the concentration of hydroxyzine in your bloodstream to decrease by half. On average, it might take about 1 to 2 days for hydroxyzine to be mostly eliminated from your system.

However, it's important to note that individual variations can play a significant role. Some people might metabolize the drug faster or slower than others. Additionally, the duration of effects (sedation, antihistamine action, etc.) might differ from the time it takes for the drug to be fully eliminated from the body.

If you have concerns about how long hydroxyzine might be present in your system, especially if you're planning to take other medications or have underlying medical conditions, it's recommended to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.

How hydroxyzine works

Hydroxyzine operates by attaching itself to histamine receptors located in the brain. Histamine, a protein with diverse roles in the body, aids the immune system in combating infections. However, excessive or unnecessary histamine release can lead to issues like itching. Through its histamine-blocking action, hydroxyzine effectively alleviates itching.

The mechanism through which hydroxyzine delivers sedation and anxiety relief is believed to be linked to its binding to brain histamine receptors. This is due to the role of brain histamine in promoting wakefulness. By binding to these receptors, hydroxyzine can counteract histamine's wakefulness-promoting effect, thereby inducing sedation and diminishing anxiety.

What happens if I miss a dose?

In case you forget a dose, take it promptly upon recollection. However, if your next planned dose is approaching, omit the missed dose. Refrain from consuming additional medication to compensate for the overlooked dose.

What happens if I overdose?

If an urgent medical response is required, or if assistance is needed, contact the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Signs of an overdose might encompass intense sleepiness, feelings of nausea, vomiting, unmanageable muscle twitches, or seizures.

What to avoid

This medication could affect your cognitive abilities and responsiveness. Exercise caution when engaging in activities such as driving or tasks that demand attentiveness.

Combining alcohol with this medication might lead to adverse effects.

Hydroxyzine side effects

Seek immediate medical assistance if you exhibit indications of an allergic response to hydroxyzine, such as hives, breathing difficulties, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In unusual instances, hydroxyzine might lead to a severe skin reaction. Cease its usage and promptly contact your doctor if you experience abrupt skin redness, a rash that expands and results in white or yellow pustules, blistering, or peeling.

Discontinue hydroxyzine use and get in touch with your doctor right away if you encounter:

  • Rapid or forceful heartbeats
  • Headache accompanied by chest pain
  • Intense dizziness or fainting
  • Seizures (convulsions)

Read Also: How Long does Oxybutynin Stay in your System

Hydroxyzine precautions

Consult your doctor regarding your medical history before initiating hydroxyzine oral tablet usage. There are specific medical conditions and factors that could impact the suitability of hydroxyzine oral tablets for you. These encompass:

  • Age: Older individuals should exercise caution when considering hydroxyzine use, as they are at a heightened risk of experiencing side effects. If hydroxyzine is required by older adults, a lower dosage is likely, accompanied by vigilant monitoring by their doctor. Older individuals are more susceptible to side effects such as confusion, constipation, and dry mouth from hydroxyzine.
  • Convulsions or seizures: Some individuals have reported experiencing convulsions after using hydroxyzine, although this occurrence wasn't documented in clinical trials. If you have a history of convulsions or seizures or are at a higher risk for such conditions, it's advised to discuss hydroxyzine usage with your doctor.
  • Dementia: Hydroxyzine can lead to side effects like confusion and difficulty focusing, particularly in individuals with dementia. If you have dementia, your doctor can evaluate the safety of hydroxyzine for your use.
  • Heart problems: Hydroxyzine has the potential to affect the QT interval of your heart rhythm. Those with existing heart issues, including those already taking medication for heart rhythm management, face an elevated risk of this side effect when using hydroxyzine. Prior to starting hydroxyzine, ensure your doctor is informed about any heart problems you might have so they can establish the safest course of treatment.
  • Kidney or liver problems: Individuals with kidney or liver problems should take a reduced hydroxyzine dosage. This is due to the fact that the kidneys and liver are involved in metabolising hydroxyzine. Impaired kidney or liver function could hinder the breakdown of the medication, increasing the risk of side effects. If you have kidney or liver issues, your doctor can determine whether hydroxyzine is suitable for you.
  • Low blood pressure: Hydroxyzine has the potential to cause low blood pressure. If you already have this condition, your risk of experiencing low blood pressure as a side effect is higher. Discuss all medical conditions, including low blood pressure, with your doctor prior to commencing hydroxyzine treatment.
  • Allergic reaction: If you've previously had an allergic reaction to hydroxyzine or any of its constituents, avoid using hydroxyzine oral tablets. Consult your doctor to explore alternative medication options.
  • Pregnancy: Hydroxyzine usage during pregnancy is not considered safe. Refer to the "Hydroxyzine and Pregnancy" section above for more details.
  • Breastfeeding: While taking hydroxyzine, breastfeeding is not recommended.


Hydroxyzine is a versatile medication with dual capabilities. As an antihistamine, it effectively counteracts histamine-related symptoms, providing relief from itching and allergic skin reactions. Additionally, its interaction with histamine receptors in the brain leads to sedative effects, making it valuable for managing anxiety and tension.

However, cautious consideration is required when initiating hydroxyzine use, especially in older individuals with specific medical conditions such as convulsions, dementia, heart problems, kidney or liver issues, low blood pressure, and allergies to the drug.

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