Atarax is a prescription medication that belongs to the class of antihistamines. This drug blocks histamine, which is a chemical produced during an allergic reaction. The activity taking place in the central nervous system is also reduced when this drug is taken. Atarax is also used as a sedative to treat tension and anxiety.
Atarax contains hydroxyzine, which has sedating properties and anticholinergic effects. It is actually used for the treatment of allergic reactions. It is often prescribed to provide relief on itching caused by allergic reactions. Due to its sedating effects, it can also be used before and after surgical procedures. When taking this medication, avoid doing any activities that require mental alertness, such as operating heavy machinery and driving. Atarax can also help people who are experiencing symptoms of alcohol withdrawal as well as nausea and vomiting.
Pregnant women and people who are allergic to hydroxyzine should not use Atarax. Whether this drug passes into breast milk or not is still unknown, so if you are breastfeeding, inform your healthcare provider.
Before using Atarax, inform the doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- Kidney disease
- Seizure disorder or epilepsy
- Liver disease
- Thyroid problem
- Stomach ulcer
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Lung disease and other breathing problems such as emphysema and asthma
- Urination problems
- Any known medical condition
Some people use Atarax for sleep disorders. However, Atarax should not be used for the treatment of sleep disorders without a doctor's recommendation. This medicine can also be used in dogs and cats to treat itching, dermatitis, atopy, and other allergies. However, if your pet has an intestinal or urinary obstruction, then Atarax should be used with great caution.
The effects morphine, oxycodone, and heroine can be enhanced by Atarax. However, combining these drugs may lead to drug abuse. Anxiety and tension caused by psychoneurosis can also be relieved by Atarax. Pruritus (itchy skin) caused by allergic conditions such as chronic urticaria can be managed with the help of Atarax.
Atarax contains the compound hydroxyzine, which is structurally related to other drugs such as cyclizine, meclizine and buclizine. It is a piperazine antihistamine and is used to treat pruritus that is histamine-mediated. It can also be used to treat nausea, allergy, and vomiting. Hydroxyzine is also an anxiolytic and a perioperative sedative. It can used in combination with an opiate agonist for anxiolytic pain. It can also be used in alcohol withdrawal cases.
Hydroxyzine may also be an effective antiemetic. The drug is rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and is metabolized in the liver.
How to Take Atarax
Atarax should be taken exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Avoid taking smaller or larger amounts of the drug as well as taking it longer than the recommended treatment period. You can also read and follow the directions on the precription label.
Take Atarax with one glass of water. When taking the drug in liquid form, make sure that you properly measure the liquid using a dose-measuring device. If you do not have any, you can ask the pharmacist for one. Keep the medication away from heat and moisture, and store it at room temperature.
Atarax is available in different forms and strengths. Its tablet form comes in 25 mg, 10 mg, and 50 mg. The drug is also available in the form of liquid (10 mg per 5 mL syrup) and disintegrating tablets.
Take the dosage as instructed by the doctor. Seek immediate medical help if there is an overdose. The symptoms of an overdose include nausea, vomiting, extreme drowsiness, and feeling faint or lightheaded.
If you miss a dose, the missed dose should be taken immediately. However, if it is time for the next dose, then skip the missed dose and follow the regular dosing schedule.
Every person reacts differently to medications, and not all who take Atarax experience the same side effects. In fact, most people who take this medicine do not experience serious side effects. When they experience side effects, they are usually mild, which can be easily managed. Some of the drug's common side effects are:
- Dry mouth
Serious side effects may include:
- Mood or mental changes (confusion, hallucinations, or restlessness)
- Difficulty passing urine
- Sevese dizziness
- Abnormal heart rhythms (irregular or fast heartbeat)
Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are currently taking substances or medications that cause sedating effects, such as:
- Opioid pain or cough relievers (hydrocodone, codeine)
- Sedatives and anxiolytics (alprazolam, zolpidem, lorazepam)
- Muscle relaxants (cyclobenzaprine, carisoprodol)
- Antihistamines (promethazine, diphenhydramine)
Keep away from using other forms of antihistamines, such as topical antihistamines (creams, sprays, or ointments) when taking Atarax to avoid experiencing increased side effects. Moreover, avoid taking other antihistamines similar to hydroxyzine, such as levocetirizine and cetirizine.
Atarax may also cause false laboratory test results in cortisol urine test and allergy skin testing. For this reason, ensure to inform your doctor and laboratory personnel that you are taking Atarax.
Safety of Hydroxyzine
In pregnant women, a limited number of studies show that there is a relationship between the use of the drug in the first trimester of pregnancy and congenital abnormalities. For this reason, Atarax should be avoided during the first trimester. It is still uncertain whether this drug is excreted in breast milk. Since antihistamines can stimulate seizures in newborns, antihistamines are not usually recommended for use during breastfeeding.
The drug may also lead to certain conditions that may affect the rhythm of the heart. Rarely, serious heart problems may occur due to prolonged QT. If you have a serious medical condition, then the risk of QT prolongation may also increase. The risk of QT prolongation may also increase due to low levels of potassium or magnesium. If you have certain conditions, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or severe sweating, then the risk also increases.
Speak with your doctor about the drug's safety. After taking this drug, you may feel drowsy, dizzy, and may have a blurry vision. Avoid alcoholic beverages and tell your doctor about all of the products you use before having any surgery. If you have diabetes, liver disease, or any other conditions, then inform your doctor since the drug's liquid form contains sugar.
Children may be more sensitive to this drug and develop side effects. In young children, this drug can cause excitement and drowsiness. In older adults, it can cause confusion, trouble urinating, constipation, drowsiness, or QT prolongation. The risk of falling may also increase with drowsiness and confusion.
The use of Atarax in itching caused by allergies has been found to be effective, which is why it is mostly used to treat allergy symptoms. Atarax blocks histamine that the body makes during allergic reactions in the body. Short-term anxiety can be treated using this drug. Before and after surgery, this drug is used to help the person feel relaxed and drowsy.
Atarax is no longer available on the market. However, generic (hydroxyzine) versions are still available due to several manufacturers. Atarax is a brand name, which was manfactured by Pfizer, Inc.