1 What is Atarax?

Brand: Atarax, Antivert, Antivert25, Brintellix, Compazine, Permitil, Prolixin, Ranexa, Torecan, Trilafon, Vistaril, Xyzal, ZyrTEC

Generic: Meclizine, Buclizine, and Cyclizine

Atarax is often used to prevent as well to treat nausea, vomiting, and dizziness associated with motion sickness, and vertigo. These preparations are also useful to treat dizziness caused by other medical problems. In addition, these medicines are widely prescribed to prevent nausea and vomiting following surgery and radiation therapy.

Some of these preparations are available only with your doctor's prescription. Others are available as the over-the-counter medicine; however, you should consult your doctor for the proper dose of the medicine for your medical condition.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Capsule
  • Capsule, Liquid Filled
  • Capsule, Extended Release
  • Elixir
  • Liquid
  • Solution
  • Tablet
  • Tablet, Chewable
  • Tablet, Disintegrating
  • Tablet, Extended Release
  • Suspension
  • Syrup

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Atarax, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. The suitable drug therapy is usually chosen by a doctor with the active participation of the patient.

There are some important factors such as drug interactions, the presence of any metabolic impairment, history of hypersensitivity reaction, pregnancy, lactation etc. that may alter the desired therapeutic effects of a medicine.

Sometimes the presence of other health disorders affects the beneficial effects of this medicine and even may cause serious toxic effects. If you have had any allergic reactions to any medicine then you must tell your doctor about that. The use of these medicines is contraindicated in patients who have had known hypersensitive to these.

Further, make sure you inform your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

In addition, certain medicines should not be used along with this medicine. It is always recommended to consult with your doctor if you are in need of some other medications or even any over-the-counter medicine for another health problem in order to avoid unwanted toxic effects.

Besides, it should be kept in mind that these drugs provide additive effects when simultaneously used with CNS depressants, neuroleptics, anticholinergic, and/or alcohol.

Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in any trimester.

Thus, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed. Besides, caution is recommended when used in lactating women because these medicines may pass into breast milk.

3 Proper Usage

To use Atarax properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. The dosage schedule and the duration of drug therapy generally depend on upon the particular medical problem for which you are going to use this medicine.

The therapeutic dose may also vary with the patient’s condition or requirement and the strength of the medicine as well, however, different preparations and doses are listed below:

For Meclizine:

To prevent and treat nausea, vomiting, and dizziness caused by motion sickness:

  • Adults & Children of >12 years— 25 to 50 mg orally once a day as needed. Meclizine should be administered one hour prior to travel and continued for the duration of exposure.
  • Children younger than 12 years of age— Use is not recommended.

To prevent and treat vertigo (dizziness):

  • Adults and Children of >12 years— 25 mg orally 1 to 4 times a day or 50 mg orally twice a day.
  • Children younger than 12 years of age—Use is not recommended.

For Buclizine:

To prevent motion sickness:

  • Adults and teenagers – are usually advised to take a 50 mg chewable tablet 30 to 60 minutes before travel. The dose may be repeated every 4 to 6 hours if needed but not exceeding150 mg in 24 hours.
  • Children – dose must be determined by a pediatrician.

For Cyclizine:

To prevent and treat motion sickness:

  • Adults and teenagers – are usually advised to take a 50 mg tablet 30 to 60 minutes before travel. The dose may be repeated every 4 to 6 hours if needed but not exceeding 200 mg in 24 hours. If you want to use the parenteral preparation of this medicine, then the usual dose is 50 mg IM every 4 to 6 hours as needed.
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age – are usually advised to take a 25 mg tablet 30 to 60 minutes before travel. The dose may be repeated every 4 to 6 hours if needed but not exceeding 75 mg in 24 hours.
  • Children up to 6 years of age – use and dose must be determined by a pediatrician.

The parenteral preparations of these medicines are usually given to the patients by a nurse or other trained health professional at your doctor’s chamber, hospital, or clinic. If you want to use these products at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use.

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. But, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Further, it is advised to store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light. All kinds of medicines should be kept out of the reach of children. However, outdated medicines should be disposed of by an appropriate way.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Atarax, there are some precautions you must take. Firstly, regular visits to your doctor are recommended to check that this medicine is working properly or not.

Additionally, the following guidelines should be followed to prevent unwanted complications as well as for the better prognosis of the patients:

These medicines may impair the patient’s ability to perform hazardous activities requiring mental alertness or physical coordination (e.g. operating machinery, driving a motor vehicle). Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are drowsy or not alert.

Alcoholic beverages and other CNS depressants should be avoided while taking these medicines. Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, antidepressants, or sleeping medicine, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics.

Due to its potential anticholinergic action, these drugs should be used with caution in patients with enlargement of the prostate, asthma, or glaucoma.

These medicines may cause dryness of the mouth. For temporary relief you can use sugarless candy or gum, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or a saliva substitute.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Atarax. These side effects usually go away during the treatment episode as your body adjusts to the medicine. Your healthcare professional may advise you about the ways how to prevent or reduce those unwanted side effects.

Sometimes you may need to consult with the doctor immediately if you notice any of the following toxic effects, especially:

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.