Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 5, 2022.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Vistaril IM
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Respiratory Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Hydroxyzine
Chemical Class: Hydroxyzine
Uses for hydroxyzine
Hydroxyzine injection is used to used to help control anxiety and tension caused by dental, nervous, and emotional conditions. It can also be used to help control anxiety and produce sleep before and after surgery. Hydroxyzine is also used to relieve symptoms of an allergic reaction (eg, hives, itching skin) caused by asthma and chronic urticaria.
Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine. It works by preventing the effects of a substance called histamine, which is produced by the body. Hydroxyzine is also used to control anxiety withdrawal symptoms in alcoholic patients. It is also used to control nausea and vomiting symptoms, and relieve anxiety in patients with certain heart disease.
Hydroxyzine is to be given by or under the supervision of your doctor.
Before using hydroxyzine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For hydroxyzine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to hydroxyzine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of hydroxyzine injection in children.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of hydroxyzine injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have unwanted side effects (such as confusion, drowsiness) and age-related liver, kidney, or heart problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving hydroxyzine injection.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving hydroxyzine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using hydroxyzine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
- Calcium Oxybate
- Magnesium Oxybate
- Potassium Citrate
- Potassium Oxybate
- Sodium Oxybate
Using hydroxyzine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Gabapentin Enacarbil
- Glycopyrronium Tosylate
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Morphine Sulfate Liposome
- Ropeginterferon Alfa-2b-njft
- Secretin Human
- Sodium Phosphate
- Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
- Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of hydroxyzine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Electrolyte imbalance or
- Heart attack or
- Heart disease or
- Heart failure, uncompensated or
- Heart rhythm problems (eg, long QT syndrome, slow heartbeat), family history of—Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
- Heart rhythm problems (eg, prolonged QT interval)—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
Proper use of hydroxyzine
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you or your child hydroxyzine in a hospital. Hydroxyzine is given as a shot into a muscle.
Precautions while using hydroxyzine
Your doctor will check your progress closely while you or your child is receiving hydroxyzine. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to receive it.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant. Do not use hydroxyzine during the early part of a pregnancy unless your doctor tells you to.
Hydroxyzine may cause a permanent depression (necrosis) under the skin at the injection site. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects at the injection site: depressed or indented skin, blue-green to black skin discoloration, or pain, redness, or sloughing (peeling) of the skin.
Hydroxyzine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for allergies or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers or sleeping medicine, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, muscle relaxants, or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you or your child is using hydroxyzine.
Hydroxyzine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how hydroxyzine affects you.
Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have any changes to your heart rhythm. You might feel dizzy or faint, or you might have a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat. Make sure your doctor knows if you or anyone in your family has ever had a heart rhythm problem such as QT prolongation.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Hydroxyzine side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Incidence not known
- Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
- blue-green to black skin discoloration
- pain, redness, or sloughing of skin at the injection site
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
Incidence not known
- dry mouth
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Frequently asked questions
- Can hydroxyzine be taken long-term?
- Can you take antihistamines when pregnant?
- When can I start drinking if I’m no longer taking hydroxyzine?
More about hydroxyzine
- Side effects
- Drug interactions
- Dosage information
- During pregnancy or Breastfeeding
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- Drug class: antihistamines
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- Hydroxyzine (Advanced Reading)
- Hydroxyzine Capsules and Tablets
- Hydroxyzine Injection
- Hydroxyzine Syrup
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