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What is Atarax (Hydroxyzine) prescribed for?
When your body comes into contact with whatever your allergy trigger is, your body creates a chemical called a histamine. They cause your nose to swell, your eyes and nose to run and itch. At times it may even take form as a rash on your skin, called hives.
This medication is known as an antihistamine. And it is mainly used to treat itching that is caused by a variety of allergies. Atarax works by blocking the natural substance, known as a histamine, that your body creates during an allergic reaction.
Hydroxyzine may also be used short-term to treat anxiety or to help you feel sleepy/relaxed before and after surgery.
This medication is to be taken orally, and it can be taken with or without food. Usually three to four times a day. Follow your doctor’s directions as prescribed.
This dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and your body’s response to the treatment. Do not increase your dose or take this medication more often then what you have been prescribed. Notify your doctor if your condition does not improve or worsens.
Before taking this medication, notify your doctor if you are allergic to Hydroxyzine, cetirizine, or to levocetirizine. Or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which may cause allergic reactions and other problems.
Before using this medication, inform you doctor of your medical history, especially if you have experienced any of the following; breathing problems (such as emphysema, asthma), high pressure in the eye (glaucoma), high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver problems, seizures, stomach/intestine problems (such as ulcer, blockage), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), difficulty urinating (for example, due to enlarged prostate).
Hydroxyzine may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before taking hydroxyzine, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about taking hydroxyzine safely.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, confusion, constipation, trouble urinating or QT prolongation (see above). Drowsiness and confusion can increase the risk of falling.
Drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, constipation, or dry mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To relieve dry mouth, suck (sugarless) hard candy or ice chips, chew (sugarless) gum, drink water, or use a saliva substitute.
Notify your doctor right away if you experience any of these side effects; mental/mood changes (such as restlessness, confusion, hallucinations), shaking (tremor), difficulty urinating.
And get medical help right away if you start experiencing any of these side effects, which include; seizures, fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?
There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.
What is the best dosage to take?
The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.
What happens if I miss a dose?
You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.
What is the best way to store this medication?
This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.
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