Hydroxyzine for Insomnia: What you need to know

Hydroxyzine is a medication for treating itching caused from allergies. It is an antihistamine and acts by jamming histamine, a natural substance, which the body produces from an allergic reaction. Hydroxyzine is also used on short term basis for treating anxiety or helping to feel relaxed or sleepy before and after surgical procedure.

The medication may be taken orally with or without food as recommended by the doctor, commonly 3 or 4 times each day. It is important to carefully measure the correct dosage.

The dosage depends on age, preexisting medical condition, and reaction to treatment. The dosage may also be based on weight in case of children.

Side Effects of Hydroxyzine

Dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, blurred vision, and dry mouth are common side effects. It is advised to consult a doctor in case of experiencing these symptoms.

For dry mouth, sucking on hard candy or ice chips, sugarless chew gum, water, or saliva substitute could help relieve the condition.

A doctor would prescribe this medication because he or she has assessed that the benefits are greater than the risk of side effects. Tell the doctor promptly in case of any serious side effects, including:

  • Seizures
  • Fast/irregular heartbeat
  • Severe dizziness,
  • Fainting
  • Mental/mood changes such as restlessness, hallucinations or confusion
  • Shaking (tremor)
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Rash
  • Itching/swelling especially of the face, tongue or throat
  • Severe dizziness,
  • Trouble breathing.


  • Tell the doctor of any preexisting allergies.
  • The product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
  • Share with the doctor patient’s medical history before using the product.
  • Hydroxyzine may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm or QT prolongation
  • The drug may make one dizzy or drowsy or blur the vision.
  • Do not drive or do anything that requires alertness or clear vision.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to the doctor in case of marijuana use.
  • Caution is advised for patients with liver disease, diabetes or other conditions that require limiting or avoiding these substances in the diet.
  • Children may be more prone to the side effects of the drug.
  • Older adults may also be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug
  • In case of pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed.


Drug interactions may alter how medications work or increase the risk for adverse side effects. It is best to keep a list of all the products in use such as medicines and herbal products, and share it with doctor

Check the labels on all the medicines such as allergy or cough and cold products, as they may include elements that result in drowsiness. Ask a pharmacist about the safe use of these products.

Avoid using it in combination with any other antihistamines applied to the skin such as diphenhydramine ointment, cream, spray) because it may increase the occurrence of side effects.

Hydroxyzine is quite the same as levocetirizine  and cetirizine. Refrain from using these medications while on hydroxyzine.

This medication may interact with some laboratory tests such as allergy skin testing, urine corticosteroids level, potentially causing false test outcome.

Make sure to let the laboratory personnel and all the doctors know about the use of this drug.


In case of overdosing and experiencing serious symptoms such as passing out or difficulty in breathing, get medical help right away or call a poison control center immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include (but are not limited to) seizures and severe drowsiness.

In children, certain mood changes such as restlessness and irritability may also occur before drowsiness.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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