Atarax: Uses, Side Effects, Composition, Price & Dosage

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Atarax is a hydroxyzine drug that is commonly used as an anti-histamine/ anti-allergen. This drug curtails the activity in the central nervous system. Atarax is an antihistamine drug that blocks the activity of histamine, a natural product produced by the body during allergic reactions. Histamine causes itching and other related reactions such as sneezing, runny nose and/or the appearance of hives on the skin.

It is also used to relieve anxiety and tension in patients who have faced trauma.

Atarax Composition and Nature:

The main component of Atarax is Hydroxyzine hydrochloride. The chemical formula is 1-p-chlorobenzhydryl 4-(2-2 hydroxyethoxy-ethyl) piperazine dihydrochloride.

The dormant ingredients in the tablet include wax, acacia, gelatin, calcium phosphate, carnauba wax, lactose, sucrose, gelatin, white wax, calcium carbonate in precipitated form, and talc.

The dormant ingredients in the syrup include menthol, spearmint oil, water, peppermint oil, alcohol, and sodium benzoate.

Common Uses Of Atarax:

Atarax being anti-histamine obstructs the action of histamine in the body. Histamine is a natural by-product of an allergic reaction in the body. Therefore, Atarax is used to treat all kinds of allergic reaction in the body including allergy-induced itching, sneezing, skin allergies like lesions and hives, contact dermatitis, runny nose etc.

It has also been proven to have bronchodilator activity. It is used to prevent allergy-induced respiratory problems.

Atarax is also used for the short-term treatment of anxiety and tension, to calm your nerves before or after surgery.  For this purpose, it is used alongside other medication during anesthesia.

Atarax Side Effects:

Atarax also has anticholinergic (drying) properties and is also a sedative. The common side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Constipation

The following serious side effects need immediate medical attention:

  • Mood changes
  • Hallucinations
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Frequent Tremors
  • Constant confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • Restless muscle movement in tongue, neck, jaw, and eyes

Atarax Dosage:

For histamine related allergic reactions:

  • Adult dosage: 25 mg q.i.d
  • Children under 6 years: 50mg every day in divided doses
  • Children above 6 years: 50 to 100mg every day in divided doses

For anxiety relief and tension relief:

  • Adult dosage: 50 to 100 mg q.i.d
  • Children under 6 years: 50mg every day in divided doses
  • Children above 6 years: 50 to 100mg every day in divided doses

For use as a sedative along with or after anesthesia:

  • Adult dosage: 50-100 mg in adults
  • Children: 0.6mg/kg

Dosage may vary after complete examination by doctors.

How Atarax works?

When an individual comes in contact with any product that does not agree with the body, either orally or through touch, allergy is caused. Allergy is a kind of defense mechanism by the body, also known as an immune reaction. Histamine is a product produced in the body during such allergic reactions. This compound is a chemical messenger that leads to the onset of allergic reactions.

Hydroxyzine hydrochloride negates the histamine activity in the body, thereby controlling the reactions such as itching, swelling, sneezing etc.

Atarax Related warning and Precautions:

The following are the precautions that have to ensure before consuming Atarax:

  • Atarax can cause heavy drowsiness when consumed with alcohol
  • Animal studies suggest the tablet causes fetal abnormalities when consumed during pregnancy. However, its effect on humans during pregnancy is not known.
  • The drug does not cause any effect in infants when consumed in moderation during lactation. However, over dosage or prolonged use may cause sleepiness and other related effects in infants
  • Since the tablet causes dizziness and reduces alertness, it is safe to avoid it before driving.
  • For people with any kidney ailments, medical advice is required before consumption of this drug.
  • People with liver disease require medical examination and advice before consumption of this drug.

Atarax Substitutes:

The substitutes for Atarax (Hydroxyzine hydrochloride) include Zyrtec with Cetirizine as its component, Xyzal with levocetirizine and Benadryl with Diphenhydramine as its component.

Zyrtec and Benadryl are used to treat allergy symptoms. Benadryl is a strong sedative.

Atarax Drug Interactions:

Drug interactions are the ways in which your medicines work with other medications in your system. These interactions may increase your risk towards serious side effects. When your doctor has prescribed Atarax for a long-term, do not start a new medication or alter the dosage without your doctor’s consent.

Atarax causes serious reactions with the following category of drugs:

  • Pain relievers such as Opioid based drugs
  • Cough relievers such as hydrocodone
  • Drugs to treat anxiety and sedatives such as alprazolam and zolpidem
  • Muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine
  • Other antihistamines such as Diphenhydramine and Promethazine
  • Drugs with Zafirlukast composition

Atarax causes reactions like increased side effects even with externally applied antihistamines like creams and ointments.

Apart from medication, Atarax can also interfere with the results of your laboratory tests like urine corticosteroid levels and allergy skin testing and can cause false test results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1) Is Atarax a controlled substance?

Ans: No. Atarax is not a controlled substance. It is only an anti-allergen.

2) Is Atarax available over the counter?

Ans: Atarax is a prescription drug and it can be purchased only by providing a valid prescription.

3) Is Atarax a steroid?

Ans: No. Atarax is not a steroid. It does not have the composition or the properties of a steroid drug.

4) Is Atarax a painkiller?

Ans: No. Atarax is not a painkiller. It can only relieve allergic reactions in the body.

5) Is Atarax a narcotic?

Ans: No. Atarax is not a narcotic. It does not have any psychoactive compounds.

6) Is Atarax a benzo drug?

Ans: No. Atarax is not a benzo drug or a tranquilizer. It does not have psychoactive compounds.

7) Is Atarax addictive?

Ans: No. Atarax is not addictive. It is not a very strong sedative to provoke abuse in users.

8) Is Atarax sedative?

Ans: Yes. Atarax is mildly sedative. It is a side effect of the drug.

9) Are Atarax and cetirizine the same?

Ans: No. Though both have anti-histamine properties, Atarax and cetirizine are not the same.

10) Can I take Atarax if I am allergic to cetirizine?

Ans: No. Whatever allergies you have and your medical history must be discussed with the doctor in detail before prescription.

11) Can I take Atarax along with another antihistamine?

Ans: No. Combining two antihistamines can lead to reactions and increase in side effects such as extreme drowsiness.


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