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All about: Atarax

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Generic Name: Hydroxyzine Capsules and Tablets (hye-DROX-i-zeen)
Brand Name: Examples include Atarax and Vistaril

Atarax is used for:

Treating anxiety, for sedation before and after general anesthesia, and to treat itching due to certain allergic conditions, including hives and contact dermatitis (eg, poison ivy). It also may be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Atarax is an antihistamine. It works by affecting the brain to reduce anxiety. It also has other activities, including opening breathing tubes, relieving pain or allergy symptoms, and preventing or treating nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness.

Do NOT use Atarax if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Atarax
  • you are taking sodium oxybate (GHB)
  • you are in your first 3 months of pregnancy

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Atarax :

Some medical conditions may interact with Atarax . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have asthma, glaucoma, difficulty urinating, urinary or intestinal blockage, a prostate disease, or a blood disease
  • if you drink alcoholic beverages

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Atarax . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Sodium oxybate (GHB) because side effects such as an increase in sleep duration and slowed breathing may occur

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Atarax may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Atarax :

Use Atarax as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Atarax by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • If you miss a dose of Atarax and you are using it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for you next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Atarax .

Important safety information:

  • Atarax may cause drowsiness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Atarax with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or using medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Atarax ; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • The effectiveness of Atarax as anxiety treatment for longer than 4 months is not known.
  • Use Atarax with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Atarax should not be used in NEWBORNS; safety and effectiveness in newborns have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use Atarax if you are in your first 3 months of pregnancy. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if Atarax is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Atarax .

Possible side effects of Atarax :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Drowsiness; dry mouth.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); involuntary movements.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include unusual drowsiness and dizziness.

Proper storage of Atarax :

Store Atarax at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Do not freeze. Store away from heat, moisture, and light in a tightly closed container. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Atarax out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Atarax , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Atarax is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Atarax . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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