Before using hydroxyzine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to cetirizine; or to levocetirizine; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: breathing problems (e.g., asthma, emphysema), a certain eye problem (glaucoma), high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, seizures, stomach/intestine problems (e.g., ulcer, blockage), overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), urination problems (e.g., due to enlarged prostate, urinary retention).
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 using 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 using hydroxyzine safely.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
To reduce dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
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.
Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to its effects. In young children, this drug may cause agitation/excitement instead of drowsiness.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.