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What is this medication?

Hydroxyzine, Vistaril
 Histamine H1 Antagonist 

Brand Name US: Vistaril
Canadian Equivalent: Atarax

Indicated for management of allergic reactions, antiemetic, anxiety.

How does this medication work? 

Hydroxyzine, Vistaril competes with histamine for H1-receptor sites on effector cells in the gastrointestinal tract, blood vessels, and respiratory tract.  Hydroxyzine, Vistaril exhibit muscle relaxation, bronchodilator, antihistamine, antiemetic, and analgesic properties.

How should I take this medication? 

Oral: 25mg to 100mg 4 times daily.

Intramuscular Injection: Inject 25mg to 100mg.

How to Take: Take with or without food.

Intramuscular Injection: Aspirate before injection to avoid inadvertent injection into a blood vessel. Do NOT administer IV, SubQ, or intra-arterially (contraindicated). Administer IM deep in large muscle. The preferred site is the upper outer quadrant of the buttock or midlateral thigh. The upper outer quadrant of the gluteal region should be used only when necessary to minimize potential damage to the sciatic nerve. The deltoid region should be only used with caution to avoid radial nerve injury. Injections should not be made in the lower or mid-third of the upper arm.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before starting Hydroxyzine, Vistaril make sure your physician is aware of any allergies and medications you currently take.  There are a few rare adverse events that have occurred with Hydroxyzine, Vistaril including acute generalized exanthematous, drowsiness and QT prolongation.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

The incidence of side effects has not bee well defined, however drowsiness, xerostomia, and respiratory depression (high doses) have been observed.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects for Hydroxyzine, Vistaril only common ones.