Hydroxyzine hydrochloride is designated chemically as 1-(p-chlorobenzhydryl) 4-[2-(2 hydroxyethoxy)-ethyl] piperazine dihydrochloride. Atarax belongs to a group of medicines called antihistamines (used to treat allergic reactions). It is used in adults and children to reduce itching caused by urticaria (nettle rash) and dermatitis (eczema). Atarax is also used to treat anxiety in adults.
Treatment of anxiety. Preoperative sedation. Antiemetic. Antipruritic. May be combined with opioid analgesics.
Acts as a CNS depressant at the subcortical level of the CNS. Has anticholinergic, antihistaminic, and antiemetic properties. Blocks histamine 1 receptors.
Therapeutic Effects: Sedation. Relief of anxiety. Decreased nausea and vomiting. Decreased allergic symptoms associated with release of histamine, including pruritus.
Do not take Atarax
• If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to hydroxyzine hydrochloride, cetirizine, other piperazine derivatives, aminophylline or ethylenediamine, or any of the ingredients of Atarax
• If your ECG (electrocardiogram) shows a heart rhythm problem called “QT interval prolongation”
• If you have or had a cardiovascular disease or if your heart rate is very low
• If you have low salt levels in your body (e.g. low level of potassium or of magnesium)
• If you are taking certain medicines for heart rhythm problems or medicines that may affect the heart rhythm
• If anyone in your close family has died suddenly of heart problems
• If you are an asthmatic who has suffered a bad reaction to an antihistamine in the past
• If you have porphyria (a disease which causes stomach pain, constipation, changes in the colour of urine, skin rashes and disturbed behaviour)
• If you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breast-feeding.
Atarax contains lactose. If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product. If you have hereditary galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption you should not take this medicine.
Do not take Atarax if you are taking medicine to treat:
• Bacterial infections (e.g. the antibiotics erythromycin, moxifloxacin, levofloxacin)
• Fungal infections (e.g. pentamidine)
• Heart problems or high blood pressure (e.g. amiodarone, quinidine, disopyramide, sotalol)
• Psychoses (e.g. haloperidol)
• Depression (e.g. citalopram, escitalopram)
• Gastro-intestinal disorders (e.g. prucalopride)
• Malaria (e.g. mefloquine)
• Cancer (e.g. toremifene, vandetanib)
• Drug abuse or severe pain (methadone)
Taking with food and drink
You should not take alcohol with Atarax because the sedative effects of the alcohol may be increased.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Do not take Atarax if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breast-feeding. If you become pregnant whilst taking Atarax tell your doctor immediately.
Driving and using machines
Atarax may make you drowsy and make you feel less alert than usual for the first few days after you start taking it. If you are affected do not drive or operate machinery until this effect has worn off.
Important information about some of the ingredients of Atarax
Atarax 10mg and 25mg film-coated tablets contain lactose, if you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, contact your doctor before taking this medicinal product. Atarax 10mg film-coated tablets contain Sunset yellow (E110), which may cause allergic reactions.
The recommended dose is: In adults and children over 40 kg in weight, the maximum daily dose is 100 mg per day in all indications.
For treating itching in adults
The starting dose is 25mg at night, your doctor may increase the dose up to 25mg three or four times daily.
For treating itching in children
In children up to 40 kg in weight, the maximum daily dose is 2 mg/kg/day.
Children aged 6 months to 6 years: 5mg to 15mg daily taken throughout the day, the doctor may change this depending on the child’s weight.
Children over 6 years: 15mg to 25mg daily which your doctor may increase up to 50mg – 100mg daily, taken throughout the day. The doctor may change this depending on the child’s weight.
For treating anxiety in adults
The dose is 50mg to 100mg daily, taken throughout the day.