Precautions and Warnings With Hydroxyzine
Before starting treatment with hydroxyzine, warnings and precautions for the medication should be reviewed with your healthcare provider. For example, you may not be able to take it if you have glaucoma, an enlarged prostate, or Alzheimer's disease. Other safety concerns apply to people with certain allergies and to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Hydroxyzine?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using hydroxyzine (Atarax®, Vistaril®) if you have:
- An enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH)
- Difficulty passing urine
- Alzheimer's disease
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, hepatitis, or cirrhosis
- Heart disease
- Any other allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Hydroxyzine Warnings and PrecautionsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of before taking hydroxyzine include the following:
- This medication can cause drowsiness. Make sure you know how hydroxyzine affects you before driving or operating heavy machinery.
- Because of its anticholinergic effects, hydroxyzine can make glaucoma, Alzheimer's disease, or an enlarged prostate worse. Let your healthcare provider know if you experience worsening of any of these conditions while taking this drug.
- Elderly individuals may be more susceptible to the side effects of hydroxyzine and are more likely to be taking medications that interact with it. Hydroxyzine can worsen many conditions common in the elderly, such as an enlarged prostate or Alzheimer's disease.
- Hydroxyzine can interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Hydroxyzine).
- Hydroxyzine is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it might not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking this drug when pregnant (see Hydroxyzine and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if hydroxyzine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider before taking this medicine (see Hydroxyzine and Breastfeeding).