What Is Hydroxyzine HCL?


Hydroxyzine HCL, also referred to as hydroxyzine hydrochloride, is the generic form of Atarax and Vistaril. It is classified as an antihistamine and prescribed to treat various conditions.


  • Hydroxyzine HCL is used to alleviate pruritus (itching) caused from allergic and non-allergic reactions to the skin. When accompanied with runny nose, watery eyes and sore throat, hydroxyzine HCL is prescribed to relieve symptoms.


  • The half-life of hydroxyzine is approximately 20 to 25 hours. Half-life is the time is takes for half of the medication to metabolize in the body. The onset of action is estimated at 15 to 60 minutes with the medication being eliminated in approximately 24 hours.


  • This medication is used as a sedative and an anti-anxiety medication. Hydroxyzine HCL is generally administered to calm the patient either before or after the surgical procedure.

Analgesia Adjunct

  • During surgery, hydroxyzine HCL is prescribed either pre-operative or post-operative to decrease the dosage of a narcotic to help relieve pain. It is also helpful in reducing anxiety and vomiting from anesthesia.

Motion Sickness

  • When traveling or boating, hydroxyzine HCL is also used to aid with motion sickness symptoms of nausea, vomiting, dizziness and vertigo.

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