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Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine, and most side effects common to the class are also possible with the medication. The most reported of hydroxyzine side effects is a dry mouth. Sleepiness, vertigo, and mild confusion are also frequent complaints.
One of the reasons that antihistamines such as hydroxyzine are prescribed is to dry mucus. Unfortunately, this often leads to reduced saliva as well. This is more noticeable when just beginning the medication. Often, frequent sips of water or chewing ice chips can ease the problem. Chewing sugarless gum can help as well.
Vertigo and mild confusion are common when taking antihistamines, and extra precautions should be taken when driving. In some cases, certain hydroxyzine side effects are the intended effect of the medication. When given to treat anxiety or insomnia, hydroxyzine is counted on to cause drowsiness. In most cases, these side effects diminish as the body develops a tolerance to the medication.
Other side effects of hydroxyzine are more generalized and may be persistent. Upset stomach and vomiting are possible. Headaches and blurry vision have also been reported. Some individuals using hydroxyzine for longer periods have experienced sustained weight gain.
Allergies to medicines used to treat allergies are relatively uncommon. Still, one of the rarer hydroxyzine side effects is a potentially serious allergic reaction. Sudden irritation of the skin with or without a rash may indicate a problem. Tremors, oral and facial swelling and difficulty breathing are more serious indications of an allergic reaction. Any individual developing these symptoms should immediately contact a medical professional.
Hydroxyzine has been shown to be addictive. In many instances, the chances of addiction are increased when the drug is used in conjunction with some other medications. In particular, individuals taking sedatives or tranquilizers are generally advised to avoid hydroxyzine.
Combination with other medications can increase the severity of many side effects of hydroxyzine. In other cases, it can produce other potentially serious drug interactions. Patients should notify their caregiver of all herbal remedies, over-the-counter medicines and prescription drugs that they are taking before beginning hydroxyzine doses.
Patients with high blood pressure or heart disease often can require closer supervision when taking hydroxyzine. In addition, its use in children and the elderly should also be closely monitored, as these groups are more susceptible to hydroxyzine side effects. As with many medications, the benefits of hydroxyzine use by pregnant women should clearly outweigh any potential risks.