Atarax is commonly prescribed to treat several different conditions, such as anxiety and itching. Its anti-anxiety activity is probably due to effects in certain parts of the brain, and it works for itching by blocking histamine receptors. This medication comes in tablet and syrup form, and is usually taken by mouth two to four times a day.
What Is Atarax?
Atarax® (hydroxyzine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication approved for a variety of widely different uses. This medicine is commonly used to treat itching and to improve the effectiveness of opioid pain relievers.
(Click Atarax Uses for more information on what this medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes Atarax?
Brand-name Atarax was made by Pfizer, Inc, although it is no longer available. Generic versions are still available and are made by several manufacturers.
How Does It Work?
Atarax belongs to a group of drugs commonly known as first-generation (sedating) antihistamines. It works for itching by blocking histamine receptors. Its anti-anxiety activity is probably due to effects in certain parts of the brain. Atarax also can cause relaxation of skeletal muscles.
In addition, Atarax has anticholinergic activity (which means it blocks acetylcholine receptors), which is probably why it helps to alleviate nausea.
When and How to Take This Medication
Some general considerations for those taking Atarax include the following:
- Atarax comes in tablet or syrup form. It is usually taken by mouth two to four times daily.
- You can take Atarax with or without food.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.