Drugs Home > Atarax Uses

Anxiety associated with psychiatric disorders and itching due to various causes can be relieved with Atarax. The medication can also be used as a sedative before and after general anesthesia. Healthcare providers may occasionally recommend off-label Atarax uses as well, such as treating nausea or vomiting, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal.

What Is Atarax Used For?

Atarax® (hydroxyzine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication that is used for a wide variety of different purposes. Uses of Atarax include:
  • Treating anxiety, tension, and agitation associated with psychiatric disorders
  • Relieving itching associated with the following problems:
  • Acting as a sedative before and after general anesthesia.
This medication is particularly useful when combined with opioid pain relievers such as morphine. Not only does Atarax help the opioid work better (allowing a lower dosage to be used), but it helps relieve the itching that opioids can cause.

How Does It Work?

Atarax belongs to a group of drugs commonly known as antihistamines. It works for allergic reactions or itching reactions to opioids by blocking histamine receptors. It probably works for anxiety by affecting certain parts of the brain. The medication also can cause relaxation of skeletal muscles.
In addition, Atarax blocks acetylcholine receptors, which is probably why it helps to alleviate nausea.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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