Vistaril (Hydroxyzine) Side Effects, Before Taking, How to Take & More

Vistaril or Hydroxyzine is used primarily to treat itchiness caused by allergic reactions to any form of allergen.

It is an antihistamine and functions by blocking a naturally occurring substance in our bodies known as histamine; the production of which in the body is linked to symptoms of allergic reactions to unknown objects and bodies.



Vistaril may also be used for nausea and vomiting, or for allergic skin reactions such as hives breakout or contact dermatitis. It can be secondarily used short-term to treat anxiety and tension.

It is known to have sedative properties and thus, can be used to cause relaxation and sleepiness before surgeries and other similar medical procedures.


Side Effects:

Minor Side Effects:

Seek medical help if you experience these signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling of tongue, throat, lips or face
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Hives
  • Constipation

To relieve dry mouth, it is recommended to suck on sugarless hard candy or gum, eat ice chips, drink water to rehydrate or use a saliva substitute to prevent the mouth from running completely dry, making it hard to swallow.

Bear in mind that any medicinal drug is only prescribed by a doctor to a patient when its medicinal benefits are believed to outweigh the risk of administering the drug. A majority of people using this medication do not face dire side effects.


Serious Side Effects:

Stop using hydroxyzine and call your doctor at once if any of the following side effects appear:

  • Hallucination
  • Mental/mood changes
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Tremor (uncontrolled shaking)
  • Confusion
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Restless muscle movements in your eyes, neck, jaw or tongue


How to use it?

The medicine is to be administered by the doctor and strictly followed as directed by the doctor. In most cases, doctors recommend three to four doses of the medicine daily with or without food.

For the liquid form of Vistaril, invest in a measuring spoon to measure out the exact quantity of the medicine prescribed to prevent the risk of overdose or other such complications. Do not use a household spoon as it entails the risk of administering inaccurate amounts of the drug.

The dosage in adults is determined by certain factors such as the patient’s medical condition, age, and response to treatment. In children, the dosage may also be contingent upon their weight. Do not increase the dose or take it more often without consulting the doctor as this may have dire consequences.

As with all medications, the dosage should be adjusted according to the patient’s response to therapy gradually over the course of treatment.

Tell your doctor if your condition shows no improvement or starts to worsen



Before taking hydroxyzine, let your doctor or pharmacist know if you are allergic to it, cetirizine, or to levocetirizine; or if you have any other allergies that can be triggered using this medicine.

This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems upon activation after consumption. Talk to your pharmacist for more information.

Before using this medication, share your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, especially of:

  • Liver problems
  • Seizures
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • Breathing problems (such as emphysema, asthma)
  • Stomach/intestine problems (such as ulcer, blockage)
  • Kidney problems
  • High pressure in the eye (glaucoma)
  • Difficulty urinating (for example, due to enlarged prostate).
  • High blood pressure

Vistaril may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm; a case commonly known as QT prolongation. QT prolongation can occasionally lead to serious (rarely fatal) rapid/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting, nausea) that need medical attention right away.

This drug may induce dizziness, drowsiness, and sleepiness or may blur your vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or participate in activities that need alertness or clear vision.

Avoid alcoholic beverages and narcotics. Talk to your physician if you use marijuana.