Keywords |
  • Medical Science


Hydroxyzine is an anxiolytic which is not widely used, except for minor outbreaks of anxiety. It belongs to a class of medicines called the histamine antagonists, which are usually intended to treat allergic reactions.

How does hydroxyzine work?

Hydroxyzine is a piperazine derivative which is chemically unrelated to the phenothiazines or benzodiazepines. It is a central and peripheral histamine H1 receptor antagonist which also has anticholinergic properties.

Does it have contraindications or precautions?

Hydroxyzine can cause several side effects: drowsiness, ocular problems with raised intraocular pressure and therefore a risk of acute glaucoma. It is contraindicated in glaucoma, pregnancy and in people who arebreast-feeding.


  • Merck Manual, 4th edition
  • Pharmacorama, website accessed on 17 July 2011
  • University of Strasbourg, website accessed on 5 August 2011

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