- Tips to Fast Stress Relief
- Take the Panic Attacks Quiz!
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Slideshow
- Hydroxyzine vs. buspirone: What's the difference?
- What are hydroxyzine and buspirone?
- What are the side effects of hydroxyzine and buspirone?
- What is the dosage of hydroxyzine vs. buspirone?
- What drugs interact with hydroxyzine and buspirone?
- Are hydroxyzine and buspirone safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Hydroxyzine vs. buspirone: What's the difference?
- Hydroxyzine and buspirone are used to treat anxiety.
- Hydroxyzine is also used to treat itching caused by allergic reactions, to induce sedation prior to or after anesthesia, and to treat nausea, vomiting, and alcohol withdrawal.
- Buspirone may also help improve symptoms of depression in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.
- A brand name for hydroxyzine is Vistaril.
- A brand name for buspirone is Buspar.
- Hydroxyzine and buspirone belong to different drug classes. Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine with anticholinergic (drying) and sedative properties; buspirone is an azapirone anti-anxiety medication.
- Side effects of hydroxyzine and buspirone that are similar include dizziness, nervousness, and nausea.
- Side effects of hydroxyzine that are different from buspirone include drowsiness, tiredness, sleepiness, problems with coordination, drying and thickening of oral and other respiratory secretions, upset stomach, confusion, dry mouth, irritability, blurred or double vision, tremors, seizures, and loss of appetite.
- Side effects of buspirone that are different from hydroxyzine include headache, lightheadedness, excitement, insomnia, unsteady gait, diarrhea, weakness, hostility, skin rash, and tremors.
What are hydroxyzine and buspirone?
Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine with anticholinergic (drying) and sedative properties used to treat itching caused by various allergic reactions. Hydroxyzine is also used to treat anxiety and tension, and for inducing sedation prior to or after anesthesia. Hydroxyzine also is used to treat nausea and vomiting, and alcohol withdrawal.
Buspirone is used to manage anxiety disorders or for short-term relief of the symptoms of anxiety. However, buspirone is not effective in treating severe anxiety, panic disorders, or obsessive-compulsive disorders. Buspirone may also help improve symptoms of depression in patients with generalized anxiety disorder. Research shows that buspirone may work on the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Buspirone is an azapirone anti-anxiety medication that does not cause sedation like anxiety medications in the benzodiazepine class, such as diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), and clonazepam (Klonopin).
What are the side effects of hydroxyzine and buspirone?
Common side effects of hydroxyzine are:
- Disturbed coordination
- Drying and thickening of oral and other respiratory secretions
- Stomach distress
Other important side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Loss of appetite
Hydroxyzine should be used with caution (if at all) in persons with narrow-angle glaucoma, prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate gland), hyperthyroidism, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and asthma.
The most common side effects associated with buspirone are:
Other important but less frequent side effects include:
Latest Mental Health News
Daily Health News
What is the dosage of hydroxyzine vs. buspirone?
- Hydroxyzine has its maximal effect about 30 to 60 minutes after it is taken. Its effects last for 4 to 6 hours.
- The recommended dose for treating itching (pruritus) is 25 mg given 3 or 4 times daily by mouth or by intramuscular injection.
- When used for sedation, the recommended dose is 50 to 100 mg orally or 25 to 100 mg by intramuscular injection.
- Anxiety and tension are managed with 50 to 100 mg in 4 divided doses or 50 to 100 mg intramuscular injections in 4 or 6 divided doses.
- Alcohol withdrawal is treated with a 50 to 100 mg injection and may be repeated every 4 to 6 hours as needed.
- The dose for nausea and vomiting is 25 to 100 mg by injection.
- Hydroxyzine can be taken with or without food.
- The usual starting adult dose is 10 to 15 mg daily given in 2 or 3 doses.
- The dose may be increased by 5 mg every 2 to 4 days until an effective dose is found.
- The maximum adult dose is 60 mg daily, but most patients respond to 15 to 30 mg daily.
- Although food increases the amount of buspirone that is absorbed, the importance of this effect is not clear.
- Buspirone can be taken with or without food but preferably on a consistent basis.
What drugs interact with hydroxyzine and buspirone?
Hydroxyzine adds to (exaggerates) the sedating effects of alcohol and other drugs that can cause sedation such as the benzodiazepine class of anti-anxiety drugs. These drugs include:
- diazepam (Valium)
- lorazepam (Ativan)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- alprazolam (Xanax)
Hydroxyzine also adds to the sedating effects the narcotic class of pain medications and its derivatives, for example:
- oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet)
- hydrocodone and acetaminophen (Vicodin)
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- propoxyphene (Darvon)
Hydroxyzine also adds to the effects of the tricyclic class of antidepressants, for example:
Hydroxyzine also adds to the effects of certain antihypertensive medications, for example:
Hydroxyzine can also intensify the drying effects of other medications with anticholinergic properties, for example:
- dicyclomine (Bentyl)
- bethanechol (Urecholine)
- propantheline (Pro-Banthine)
- amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep)
- chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
When using these drugs, the dose of hydroxyzine may require reduction.
Buspirone may interact with drugs called monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors -- such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), tranylcypromine (Parnate), and procarbazine (Matulane) -- which are used in psychiatric disorders. The use of buspirone with these drugs can cause increased blood pressure. A similar reaction may occur if buspirone is combined with linezolid (Zyvox), an antibiotic that is also an MAO inhibitor. The combination of buspirone and trazodone (Desyrel), an antidepressant, may cause abnormal liver enzymes in the blood.
The combination of buspirone and warfarin (Coumadin), a blood thinner, may accentuate the effects of warfarin and increase the risk of bleeding. Patients taking buspirone should not drink grapefruit juice, since the juice (even well after a dose of buspirone is taken) can increase the amount of buspirone in the blood, possibly leading to side effects.
Inactivation and removal of buspirone is mediated by liver enzymes. Drugs that inhibit these liver enzymes -- for example, erythromycin, itraconazole (Sporanox), and nefazodone (Serzone) -- increase blood concentrations of buspirone. Drugs that enhance these enzymes -- for example, rifampin -- decrease blood concentrations of buspirone. Increased blood concentrations may increase side effects, while decreased blood concentrations may reduce efficacy.
Are hydroxyzine and buspirone safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
- A limited number of studies of hydroxyzine in pregnant women suggests that there may be a relationship between its use in the first trimester of pregnancy and congenital abnormalities in the fetus. Therefore, hydroxyzine should be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy.
- It is not known whether hydroxyzine is excreted into breast milk. In general, antihistamines are not recommended for use during breastfeeding because they can cause stimulation or seizures in newborns.
- There are no adequate studies of buspirone in pregnant women.
- It is not known whether buspirone is secreted in human breast milk. Because buspirone is secreted in the breast milk of animals, however, it should not be used by women who are nursing infants.
Hydroxyzine (Vistaril) and buspirone (Buspar) are used to treat anxiety. An antihistamine with anticholinergic and sedative properties, hydroxyzine is also used to treat itching caused by allergies, to provide sedation prior to anesthesia, and to treat nausea, vomiting, and alcohol withdrawal. An azapirone anti-anxiety medication that does not cause sedation like benzodiazepines, buspirone is used to provide short-term relief of anxiety symptoms and improve symptoms of depression in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Anxiety Disorder Pictures: Symptoms, Panic Attacks, and More with Pictures
Learn about generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). See if your worries are normal or something more by learning about symptoms,...
Allergies: Common Plants and Trees That Trigger Allergies
Find out more about which plants and trees might be producing pollen that is causing your itchy eyes and a runny nose.
Allergies Quiz: Symptoms & Home Remedies
What are the causes of allergies? This online quiz challenges your knowledge of common food and household allergens,...
Alcohol: What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol
Whether you drink a lot or only once in a while, giving up alcohol may lead to changes in your body and mind. Find out what...
Anxiety, Stress, Worry, and Your Body
Want to find ways to reduce anxiety, stress, and worry? Find treatments to ease stress, eliminate worry, and combat anxiety as...
Related Disease Conditions
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching to include: infection (jock itch, vaginal itch), disease (hyperthyroidism, liver or kidney), reactions to drugs, and skin infestations (pubic or body lice). Treatment for itching varies depending on the cause of the itch.
Nausea and Vomiting (Causes, Natural Remedies, Diet, Medication)
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers. Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information