- What Are They
- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Hydroxyzine vs. Xanax: Differences
- Hydroxyzine and Xanax (alprazolam) are used to treat anxiety.
- Hydroxyzine is also used to treat itching caused by various allergic reactions, for inducing sedation prior to or after anesthesia and to treat nausea, vomiting, and alcohol withdrawal.
- Xanax is also used to treat panic attacks.
- Hydroxyzine and Xanax belong to different drug classes. Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine with anticholinergic (drying) and sedative properties and Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication in the benzodiazepine class.
- A brand name for hydroxyzine is Vistaril.
- Side effects of hydroxyzine and Xanax that are similar include drowsiness and dry mouth.
- Side effects of hydroxyzine that are different from Xanax include tiredness, sleepiness, dizziness, problems with coordination, drying and thickening of oral and other respiratory secretions, upset stomach, confusion, nervousness, irritability, blurred or double vision, tremors, seizures, loss of appetite, and nausea.
- Side effects of Xanax that are different from hydroxyzine include fatigue, memory problems, speech problems, constipation, changes in weight, addiction (dependency), headache, and constipation.
- Suddenly stopping Xanax after prolonged use can lead to withdrawal symptoms including insomnia, headaches, nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, sweating, anxiety, fatigue, and seizures (in severe cases).
What is Hydroxyzine? What is Xanax?
Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine with anticholinergic (drying) and sedative properties that is used to treat itching caused by various allergic reactions. Hydroxyzine also is used to treat anxiety and tension, and inducing sedation prior to or after anesthesia. Hydroxyzine also is used to treat nausea, vomiting, and alcohol withdrawal.
Xanax (alprazolam) is an anti-anxiety medication used for the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Xanax is in the benzodiazepine drug family that also includes diazepam (Valium), clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), flurazepam (Dalmane), and others. Xanax and other benzodiazepines act by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter (a chemical that nerve cells use to communicate with each other) that inhibits activity in the brain. It is believed that excessive activity in the brain may cause anxiety or other psychiatric disorders.
What are the side effects of hydroxyzine and Xanax?
Hydroxyzine side effects
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.
Xanax side effects
The most common side effects of Xanax taken at lower doses are:
Other side effects include:
- Memory problems
- Speech problems
- Changes in weight
- Addiction (dependency)
- Dry mouth
What are the withdrawal symptoms of Xanax?
Withdrawal Addiction is more likely to occur at high doses given over prolonged periods. Abrupt discontinuation of alprazolam after prolonged use can lead to symptoms of withdrawal such as:
Seizures can occur in more severe cases of withdrawal. Consequently, patients on alprazolam for extended periods of time should slowly taper the medication under a doctor's supervision rather than abruptly stopping the medication.
What is the dosage of hydroxyzine vs. Xanax?
- 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 50-100 mg intramuscular injection in 4 or 6 divided doses.
- Alcohol withdrawal is treated with a 50-100 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 starting dose for treating anxiety is 0.25-0.5 mg 3 to 4 times daily using immediate-release tablets. The dose may be increased every 3-4 days to a maximum dose of 4 mg daily.
- The starting dose for treating panic attacks is 0.5 mg 3 times daily. Doses can be increased every 3-4 days but by no more than 1 mg daily.
- The effective dose for preventing panic attacks may be as high as 10 mg daily for some patients. The starting dose when using extended-release tablets to treat panic disorder is 0.5 mg once daily and the average dose is 3-6 mg once daily.
- Alprazolam may be taken with or without food.
What drugs interact with hydroxyzine and Xanax?
Hydroxyzine drug interactions
Hydroxyzine also adds to the sedating effects the narcotic class of pain medications and its derivatives, for example
- oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet),
- hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Vicodin),
- hydromorphone (Dilaudid),
- codeine, and
- 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, clonidine (Catapres), and propranolol (Inderal). Hydroxyzine can also intensify the drying effects of other medications with anticholinergic properties, for example
- dicyclomine (Bentyl),
- bethanechol (Urecholine),
- amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), and
- chlorpromazine (Thorazine).
When using these drugs, the dose of hydroxyzine may require reduction.\
Xanax drug interactions
- Ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), nefazodone (Serzone), cimetidine (Tagamet), and fluvoxamine (Luvox) increase concentrations in the blood of alprazolam and therefore may increase the side effects of alprazolam.
- Alprazolam interacts with alcohol and medications (for example, barbiturates, and narcotics) that suppress activity in the brain by suppressing activity more and causing sedation.
- Carbamazepine and rifampin reduce the effect of alprazolam by increasing metabolism and elimination of alprazolam in the liver.
Are hydroxyzine and Xanax safe to use while pregnant and 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 if 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.
Hydroxyzine and Xanax (alprazolam) are used to treat anxiety. Hydroxyzine is also used to treat itching caused by various allergic reactions, for inducing sedation prior to or after anesthesia, and to treat nausea, vomiting, and alcohol withdrawal. Xanax is also used to treat panic attacks. Hydroxyzine and Xanax belong to different drug classes. Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine with anticholinergic (drying) and sedative properties and Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication in the benzodiazepine class.
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Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
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- Buspirone vs. Xanax
- Anxiolytics (for Anxiety) Drug Class Side Effects
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- Hydroxyzine (Vistaril) vs. buspirone (Buspar)
- Lyrica (pregabalin) vs. Xanax (alprazolam)
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- Hydroxyzine vs. Valium
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- Side Effects of Xanax (alprazolam)
- Haldol (haloperidol) vs. Xanax (alprazolam)
- Klonopin (clonazepam) vs. Xanax (alprazolam)
- Side Effects of Vistaril (hydroxyzine)
- Ativan vs. Xanax
Prevention & Wellness
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.
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alprazolam (Xanax)Alprazolam is a member of the benzodiazepine family, which are sedatives that cause dose-related depression of the central nervous system. Alprazolam is used for the treatment of anxiety disorders and panic attacks, which cause unrealistic worry and apprehension, restlessness, aches, trembling, shortness of breath, smothering sensation, palpitations, sweating, cold clammy hands, lightheadedness, flushing, exaggerated startle responses, problems concentrating, and insomnia.
It is important to be aware of the drug interactions related to alprazolam, effects on pregnancy and nursing mothers, as well as common side effects on the user.
AnxietyAnxiety 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.
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hydroxyzine (Vistaril)Hydroxyzine (Vistaril) is a drug prescribed to treat itching caused by a variety of allergic conditions, nausea, vomiting, and alcohol withdrawal. Review drug interactions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information prior to taking hydroxyzine.
Hydroxyzine (Vistaril) vs. buspirone (Buspar)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.
Separation AnxietySeparation anxiety disorder is a common childhood anxiety disorder that has many causes. Infants, children, older kids and adults can suffer from symptoms of separation anxiety disorder. Common separation anxiety treatment methods include therapy and medications. Factors that contribute to how quickly or successfully a child moves past separation anxiety by preschool age include how well the parent and child reunite, the skills the child and adult have at coping with the separation, and how well the adult responds to the infant's separation issues. For example, children of anxious parents tend to be anxious children.