Atarax is prscribed for
- Anxiety in adults;
- As a sedative during premedication;
- Symptomatic therapy of itching.
Hydroxyzine dihydrochloride is a diphenylmethane derivative that is not chemically related to phenothiazine, reserpine, meprobamate, or benzodiazepines.
Hydroxyzine dihydrochloride is not a cerebral cortex depressant, but its effect may be associated with inhibition of activity in some key areas of the subcortical part of the central nervous system. Antihistaminic and bronchodilatory actions have been demonstrated experimentally and clinically confirmed. Pharmacological and clinical studies indicate that hydroxyzine in therapeutic doses does not increase gastric secretion or acidity, and in most cases has a mild antisecretory activity.
Reduction of redness has been demonstrated in healthy adult volunteers and in children after intradermal injections of histamine or antigens. Hydroxyzine has also been shown to be effective in relieving itching in various forms of urticaria, eczema, and dermatitis. In case of impaired liver function, the antihistamine effect of a single dose can be extended up to 96 hours after ingestion. EEG data from healthy volunteers demonstrate an anxiolytic-sedative profile of the drug. Anxiolytic effect was confirmed in patients using various classical psychometric tests. Polysomnography data in patients with anxiety and insomnia indicate an increase in total sleep time, a decrease in total nighttime awakening, and a decrease in sleep latency after a single or repeated daily doses of 50 mg.
A decrease in muscle tone has been demonstrated in anxious patients with a daily dose of 3 x 50 mg. No memory impairment was observed. There were no symptoms or signs of withdrawal after 4 weeks of treatment in patients with anxiety. In the case of oral dosage forms, the antihistamine effect begins after about 1:00. Sedation begins in 5-10 minutes for oral liquid forms and after 30-45 minutes for tablets. Hydroxyzine also has antispasmodic and sympatholytic effects. It has a weak affinity for muscarinic receptors. Hydroxyzine exhibits a mild analgesic effect.
How to take
For the symptomatic treatment of anxiety conditions in adults: 50 mg daily in divided doses (12.5 mg in the morning, 12.5 mg in the afternoon, 25 mg at night). In severe cases, the dose can be increased to 300 mg per day.
For premedication in surgical practice: 50-200 mg in one or two doses 1:00 before surgery, and additionally may be preceded by application once a night before anesthesia. For symptomatic treatment of pruritus, the initial dose is 25 mg, if necessary, the dose can be increased (25 mg 3-4 times a day). A single maximum dose should not exceed 200 mg, the maximum daily dose is not more than 300 mg.