Vistaril For Anxiety Treatment And Other Uses

Last Updated: March 11, 2020

The diversity of Atarax uses revolves around its ability to produce anxiolytic, sedative, and anticholinergic effects. Such an ability allows using Vistaril for anxiety management, insomnia treatment, and overcoming allergic reactions. Low addiction potential and Vistaril usage for opiate withdrawal also mark a high possibility for drug abuse.

Indication for Use

Before using the drug, it is important to research what Vistaril is and what limitations are for its use.
Basing on the multiple properties of a drug, there are several indications for Vistaril use:

  • Symptomatic tension and anxiety caused by psychoneurosis
  • Pruritus, caused by chronic urticaria or dermatoses
  • General anesthesia (acts as potentiator for barbiturates and opioid-based drugs)

Doctor Filling Out The Prescription

Mechanism of Action

Vistaril has its effect on the body by inhibiting H1 receptors. The H1 receptors mediate the body’s reaction to allergens. When the body is exposed to allergens, mast cells and basophils degranulate and release inflammatory mediators such as histamines. Hydroxyzine (Vistaril) acts as an inverse agonist to the histamines by connecting with the H1 receptors and, by doing so, slows down the activity of the receptor. Such an action of Hydroxyzine results in diminished symptoms manifestation.

Hydroxyzine also acts antagonistically to the 5-HT, muscarinic, and the alpha- adrenoreceptors. The 5-HT receptor is responsible for the reception of serotonin. The ability to inhibit this reception gives the drug anxiolytic capabilities, thus allows to use of Vistaril for anxiety.

Allergy Treatment

Vistaril can be used for the treatment of the following allergic reactions:

  • Pruritus
  • Hives
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Swelling
  • Nausea

In adults, the usual hydroxyzine dosage ranges from Vistaril 25mg to 50 Milligrams daily for the symptomatic relief.

Skin Rash As Result Of An Allergy

Sleep Disorder Treatment

The ability to cross the blood-brain barrier makes the use of Vistaril for insomnia a good idea since it is an effective sedative. Having a soothing effect is a common property of most antihistamines.

There are instances when doctors prescribe Hydroxyzine alongside other drugs for the treatment of insomnia. Physicians find it easy to prescribe Vistaril for sleep alongside other medicines because the interaction usually has no adverse effects, and excessive drowsiness only adds to the cause.

However, it is important to mention the side effects of Vistaril that may arise during the therapy. The simultaneous use of Hydroxyzine and alcohol can invoke heavy drowsiness and CNS depression, thus leading to death in sleep from respiratory failure.

Anxiety Treatment

People with anxiety disorders usually have increased 5-HT activity. Hydroxyzine inhibits the activity of these receptors, thus allowing for the reduction of anxiety in the user. 5-HT, ordinarily, combine with serotonin, which may heighten the tension. It is also due to this ability that doctors prescribe Vistaril for panic attacks.

In the United States, over forty million adults have anxiety disorders. Many drugs for anxiety can be bought over the counter; however, Vistaril drug class is such that one can only get the medication through a prescription.

This drug is quite versatile in as far as the treatment of different types of anxiety is concerned. Most doctors, however, prescribe Atarax for anxiety for the management of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD is one of the most widely diagnosed types of anxiety.

Many anxiety drugs have to be taken regularly, and that is another way hydroxyzine differs from the rest, such as the case in Vistaril vs. Benadryl. Vistaril also can’t be used for a long period of time and in high doses as it will induce unpleasant adverse reactions.

Woman With Anxiety Issues

Depression Treatment

There is a close relationship between anxiety and depression. Usually, the same attributes that enable a drug to manage stress allow for the management of depression. This is why Vistaril is used for treating depression and related issues.

Recreational Use Of Hydroxyzine

Besides the medical use, Hydroxyzine has the potential to be recreationally abused. The drug has a low addiction profile, which makes it a perfect target for substance abusers. Its high is marked by the overall effect of calm, profound drowsiness, and sometimes hallucinations. The recreational use of Vistaril is a dangerous affair as it may result in antihistamine tolerance, permanent cardiac problems, permanent psychological issues (mood swings, irritability).

Avoiding Hydroxyzine Misuse

Hydroxyzine affects the body by inhibiting both H1 and 5-HT receptors. Atarax uses include treatment of allergic reactions, the management of stress and depression, and sleep disorders, all of which make the drug quite useful.

On the other hand, the interaction between Vistaril and pregnancy is not well researched; thus, pregnant users should use Vistaril for allergy strictly according to the directions of a doctor.

Being a sedative, Vistaril causes relaxation in a way that a person may be tempted to abuse it. So, how long does Vistaril last? The effects continue to be felt for up to two hours. A person may become addicted to the effects, and the abuse issue will only grow worse. Another risk factor is Vistaril prices, which are low and make this drug accessible. Still, this is mitigated by the fact that Hydroxyzine is a prescription-only drug.

It is imperative for anyone abusing Hydroxyzine to seek professional medical help from a drug rehabilitation center. There, patients will be available to enroll in a drug abuse treatment program. Such a program will help to smoothly recover from drug dependence and successfully reintegrate into social life.

Page Sources

  1. Martin P1, Guillou N, Lacroix P, Billardon M., Effects of co-administration of an antidepressant and an anxiolytic drug in the "learned helplessness" paradigm: the importance of hydroxyzine. (1994).
  2. MedLine. Hydroxyzine Drug. (2020).
  3. Bystritsky, A., Khalsa, S. S., Cameron, M. E., & Schiffman, J. (2013). Current diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders. P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management, 38(1), 30–57.

Published on: March 11th, 2020

Updated on: March 11th, 2020


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