Hydroxyzine Addiction

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Part of the complete guide to understanding addiction

The number of prescriptions written for hydroxyzine is increasing yearly at a rapid pace. Millions are being prescribed this medication, and it’s in extremely high demand. Read on to learn more and discover the ins and outs of this popular drug and if it is addictive.

What is Hydroxyzine?

Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine medication, belonging to a class of drugs called diphenyl methanes. It’s available via prescription only and is used to treat various ailments, including:

  • Itchiness from allergies or eczema
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and tension
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stiffness and tremors in Parkinson’s Disease patients
  • Symptoms of opioid withdrawal

Hydroxyzine is sold under the brand names Vistaril and Atarax and is not a controlled substance. It works by suppressing activity in the subcortical area of the brain, resulting in sedative effects. This is why patients are often administered Hydroxyzine before surgery.

Is Hydroxyzine Addictive? Can Hydroxyzine Get You High?

Hydroxyzine addiction is an unlikely occurrence since this medication is different from narcotics and benzodiazepines in terms of its addictive potential. Hydroxyzine is not habit-forming physically and there are no withdrawal effects when one stops taking it. However, one can easily become psychologically addicted to hydroxyzine. People tend to misuse the drug due to its anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and sedative effects. The feelings of calm and relaxation, in addition to the euphoria one can experience, can prompt the user to take larger doses than necessary, and this misuse may lead to dependence and Hydroxyzine abuse.

Here's how Hydroxyzine addiction happens: The user becomes dependent on the drug since it feels like the medication is necessary to function normally. Moreover, the body builds a tolerance to the drug, eventually leading one to increase the dosage. However, Hydroxyzine does not hold the same addictive and dependency possibility as other drugs. This is why the drug is so popular. 

Signs of Hydroxyzine Abuse

The following are common signs of Hydroxyzine abuse:

  • Extreme sedation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Severe skin reactions
  • Trembling
  • Convulsions
  • Stupor
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Abdominal pain

Is Hydroxyzine Habit-Forming?

Hydroxyzine isn’t considered to be habit-forming. Hydroxyzine can create a low to moderate feeling of euphoria which isn’t very addictive. Here are some ways people use Hydroxyzine to get high. One can:

  1. Crush the tablets into powder and snort it
  2. Dissolve the pills in water and inject it into a vein
  3. Combine Hydroxyzine with alcohol or other drugs
  4. Chew the pills as opposed to swallowing them with water
  5. Take higher doses than prescribed 

Since Hydroxyzine is not a habit-forming drug, the recovery rate for people addicted to this drug is considerably higher than other drugs.

Hydroxyzine Drug Interactions

According to Drugs.com, there are 571 drugs that can interact with Hydroxyzine. Listed below are several examples:

  • Alcohol: Taking Hydroxyzine with alcohol is a dangerous act as it results in increased side effects on the nervous system. Furthermore, one can suffer from impaired judgment which may lead to perilous behaviors.
  • Gabapentin: Gabapentin also intensifies side effects of the nervous system. In this case, the elderly are more susceptible to danger.
  • Amphetamines: These produce opposite effects to those of Hydroxyzine, making the combination a hazardous one.
  • Adderall: Taking Hydroxyzine with Adderall can affect the blood pressure, leading to irregular heart rhythms or stroke.
  • Antidepressants: Mixing the two can cause heart problems and disorientation.
  • Opioids: Combining Hydroxyzine with opioid pain relievers is lethal. It can result in central nervous system depression that can lead to respiratory issues.
  • Sedatives: Since both drugs produce sedative effects, taking both together has potentiating effects.

To avoid Hydroxyzine interaction, it’s extremely important to consult with a medical professional before taking Hydroxyzine. This is definitely a point to consider if one suffers from pre-existing health conditions, especially heart issues. This way the doctor will discuss which drugs interact, and thus be able to prescribe the correct dose accordingly.

Hydroxyzine Side Effects

Side effects tend to vary from person to person, depending on factors such as age, gender dosage, etc. The following are common symptoms that anyone could suffer from when taking Hydroxyzine:

  • Sedation
  • Nausea
  • Dryness in eyes and mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • Constipation
  • Heart problems

Taking Hydroxyzine together with other drugs can worsen the side effects, however, with proper drug detox treatment, these symptoms can be managed. 

Hydroxyzine Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know is suffering from Hydroxyzine abuse, don't hesitate to reach out to us, at Avenues Recovery Center so that we can help you. Our highly trained staff are experts in the field of addiction and they will guide you through the process of rehabilitation most sensitively and professionally. We have helped thousands of people overcome their addictions, and we can help you too. Our caring and dedicated staff will guide and support you every step of the way. Contact us today to discover a warm recovery community and to take your first step towards the sober life you deserve.

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