Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine and can be used to treat anxiety, nausea, vomiting, allergies, skin rash, hives, and itching. It helps to reduce activity in the central nervous system. Hydroxyzine requires a prescription from your doctor. Within this article we are going to focus on hydroxyzine specifically for fibromyalgia. Before we discuss hydroxyzine in relation to fibromyalgia, let’s take a look at how hydroxyzine works.
What is hydroxyzine?
As previously mentioned, hydroxyzine is an antihistamine that helps reduce the effects of natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can create sneezing, runny nose, or hives on the skin. Hydroxyzine can help with these symptoms. It can also be used as a sedative that is meant to treat anxiety and tension. Hydroxyzine can be taken as capsules, tablets, syrup, and suspension to take orally. Only take the medicine as directed.
Brand names include Atarax, Hypam, Orgatrax, and Vistaril. However, Vistaril is the only branded product out of the four listed that is still available. The others are no longer on the market. Ask your doctor if there are generic alternatives available.
Things to Know Before Taking
There are several things you should know before using hydroxyzine, including:
- Do not use while pregnant. You should not use hydroxyzine while pregnant, especially during the first or second trimester.
- Do not use if you have heart problems. Because hydroxyzine can cause a serious heart problem, it is important that you do not have any heart issues. If you use certain medications while taking hydroxyzine, the risk for heart problems can increase. Talk to your doctor about your medications.
- Do not drink alcohol while using this medicine. Consuming alcohol can increase the risk for side effects.
- Be careful if you need to stay alert. Side effects can include impaired thinking or reactions. So, take caution if you have to drive or need to be alert.
If you experience any severe side effects, such as tremors, confusion, seizures, or restless muscle movements in the eyes, tongue, or neck, stop using hydroxyzine and call your doctor immediately. It is important to get immediate medical assistance if you are experiencing any signs of an allergic reaction to hydroxyzine. Allergic reactions include: hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling in the face, lips, or tongue.
Other possible side effects you may experience:
- skin reaction: It can be rare to have a severe skin reaction, but if you do, stop taking the medicine and call your doctor. Skin redness, rash, blistering, yellow pustules, or peeling are a few possible side effects.
- fast heartbeat
- chest pain
- dry mouth
Other side effects can occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effects you may be experiencing. You can report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. If you are concerned about other side effects, visit Medline Plus for more information.
Hydroxyzine and Fibromyalgia
Hydroxyzine can help with itchiness, skin problems, stress and anxiety, allergies, and balance level of histamines. Histamine intolerance can be the lead reason contributing to your symptoms or the severity of them associated with fibromyalgia. Although there is not a clear connection between histamine intolerance and fibromyalgia, there are researchers trying to determine its importance. Patients who have fibromyalgia have noticed that there is some relief from decreasing or completely removing foods that contain histamine from their diet. Fermented beverages and foods like alcohol, vinegar, yogurt, and cured meats are high in histamine. Also, there may be an increase in fibromyalgia symptoms during seasonal allergies when they are active (fibromyalgia flares, which are believed to have no cause).
Fibromyalgia patients tend to have elevated histamine levels. According to Wellness Resources, histamine is associated with the immune system, skin, digestive tract, wakefulness, blood pressure, satiety, and other brain functions. Histamine can influence the sleeping patterns of fibromyalgia patients because high levels of histamine in the brain can lead to poor sleep quality and wakefulness. Additionally, it can be responsible for chronic widespread pain. People with fibromyalgia tend to have more histamine in their skin than others, which is why you may be experiencing itchiness. This is where hydroxyzine comes in because it can help with your histamine levels as it acts as an antihistamine agent.
If you have anxiety or dermal problems like itching from fibromyalgia, hydroxyzine may be prescribed to you by your doctor. The medicine is meant to help provide pain relief, anxiety, and skin problem relief but can make it difficult to sleep.
Please note that this article has made every attempt at including correct information by conducting extensive research. However, this does not mean that it should be used in place of professional knowledge and expertise. Speak to a licensed healthcare provider you trust if you have any questions or concerns.