Is It Safe to Use Hydroxyzine for Alcohol Withdrawal?

There are possible links that people should know about alcohol and hydroxyzine. Hydroxyzine is the generic name of a medication that goes by the brand name Vistaril.

Hydroxyzine is a prescription medicine that’s used to treat allergic reactions, and it also has sedative properties. It is typically prescribed to relieve itching related to allergic reactions. It can also be used to treat anxiety and tension, or administered as a sedative before or after anesthesia. Additionally, hydroxyzine is sometimes used for the treatment of nausea, vomiting and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Alcohol and Hydroxyzine | Is It Safe to Use Hydroxyzine for Alcohol Withdrawal?

Hydroxyzine is classified as an antihistamine, so when someone takes it, it binds to histamine receptors. In this way, hydroxyzine prevents allergen histamines from binding to and stimulating those cells.

While we will look specifically at the relationship between alcohol and hydroxyzine below, there are some general side effects possible with this medicine. These can include sedation, drowsiness, sleepiness, coordination problems and stomach problems. Other possible side effects may include dry mouth, nervousness, confusion, irritability and blurred vision.

Doctors are warned to be cautious when prescribing hydroxyzine to patients with glaucoma, enlarged prostate glands, cardiovascular disease, hypertension or asthma. There are certain medicines that shouldn’t be combined with hydroxyzine, including those classified as benzodiazepines. These include Valium, Klonopin, Xanax and Ativan. People are also advised to use caution when it comes to combining hydroxyzine and opioid pain medicines such as Vicodin and Percocet, because these can add to the sedation effects of hydroxyzine. It’s also advised that people in certain circumstances take precautions when using this drug. For example, it’s advised to avoid using it during the first trimester of pregnancy.


There are two big considerations when it comes to understanding alcohol and hydroxyzine. The first is whether or not you can combine alcohol and hydroxyzine, and the second is the question of “is it safe to use hydroxyzine for alcohol withdrawal?”

You shouldn’t take alcohol and hydroxyzine at the same time. Hydroxyzine has a sedative effect on the central nervous system, and so does alcohol. If you combine alcohol and hydroxyzine, it can heighten the central nervous system (CNS) depression effects, and slow heart rate and breathing. This can lead to an overdose, coma or death. If you were to combine alcohol and hydroxyzine and you then drove or operated machinery it could also be incredibly dangerous. Additionally, symptoms of hydroxyzine such as nausea and headache could be made worse by using alcohol and hydroxyzine at the same time.


So, is it safe to use hydroxyzine for alcohol withdrawal? While hydroxyzine is an antihistamine, it’s often used not only for alcohol withdrawal but also marijuana withdrawal symptoms. The reason hydroxyzine is used for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms is that it acts as a sedative and it has hypnotic properties. It can relieve anxiety symptoms as well as the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal that could be helped by the use of hydroxyzine include anxiety, nausea and vomiting.

There are certain patients who shouldn’t use this medicine for alcohol withdrawal, including those with ulcers, liver disease or heart problems. If these individuals are prescribed hydrazine, their dosages need to be adjusted by a doctor. Because there are various types of hydroxyzine and different dosages work best for different people, it’s best to consult with a doctor before taking this drug. You should never try to self-medicate as a way to get through alcohol withdrawal.

What is beneficial about hydroxyzine is that it isn’t addictive, so it can help relieve the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal without replacing one addiction with another. It’s considered generally safe for use in people with substance use disorders, and it’s very commonly prescribed in substance abuse rehabilitation centers.

So, what should you know about alcohol and hydroxyzine? You shouldn’t combine alcohol and hydroxyzine at the same time because they both depress the central nervous system. However, is it safe to use hydroxyzine for alcohol withdrawal? Yes, it is generally considered safe to use this medicine for alcohol withdrawal, but only under medical supervision.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and wants to begin the recovery process, medically supervised detox in a reputable rehab center is a good first step. The Recovery Village can help. Reach out today for more information.

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