Does Hydroxyzine show up on a drug test? 

Does Hydroxyzine show up on a drug test? 

Hydroxyzine may or may not show up on a drug test. However, this antihistamine is known for causing a false positive for Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) (1). 

If you’re on a standard therapeutic dose of the medication, it may not show up at all. However, having a high dose of this medication at the time of the drug test can cause a false-positive result. 

Hydroxyzine is a sedative antihistamine and some people may misuse it for that purpose and such people are more susceptible to getting false positive test results. However, Hydroxyzine is not a controlled substance and it does not get you high – neither Hydroxyzine pamoate (Vistaril) nor Hydroxyzine hydrochloride (Atarax).

How long does Hydroxyzine stay in your system? 

Hydroxyzine stays in your system for about 70 hours. This medication has a half-life of about 15-25 hours, after which the initial concentration of the drug reduces to half. 

The remaining concentration of the drug further reduces to half within the next 15-25 hours. The process continues until the drug is completely eliminated from your body, which can take up to 3 whole days. 

So, if you have a drug test scheduled and you’re worried about a false-positive caused by Hydroxyzine, you can take your last dose 3 days before the test. 

How to avoid a false-positive caused by Hydroxyzine? 

If you wish to avoid the false-positive on the initial drug test, the best way to do that is to not take Hydroxyzine for 3 days before the test. However, if you do end up having a false-positive by Hydroxyzine, there is nothing to worry about. 

The primary drug testing procedure is based on urine immunoassay and it is known for causing false positives. There are other testing procedures, known as confirmatory tests, which identify the exact chemical in your system. 

So if urine immunoassay doesn’t work for you, going for higher procedures like Gas Chromatography – Mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) is recommended (2). This testing procedure is accurate, however, it’s expensive and not everyone can easily afford it.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!



Brahm NC, Yeager LL, Fox MD, Farmer KC, Palmer TA. Commonly prescribed medications and potential false-positive urine drug screens. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2010 Aug 15;67(16):1344-50. doi: 10.2146/ajhp090477. PMID: 20689123. Available from:


Ramoo B, Funke M, Frazee C, Garg U. Comprehensive Urine Drug Screen by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). Methods Mol Biol. 2016;1383:125-31. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-3252-8_15. PMID: 26660182. Available from: