Hydroxyzine Pamoate vs HCL: What’s the difference? (7+ common side effects)
In this blog post, we are going to talk about the differences between Hydroxyzine Pamoate and Hydroxyzine HCL. Hydroxyzine is an anti-allergy medication that can be used for a number of different types of allergic symptoms.
However, people get confused over the two formulations of this anti-allergy medication. This is why we are here to clear it out for you.
What is the difference between Hydroxyzine Pamoate and Hydroxyzine HCL?
The only difference between Hydroxyzine Pamoate (Vistaril) and Hydroxyzine HCL (Atarax) is the salt used in the formulation of these two. Hydroxyzine, when formulated in the Pamoate salt form, is known as Hydroxyzine Pamoate.
When the exact same Hydroxyzine is formulated in the form of HCL salt, it is known as Hydroxyzine HCL. Hydroxyzine pamoate is available in capsule form, whereas Hydroxyzine HCL is available in tablet form.
However, both of these formulations are available in the liquid oral dosage form. Let’s get into detail about why one drug is formulated as two different salts. It is a known fact that medicines need a lot more than the active pharmaceutical ingredient, API.
This main ingredient is the active chemical that gives you your desired therapeutic results. However, this chemical can not be consumed on its own. This is why there are a bunch of excipients that are added to this chemical to give it a palatable form.
Even after combining all the powders into a tablet, there are various tests that are formed to check how it will dissolve and disintegrate once the tablet is inside your body. Upon testing the Hydroxyzine tablet, it was observed that the drug was not stable in its raw form.
This is why the manufacturers prepared the salt of the drug to make it more stable once inside your body. They actually made two types of salts as they both were found stable and the manufactured preparation showed good dissolution and stability inside the gastrointestinal tract.
It’s as simple as that. The drug is exactly the same, the activity is exactly the same, and the side effect profile is exactly the same. It’s like you are wearing two different dresses. You’ll look different in different colours, but you’re still you.
That’s exactly the case with Hydroxyzine. However, there are some common myths regarding the efficacy of one form of Hydroxyzine over another. That can depend on the person taking it.
If your body is adjusting well to one type of Hydroxyzine form, it gets dissolved in your body effectively and is absorbed in your blood at a higher rate, then you may find that one form of Hydroxyzine is more beneficial for you as compared to the other one.
They both will produce the same effects in you, but the salt form may change the timing and the quantity of the drug that gets absorbed in your body. That creates a difference, you create a difference. The drug is all the same.
What is Hydroxyzine and how does it work?
Hydroxyzine is an anti-allergy medication. It works by inhibiting the allergy mediators that are released by mast cells as a result of an allergen. These mast cells release allergy mediators like histamine, cytokines, bradykinins, etc.
However, Hydroxyzine specifically works to block the effects of histamine, which is one of the most common allergy mediators. It basically inhibits H1 receptors which are also called histamine-1 receptors.
One of the most common side effects of such medications is sleepiness. This sedation typically occurs because of the blockage of H1 receptors. Make sure you only take this medication if recommended by your healthcare provider.
As it can help induce sleep, some people may start to misuse these meds as sleeping pills and this misuse or overuse of any kind can lead to a number of disturbing side effects. This is because Hydroxyzine can also be used for the purpose of treating anxiety in depression in both adults and children.
The drug is believed to act on the chemical composition of your brain and alter the amounts of certain neurotransmitters. This indicates that Hydroxyzine has a broader spectrum of action and it can be used in the treatment and management of a number of health conditions.
One important thing to bear in mind is that medications like Hydroxyzine, which can affect your brain and your behaviour, should be taken cautiously and only when prescribed by your healthcare provider. It can not be classified as an over-the-counter medication so don’t ever use it as one.
What are the side effects associated with the use of Hydroxyzine?
Like every other medication on this planet, Hydroxyzine is also associated with some side effects. These side effects can vary from person to person.
Some people may not develop unbearable side effects, but some people can develop an allergic reaction to Hydroxyzine which can lead to the discontinuation of treatment with this anti-allergy medication. Some of the common side effects associated with the use of Hydroxyzine include:
- Upset stomach
- Dry mouth or xerostomia
- Weight gain or loss
- Loss or gain of appetite
Hydroxyzine can also cause some rare and serious side effects which may require immediate medical attention. Make sure you reach out to your healthcare provider as soon as you can if you suffer from the following side effects:
- An allergic reaction
- Redness of skin
- Burning sensation
- Blue-purple patches
- Tightness of chest
- Inability to breathe
- Swelling or tenderness in different parts of the body
- Muscle twitching and weakness
- Severe diarrhoea
How to ensure the proper use of Hydroxyzine?
Ensuring the proper use of Hydroxyzine is the main key to achieving your desired therapeutic goals. First and the most important thing is to make sure that you are not allergic to Hydroxyzine.
If you exhibit any sign of an allergic reaction or any unusual side effect right after taking your first ever Hydroxyzine dose, then Hydroxyzine is not a good choice of anti-allergy medication for you.
To prevent that from happening, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist about the excipients present in the formulation to make sure it does not contain anything that you know you’re allergic to.
It is also extremely important to inform your doctor about all the meds you have been taking before you take Hydroxyzine. Medications don’t always go well together. Some meds are highly incompatible with one another.
Some meds are incompatible in terms of the side effects as they all cause the same kind of side effects that may become too much for you to bear. This is why you should inform your doctor if you have been taking anything like:
- Vitamin or mineral supplements
- Hypertensives, especially ACE Inhibitors
- Antiarrhythmic drugs
- Other antiepileptics
- Antidepressants like Monoaminoxidase inhibitors
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Drugs used for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
- Sleeping pills
- Narcotic analgesics
- Other controlled substances
You should definitely inform your healthcare provider if you are a heavy drinker. The concomitant use of Hydroxyzine and alcohol can make you suffer terribly. This is because both of these meds can act as CNS depressants.
Excessive intake of these two can induce depression and suicidal behaviour in people. It can also cause side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, impaired senses, impaired motor coordination, confusion, inability to speak, blackouts, coma, and even death.
This is why you should never pair these two together. If you’re an alcoholic, don’t forget to mention it to your healthcare provider. Your honesty is necessary to save your own life.
It is also very important to inform your doctor if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. In animal trials, Hydroxyzine showed drastic effects on the growing fetus.
The drug was found capable of reducing fertility levels in animal models and even if the process of pregnancy was carried out, the new babies were found to be defective in one or another. However, there is a lack of studies performed on humans.
It is best to avoid the use of Hydroxyzine if you’re pregnant. It is also important to inform your doctor if you’re a breastfeeding mother. Always make sure to monitor the side effects Hydroxyzine is causing in you and try to manage them properly.
If it makes you sleepy or dizzy, do not drive while the concentration of the drug is high in your body. If you begin to exhibit any sign of disturbing mental behaviour, like forgetfulness, mood swings, irritability, confusion, etc, immediately seek medical attention and inform your doctor that the medicine is causing psychological side effects.
In this blog post, we have discussed the differences between Hydroxyzine Pamoate and Hydroxyzine HCL. The only difference is the salt used in the formulation of these two. Make sure you take this medication only when recommended by your healthcare provider.
If you exhibit any sign of disturbing mental behaviour, like forgetfulness, mood swings, irritability, confusion, etc, immediately seek medical attention and inform your doctor that the medicine is causing psychological side effects.
FAQs: hydroxyzine pamoate vs hcl
Is hydroxyzine pamoate like Xanax?
No, Hydroxyzine Pamoate and Xanax are not similar. Hydroxyzine is an anti-allergy medication. It works by inhibiting the allergy mediators that are released by mast cells as a result of an allergen. These mast cells release allergy mediators like histamine, cytokines, bradykinins, etc.
However, Hydroxyzine specifically works to block the effects of histamine, which is one of the most common allergy mediators. Xanax is a benzodiazepine. It acts on the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain to control the excessive neuronal firing that causes anxiety and seizures.
What are the two types of hydroxyzine?
The two types of Hydroxyzine are Hydroxyzine Pamoate (Vistaril) and Hydroxyzine HCL (Atarax). The only difference is the salt used in the formulation of these two. Hydroxyzine, when formulated in the Pamoate salt form, is known as Hydroxyzine Pamoate. When the exact same Hydroxyzine is formulated in the form of HCL salt, it is known as Hydroxyzine HCL.
Which hydroxyzine is better for anxiety?
Both forms of Hydroxyzine can be used for the management of anxiety. The drug is believed to act on the chemical composition of your brain and alter the amounts of certain neurotransmitters. This can help counteract some of your anxiety symptoms. If you exhibit any sign of disturbing mental behaviour, like forgetfulness, mood swings, irritability, confusion, etc, immediately seek medical attention and inform your doctor that the medicine is causing psychological side effects.
Is hydroxyzine like benzo?
No, Hydroxyzine is not like benzo. Benzodiazepines are an entirely different class of medications. They are anti-anxiety medications that can also be used in the treatment and management of epileptic seizures. Hydroxyzine, on the other hand, works by inhibiting the allergy mediators that are released by mast cells as a result of an allergen. These mast cells release allergy mediators like histamine, cytokines, bradykinins, etc.
How long does it take for hydroxyzine to kick in?
Hydroxyzine can start to show its full effects within 30 minutes to an hour. However, this time duration can vary from person to person. Some people begin to see the effects of the drug in less than 30 minutes. Make sure you do not take Hydroxyzine or any other medication without your doctor’s approval.
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National Library of Medicine – Hydroxyzine https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682866.html#:~:text=Hydroxyzine%20is%20in%20a%20class,decreasing%20activity%20in%20the%20brain.
2.-Value of hydroxyzine in generalized anxiety disorder: controlled double-blind study versus placebo https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7875114/