Drugs Q & A

Can Hydroxyzine Lower Your Blood Pressure?

Hydroxyzine is in a class of medications called antihistamines. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms. It also works by decreasing activity in the brain.

Hydroxyzine is used in adults and children to relieve itching caused by allergic skin reactions. It is also used alone or with other medications in adults and children to relieve anxiety and tension. Hydroxyzine is also used along with other medications in adults and children as a sedative before and after general anesthesia for surgery.

Is hydroxyzine bad for your heart?

Hydroxyzine has the potential to block hERG channels and other types of cardiac channels, resulting in a potential risk of QT interval prolongation and cardiac arrhythmia events. This potential risk was confirmed by clinical and post-marketing data.

Does hydroxyzine lower blood pressure?

Yes.  Hydroxyzine can lower blood which explains why it is used to treat high blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension occurs when your blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels.

For a normal reading, your blood pressure needs to show a top number (systolic pressure) that’s between 90 and less than 120 and a bottom number (diastolic pressure) that’s between 60 and less than 80. The American Heart Association (AHA) considers blood pressure to be within the normal range when both your systolic and diastolic numbers are in these ranges.

Blood pressure readings are expressed in millimeters of mercury. This unit is abbreviated as mm Hg. A normal reading would be any blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg and above 90/60 mm Hg in an adult.

If you’re in the normal range, no medical intervention is needed. However, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight to help prevent hypertension from developing. Regular exercise and healthy eating can also help. You may need to be even more mindful of your lifestyle if hypertension runs in your family.

Hydroxyzine Safety Information

Medicines containing the antihistamine hydroxyzine are available in most countries. The approved uses are different in different countries, but may include treatment of anxiety, relief of itching, use as one of the medicines given before an operation (premedication) or treatment of sleep problems.

  • There is a small risk of altered electrical activity of the heart when taking these medicines, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythm or even cause the heart to stop (cardiac arrest). The risk is mostly seen in patients who already have heart rhythm problems or have risk factors for these problems.
  • To reduce the risk to a minimum, new measures have been agreed for these medicines to ensure they are used for as short a time as possible at the lowest effective dose, and that their use is avoided in those at higher risk.
  • The dose in adults should not add up to more than a total of 100 mg a day. Elderly patients should not use these medicines, but if they do, the maximum dose should be 50 mg a day.
  • In countries where the medicines are approved for use in children, the maximum dose depends on their weight, and the daily total should not be more than 2 mg per kg of body weight in children weighing up to 40 kg (children over 40 kg should be given the adult dose).
  • Hydroxyzine must not be taken by patients who already have disturbances of heart rhythm or are taking other medicines that can cause similar effects on the heart. It should be used with care if taking certain other medicines that slow the heart rate or decrease the level of potassium in the blood.
  • Patients who have any concerns should speak to their doctor or pharmacist.

Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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