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Frequently Asked Questions

Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine used for the treatment of allergies, flea bite dermatitis, and atopy.

Hydroxyzine is prescribed for dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, and horses.

  • Used for the treatment of hives, allergies, flea bite dermatitis, and atopy

  • Helps stop itching

  • Fewer side effects than corticosteroids

Hydroxyzine works by blocking the actions of histamine in the body. Histamine is the chemical responsible for many of the symptoms seen when an allergic reaction occurs.

This is the generic form of Atarax.

This medication is given orally. Always follow the dosage instructions provided by your veterinarian. Duration of treatment depends on the reason for and response to treatment. This medication should only be given to the pet for which it was prescribed. If you have difficulty giving the medication, contact your veterinarian.

Hydroxyzine will generally start to work within several hours, but several days of therapy may be needed to achieve the full effect.

Hydroxyzine will not cure allergies or flea bite dermatitis, but can help reduce the symptoms. The results are short-acting so the medication usually must be given 2-3 times a day.

This medication comes in tablet form.


Discuss how long the treatment period will be and what type of outcome is expected. You and your veterinarian should talk about any other treatment options that are recommended for your pet.

Tell your veterinarian if your pet has has an enlarged prostate, urinary tract obstruction, heart disease, glaucoma or stomach or intestinal obstruction.

Notify your veterinarian of any other medications or supplements your pet is taking.

If you miss a dose, give it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to the regular schedule. Do not give two doses at once.

Understand what outcome is expected, and if the results are not achieved, contact your veterinarian. Monitor for possible side effects.

Not for use in animals hypersensitive (allergic) to Hydroxyzine or similar medications. Use with caution in animals with glaucoma, enlarged prostate, severe cardiac failure, obstruction of the urinary bladder, or obstruction of the pylorus (junction between the stomach and intestine).

Use in pregnant and lactating animals (female animals nursing their young) only if benefits outweigh the risks. Use with caution in working animals (military dogs, police dogs, seeing eye dogs, hearing dogs, working horses, etc.) as it may cause too much sedation.

Discontinue use at least 7 days prior to skin allergy testing.

In horses, hydroxyzine is a classified drug. Consult your veterinarian and event officials before use hydroxyzine or any other medication in a performance horse. Not for use in horses intended for food.

In all animals you may see sedation. Less commonly seen are: excitement, fine tremors, whole body tremors, or rarely, seizures.

Cats: You may see increased thirst or other behavioral changes.

Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of the above side effects. If your pet experiences an allergic reaction to the medication, signs may include facial swelling, hives, scratching, sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, pale gums, cold limbs, or coma. If you observe any of these signs, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Store at room temperature in a tight, light-resistant, childproof container. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

Should overdose occur, you may see excessive sedation or low blood pressure (weakness). If you observe any of these signs in your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Consult your veterinarian before using hydroxyzine with any other medications, including vitamins and supplements, other central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs such as barbiturates, antidepressants, anesthetics, or tranquilizers; anticholinergic drugs, atropine, heparin, warfarin, or epinephrine, since interactions may occur. No known food interactions.

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