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What Is the Drug Hydroxyz HCL?

By Dana Severson ; Updated July 27, 2017

Hydroxyz HCL is a prescription medication in the classification of antihistamines. Although most of us associate antihistamines with allergies, which hydroxyz HCL is sometimes used for, this classification of drugs has proven to be effective in treating other medical conditions. Often referred to as hydroxyzine hydrochloride, hydroxyz HCL has been useful in treating symptoms of both anxiety and dementia, treating allergic reactions and motion sickness, and being used with painkillers and sedatives. For a prescription medication, hydroxyz HCL does an awful lot.

Allergic Reactions

Because hydroxyz HCL is classified as an antihistamine, doctors have been known to use this particular medication when someone suffers an allergic reaction to some sort of substance or even a prescription drug. It blocks histamine, which is produced as a response by the immune system during an allergic reaction. Hydroxyz HCL is commonly used when one of the symptoms of the allergic reaction is an irritation to the skin that prompts someone to itch or scratch.

Anxiety Disorders

Hydroxyz HCL also interacts with the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is a chemical that affects a person's mood. This result has made hydroxyzine hydrochloride an effectual treatment for nervousness and tension in relation to an anxiety disorder. The medication regulates this particular chemical so that a person who is experiencing one of these offshoots of anxiety becomes calm and relaxed.


Much like its use with any nervousness or tension one would suffer in relation to anxiety, hydroxyzine hydrochloride has also demonstrated some effectiveness as an adjunct treatment for these same derivatives of dementia. That being said, this is only an adjunct treatment for specific symptoms of dementia (as well as anxiety) and isn't used as a treatment for the condition as a whole.

Motion Sickness

Hydroxyz HCL also has some effect on dopamine, which is chemical closely linked to nausea and vomiting, thus this medication is an effective treatment for motion sickness. But, you'll only be able to get Hydroxyz HCL by prescription, so you'll need to talk to your doctor if over-the-counter antiemetic medications don't work for you.


Though Hydroxyz HCL is not necessarily considered a true analgesic or sedative, it has shown some positive results when used in conjunction with one. Hydroxyz HCL boosts the effect an analgesic, also known a painkiller or a sedative, making the dose requirements less for both types of drugs.

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