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Hydroxyzine and Birth Control—Can You Mix Them?

Hydroxyzine and Birth Control—Can You Mix Them?

Besides being an antihistamine, hydroxyzine has sedating properties, making it a viable option for treating insomnia.

But what happens if you’re also on contraceptives? Can you take hydroxyzine and birth control together? Learn about the potential interactions between these substances as well as options to consider if you need a lasting solution to sleepless nights.

What Is Hydroxyzine?

Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine medication typically used to alleviate the symptoms of allergic reactions, such as:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes

This medication also dampens activity in the subcortical area of the central nervous system (CNS), giving it sedative properties and making hydroxyzine viable in treating the symptoms of anxiety and tension.

According to various clinical studies, hydroxyzine is effective in treating short-term insomnia in adults. Check out the key facts about this medication in the table below:



Drug class

Histamine H-1 antagonist

Key ingredient

Hydroxyzine dihydrochloride

FDA approval



Capsule, liquid, tablet

Available doses

10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg

Pregnancy category

C (no sufficient information to claim that it’s safe for unborn babies)

Suitable for children

Yes (only for approved conditions)

How to get it


Treatment duration

3–4 months maximum

This medication doesn’t carry the risk of addiction and is not a controlled substance. Still, you shouldn’t take it beyond the prescribed period to avoid the risk of developing tolerance.

Source: PNW Production

Birth Control Methods and Medications

Birth control entails numerous methods and medications, each with specific benefits and drawbacks. To understand how they interact with hydroxyzine, you should consider two crucial factors:

  1. Different types of birth control
  2. How birth control medications work

Different Types of Birth Control

Check out the table below for an overview of the different contraceptive methods:



Barrier methods

Include condoms and diaphragms, which physically prevent sperm from reaching the egg

Hormonal methods

Include birth control pills and patches, which use hormones to prevent ovulation

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants

Offer long-term birth control by releasing hormones or creating a physical barrier


A permanent solution involving surgical procedures

Natural methods

Involve monitoring menstrual cycles to avoid intercourse during fertile cycles

Emergency contraception

A backup option if regular contraception fails or isn’t used

There are no interactions between hydroxyzine and non-pharmaceutical birth control methods such as condoms and diaphragms. These methods work mechanically rather than chemically, so they don’t interact with medications.

How Birth Control Medications Work

Birth control medications contain synthetic hormones, typically estrogen and progesterone. These hormones block the pituitary gland from releasing the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and the luteinizing hormone (LH). 

FSH and LH are crucial for ovulation. FSH stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles, each containing an egg, while the LH triggers the release of a mature egg from the ovary. By suppressing these hormones, contraceptives effectively prevent ovulation.

Can Hydroxyzine and Birth Control Be Taken Together?

Source: Andrea Piacquadio

It’s generally safe to take hydroxyzine and birth control pills at the same time because the potential for interaction between these medications is low. However, different patients may report varying reactions to mixing these medicines, so you should consult your doctor before combining them. Risks are only low when using safe, approved, and reliable contraceptive methods.

Hydroxyzine can pass from the mother to the fetus, so you should avoid this medication if you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant soon.

Do Birth Control Medicines Affect Hydroxyzine’s Efficacy?

There’s little information to claim that birth control medicines affect hydroxyzine’s efficacy. Still, some contraceptives contain high levels of estrogen and may disrupt the natural estrogen-progesterone balance.

Estrogen is excitatory, while progesterone has a calming effect. When this balance is off due to contraceptives, it can be harder for the brain to settle down and rest, potentially causing sleep problems.

Safety Precautions When Using Hydroxyzine and Birth Control

Source: Marcus Aurelius

While hydroxyzine and birth control have low potential for interaction, the risks can’t be ruled out. Here are some safety precautions you should take when using these medications:

  1. Follow dosing instructions
  2. Watch out for the medications’ side effects
  3. Understand the impact on mental health
  4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  5. Go for regular check-ups

Follow Dosing Instructions

To reduce the chances of unwanted reactions, you should take these medicines as prescribed by your doctor. The dosage and frequency of taking contraceptives varies significantly.

The typical hydroxyzine dose for adults with insomnia is 50 mg, taken at least 30 minutes before going to bed to let the drug take effect. If you skip a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but not if the next one is close.

Watch Out for the Medications’ Side Effects

When taking hydroxyzine and birth control at the same time, you should watch out for unwanted symptoms. Common side effects of hydroxyzine may include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurry vision

Contraceptives carry the risk of acne, spotting, bloating, and changes in the menstrual cycle. You should contact your healthcare provider if you notice unusual physical changes from any of these medications.

Understand the Impact on Mental Health

Clinical studies show that hydroxyzine may affect the mood of patients, albeit rarely. The medication carries the risk of confusion and hallucinations, especially in older adults. If you feel any cognitive changes while on hydroxyzine, you should avoid activities that require sharp focus, including driving, climbing high places, and operating heavy machinery.

Meanwhile, birth control may cause mood swings and depression. These unwanted reactions rarely occur when patients stick to their prescribed doses, so follow your doctor’s guidelines to get safe and effective treatment.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

To make the most of your treatment, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle, including exercising regularly, staying hydrated, and avoiding foods and drinks that may affect either medication’s effectiveness, such as:

  • Grapefruit juice, which may affect the metabolization of both medications
  • Alcohol, which can enhance drowsiness when combined with hydroxyzine
  • Caffeine, which may reduce hydroxyzine’s effectiveness for sleep
  • Processed food and sugary drinks, which may raise the risk of weight gain when using contraceptives

You should consult your healthcare provider for more information on the types of food to avoid when using hydroxyzine and contraceptives.

Hydroxyzine and Birth Control—Potential Interactions With Other Medications

Hydroxyzine and birth control may interact with other medications as explained in the table below:

Medication Category


Interaction With Hydroxyzine

Interaction With Birth Control 

Sleep or anxiety medications 

Benzodiazepines, Clonidine, Xanax, Ativan

Can increase the risk of drowsiness and dizziness

No definitive evidence that birth control interferes with anti-anxiety medications

Muscle relaxants

Cyclobenzaprine, metaxalone, Robaxin (methocarbamol)

Can enhance drowsiness and raise the chance of accidental injuries

Can reduce the effectiveness of contraceptives


Zyrtec (cetirizine), Benadryl, Doxylamine

Can contribute to dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating

The potential for interaction is low but can’t be ruled out

Dietary supplements

St. John’s wort, activated charcoal, soy products

Can enhance drowsiness

Can make hormonal birth control less effective

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Naproxen

No known interactions

Can enhance the risk of electrolyte imbalance and heart problems


Zoloft, Trazodone

Can contribute to the side effects

No definitive evidence to claim that contraceptives interfere with antidepressants



Can enhance the risk of drowsiness

Can reduce the effectiveness of hormonal birth control



Can enhance drowsiness and dizziness

Can slow down metabolism, increasing the concentration of hypnotics in the blood

CNS depressants


Can contribute to drowsiness and raise the chance of accidental falls

The potential for interaction is low, but the risks can’t be ruled out



Can raise the risk of drowsiness and dizziness

Can reduce the effectiveness of hormonal methods of contraception

Can Hydroxyzine Help With Sleeplessness?

Hydroxyzine is typically effective for insomnia, but sleep issues often stem from complex factors, such as your lifestyle and mental health. You should get an all-encompassing solution that combines gentle medications and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i).

Since only 1% of physicians in the U.S. specialize in sleep medicine, you may wait a long time before getting an appointment with an expert. The good news is that you can turn to telehealth clinics like Kick. With Kick, you can skip the complicated procedures and begin treatment almost instantly.

Source: Ron Lach

Kick—Sleep Tight With Expert Coaching 

Kick is your reliable partner in achieving restful sleep. Designed by a renowned Stanford sleep doctor, Dr. Alex Dimitriu, our program helps you wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. Kick has positively impacted many lives as evidenced by our stellar Trustpilot ratings:

“Great experience getting my prescription - fast and reliable. If you’re on the fence about ordering from Kick Health, just try it!”

Jenny Kim, U.S.

You can connect with a sleep medicine specialist within 24 hours. After a brief 15-minute consultation, the sleep doctor will:

  • Evaluate your current state and health history
  • Develop a treatment plan customized for you
  • Prescribe two trial medications
  • Adjust your treatment based on your feedback for continuous improvement
  • Offer CBT-i coaching to help you sustain healthy sleep
  • Regularly monitor your progress

How To Join Kick

Our sleep program is easy to join. Here’s how it works:

  1. Navigate to our sign-up page to start your sleep visit
  2. Fill out the necessary information to help us understand your condition and medical history
  3. Provide your shipping address and payment details

Our expert will prescribe two trial medications, which you can have delivered to your home or local pharmacy. Some of our medications include:

  1. Trazodone
  2. Hydroxyzine
  3. Gabapentin
  4. Cyclobenzaprine
  5. Ramelteon
  6. Doxepin 

All medications act quickly, allowing you to experience results fast. Under your doctor’s guidance and with ongoing rotation, you’ll discover the most effective solution for your sleep troubles in no time.

You can try Kick risk-free with our Doctor Guarantee. If our doctor determines that Kick’s sleep program isn’t the right fit for you, you won’t pay for the initial consultation.

Featured image source: Polina Kovaleva