Caffeine is one of the first substances to scratch from your daily menu if you have difficulties falling or staying asleep. Most of us tend to think of it as the main ingredient in coffee, but getting off caffeine isn’t simple because it’s frequently added to many other products we consume, including certain teas, sodas, and even some drugs.
If your sleep problems require medications, learning whether it’s wise to mix them with caffeine and other substances is essential to get the most out of your prescribed sleep treatment. Find out how hydroxyzine and caffeine work together and whether it’s safe to mix them, and learn how this sleep medication interacts with other everyday products.
Can You Take Hydroxyzine With Caffeine?
Even though there are no known harmful interactions between hydroxyzine and caffeine, you shouldn’t consume them at the same time. Hydroxyzine is a sedating antihistamine and can make you drowsy, while caffeine is a stimulant and can make you more alert.
When combined, the two may counteract each other’s effects, making hydroxyzine less effective. If you don’t want to give up caffeine while on hydroxyzine, you should consult your healthcare provider. They’ll advise you on the appropriate amounts to reduce the risk of counteracting effects.
How Long After Caffeine Should You Take Hydroxyzine?
Caffeine kicks in within 45 minutes and reaches peak concentration in the blood about 60 minutes after ingestion. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, caffeine has a half-life of 3–5 hours. Half-life is the time your body needs to metabolize 50% of a substance you’ve taken—for example, if you’ve consumed 10 mg of caffeine, your body will still have 5 mg of caffeine after 3–5 hours.
Since it takes about 3–5 hours to metabolize half of the caffeine you’ve consumed at a given time, the substance may not fully clear from your bloodstream until after 6–10 hours.
Given this, you should wait at least six hours after consuming caffeine before taking hydroxyzine to ensure that the effects of caffeine have naturally subsided and won’t interfere with hydroxyzine’s sedative effects.
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How Hydroxyzine Works
Hydroxyzine is an FDA-approved antihistamine. The drug’s active component is hydroxyzine dihydrochloride, which is classified as a histamine H1 antagonist. The medication works by reducing the effects of histamine, a natural substance that triggers response to allergens.
The drug alleviates the symptoms of allergic reactions, such as:
- Contact dermatitis
- Runny nose
Hydroxyzine also acts on the serotonergic receptors (5HT2) in the brain, promoting the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and can help reduce anxiety. The dual action—suppressing histamine release while increasing serotonin levels—slows down the central nervous system, promoting mental and physical relaxation and inducing sleep.
This medication comes in tablet, liquid, and capsule forms in four doses:
- 10 mg
- 25 mg
- 50 mg
- 100 mg
Hydroxyzine is fast-acting—the sedative effects kick in within 30–60 minutes and typically last 4–6 hours.
This medicine carries no risk of physical addiction, but psychological dependence can’t be disregarded. Misuse can lead to tolerance, making lower doses ineffective. You can only get hydroxyzine through a doctor’s prescription.
How To Take Hydroxyzine for Sleep
When using hydroxyzine for sleep, you should take this medicine 60 minutes before bed. Set aside at least seven hours for sleep so the medication has enough time to kick in and wear off naturally. This will help you avoid next-day drowsiness, which may affect your daily activities, including driving or operating heavy machinery.
Individuals react to this drug differently depending on their health history and sleep issues, so the dosage may vary. For the best results, use this medication only as instructed by your healthcare provider.
Treating insomnia requires more than medications—this condition can stem from several complex factors, including behavioral ones. To get all-encompassing treatment, visit a sleep specialist.
With only 1% of physicians in the U.S. trained in sleep medicine, getting an appointment with an expert can be complicated and time-consuming. The good news is that Kick, an online performance medicine clinic, offers quick access to sleep experts from the comfort of your home. The consultation takes only 15 minutes, allowing you to skip long waiting times.
Kick—Better Sleep, Better You
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Designed by Dr. Alex Dimitriu, a Stanford sleep specialist, Kick’s sleep program is customized to your specific sleep problem and health status, helping you get the most effective solution in no time.
Our team offers ongoing cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i) coaching, helping you get valuable tips on proper sleep hygiene. Your doctor will also check in with you regularly and fine-tune the treatment to ensure you get a lasting solution in the shortest time possible.
If our specialist decides Kick isn’t the best solution for your sleep issues, they’ll refer you to your primary healthcare provider, and Kick won’t bill you for the initial consultation as per our Doctor Guarantee.
How To Join Kick
To join Kick’s groundbreaking sleep program, follow three easy steps:
- Navigate to our signup page to start your brief visit
- Fill out the intake form to help us understand your sleep patterns and medical history
- Choose between home delivery and local pharmacy pick-up for receiving your medication
Our expert will review your medical information and prescribe two trial medications, helping you find the most effective solution quickly while reducing the risk of dependence on one medicine. Our medications include:
Kick’s sleep program has helped many patients regain restful nights, which is reflected in the glowing reviews on Trustpilot.
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Is Mixing Energy Drinks With Hydroxyzine Bad?
You should avoid energy drinks when taking hydroxyzine. While the potential for interaction between these substances is low, most energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine and other stimulants, which can reduce hydroxyzine’s effectiveness for sleep. These drinks also contain high levels of sugar and other additives that may enhance certain undesirable reactions to hydroxyzine.
Some of the possible effects of mixing these substances are:
- Increased heart rate—The stimulants in these drinks may increase your heart rate, which can be exacerbated when combined with hydroxyzine
- Dehydration—Studies show that energy drinks can cause dehydration, which may worsen the dry mouth side effect of hydroxyzine
- Nervousness—The high caffeine content in energy drinks can lead to nervousness or jitteriness, which could be amplified by hydroxyzine in some patients
- Sleep disruption—The stimulating effects of these drinks can interfere with hydroxyzine’s sleep-promoting effects
Individual reactions to this combination vary, so you should inform your doctor if you experience physical or behavioral changes while using these substances.
Can You Take Hydroxyzine After Pre-Workout?
You shouldn’t take hydroxyzine after pre-workout supplements because they contain stimulants that can reduce hydroxyzine’s potency. Hydroxyzine can impact your memory and coordination besides inducing sleep, which might interfere with your post-workout recovery.
To reduce the effects of pre-workout supplements on hydroxyzine, schedule your workouts earlier in the day. Consult your healthcare provider if you need more information on the appropriate time for your workouts.
Can I Use Hydroxyzine and Marijuana Together?
Marijuana has a moderate interaction with hydroxyzine. When combined, these substances can cause severe sedation, impaired coordination, and increased drowsiness.
You should avoid mixing hydroxyzine with marijuana. If you’re taking medical marijuana, consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.
Will CBD Oil Interact With Hydroxyzine?
Although there are no known harmful interactions between CBD oil and hydroxyzine, you shouldn’t mix these substances. This combination can enhance the risk of side effects, including:
- Poor judgment
- Impaired motor coordination
Does Hydroxyzine Interact With Grapefruit?
Although the substances found in grapefruit make it nutritious, they can interact with hydroxyzine. Grapefruit contains furanocoumarins, compounds that block the cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) enzymes needed to metabolize drugs in the body. This can enhance the drug’s potency, increasing the risk of side effects.
To avoid the risk of overdosing, you shouldn’t mix hydroxyzine with grapefruit. Some of the symptoms of an overdose may include:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Ringing in the ears
- Irregular heartbeat
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Other Hydroxyzine Interactions To Consider
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Hydroxyzine may interact with drinks, supplements, and other medications:
You should inform your doctor about any substances you take before using hydroxyzine.
Is It Safe To Take Someone Else’s Hydroxyzine?
You shouldn’t take someone else’s hydroxyzine. This medication is prescription-only, meaning your healthcare provider will assess your condition before deciding whether you’re the right candidate for it.
Taking someone else’s medication raises the risk of this medication reacting with your medical condition or other drugs you’re taking. Hydroxyzine isn’t recommended for patients with the following conditions:
- History of heart disease
- MAO inhibitors users
- Urination or bladder problems
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Pregnant or planning to get pregnant
The list above isn’t comprehensive, so you should inform your healthcare provider about all medical conditions or procedures you’ve had recently.
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