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Hydroxyzine-Food Interactions To Be Aware Of

Hydroxyzine-Food Interactions To Be Aware Of

If you’ve been having sleepless nights, your healthcare provider may recommend using sleep medications like hydroxyzine. Even though the drug is an antihistamine, it’s a viable option in the short-term treatment of insomnia.

Before using this medication, you should be aware of its potential interactions with other substances, including food. Learn about hydroxyzine-food interactions and get tips on using this medicine safely.

Can Hydroxyzine Be Taken With Food?

You can take hydroxyzine with or without food, but food may delay the onset of this medication’s effects. Your doctor may recommend taking this drug with food to alleviate potential undesirable reactions, including:

  • Stomach upsets
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Tremors

Foods To Avoid With Hydroxyzine

Foods that may interact with hydroxyzine include:

  • Grapefruit
  • Products that contain caffeine

Grapefruit contains a class of chemicals called furanocoumarins, which can disrupt the normal function of cytochrome P450 (CYP)—a group of proteins in the liver responsible for breaking down medications, including hydroxyzine. Consuming grapefruit can inhibit the metabolization of hydroxyzine, leading to higher levels of the drug in your bloodstream. This can raise the risk of overdose and prolong the QT interval, causing irregular heart rhythm.

The interaction between hydroxyzine and caffeine isn’t harmful, but it can affect the drug’s effectiveness for sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant and can block hydroxyzine’s sedative effects, causing increased alertness and anxiety. These interactions can vary depending on your age, lifestyle, and medical history, so you should consult your doctor for personalized advice.

How Does Hydroxyzine Work?

Source: Polina Kovaleva

Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine that limits the effects of histamine in the body. It slows down the central nervous system, reducing your body’s response to allergens and alleviating the symptoms of allergic reactions, such as:

  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Hives
  • Contact dermatitis

The medication can also open the airways, relieve nausea and vomiting, and cause muscle relaxation. As your body experiences these effects, you may feel a sense of calmness, which reduces anxiety and promotes restorative sleep.

Hydroxyzine is available in four doses:

  1. 10 mg
  2. 25 mg
  3. 50 mg
  4. 100 mg

You should only take the prescribed dose to reduce the risk of developing tolerance or psychological addiction. Check out the table below for more details about this drug:



Generic name


Brand names

Atarax, Vistaril

Drug classes

Antihistamine, miscellaneous anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics

FDA approved


Primary function

Antihistamine—limits the effects of histamine in the body

Primarily indicated for

Anxiety, tension, symptoms of allergic reactions


Tablet, capsule, liquid

Available doses

10 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg

Side effects


Suitable for pregnant women

Not suitable

Treatment duration

3–4 months

Prescription or OTC

Prescription only

Hydroxyzine kicks in within 30–60 minutes, and the effects last 4–6 hours. You should use this medicine under close medical supervision since it may interact with other medications or substances you use.

Can I Take Hydroxyzine After Using Pre-Workout?

Source: Karolina Grabowska

You shouldn’t mix hydroxyzine with pre-workout supplements because they contain stimulants like caffeine that boost energy levels and alertness. Combining the two could reduce hydroxyzine’s effects, making it harder for you to fall asleep. You should schedule your workouts earlier in the day to allow enough time for the stimulants to wear off naturally before taking hydroxyzine.

Everyone’s body reacts differently to drugs and food, and you should inform your healthcare provider if using these substances on the same day affects your sleep.

Source: cottonbro studio

Can Hydroxyzine Affect Sugar Diabetic 2?

There’s no sufficient information to claim that hydroxyzine affects blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. However, a phase IV clinical study of FDA data suggests a potential increase in blood sugar levels, especially among females over 60 who have been taking the drug for less than a month and also use Metformin to regulate blood sugar.

If you have type 2 diabetes and you’re prescribed hydroxyzine, you should monitor your blood sugar levels closely and inform your doctor if you notice significant changes. Some tips for reducing this medication’s impact on your blood sugar levels include:

  • Exercise regularly—Working out can help regulate your blood sugar levels
  • Eat a balanced diet—Consuming nutritious meals in the right portions can help maintain stable blood sugar levels
  • Manage stressful situations—Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help alleviate stress
  • Go for regular checkups—Ongoing consultations with your doctor while using hydroxyzine can help you optimize the treatment quickly

Can You Drink Alcohol While on Hydroxyzine?

You shouldn’t mix alcohol with hydroxyzine. Both substances can slow down the central nervous system, and combining them enhances their depressant effects. Check out the table below for more information:

Risk of Mixing Alcohol and Hydroxyzine


Severe drowsiness

Hydroxyzine and alcohol carry the risk of drowsiness, and combining them enhances this effect

Impaired thinking and judgment

Both substances carry the risk of confusion and impaired judgment. Mixing them may affect your ability to think clearly and make sound decisions

Difficulty concentrating

The enhanced sedative effects can make it hard to focus

Problems with impulse control

Combining alcohol and hydroxyzine reduces impulse control, increasing the risk of accidents

Increased risk of overdose

Mixing hydroxyzine with alcohol raises the risk of an overdose, especially if you take them in large quantities or with other CNS depressants. Symptoms may include confusion, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, and poor motor coordination

Worsened depression symptoms

Patients with depression may experience more severe symptoms if they mix alcohol with hydroxyzine

Enhanced risk of side effects

This combination raises the risk of adverse reactions, such as dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, and severe sedation

If you’re planning on taking alcohol, you should skip hydroxyzine that day to ensure safe treatment. 

What Is the Proper Way To Take Hydroxyzine?

You should take hydroxyzine as instructed by your healthcare provider. The typical starting dose is 50 mg daily, but it can vary depending on your specific condition. Doctors typically prescribe lower doses to older patients to reduce the risk of unwanted reactions, such as impaired judgment and poor motor coordination.

You should take hydroxyzine 60 minutes before going to bed and ensure you can set aside at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep when taking this drug. This will help you avoid next-day drowsiness, which may affect daily activities like driving. Other guidelines for using this drug include:

  • Don’t share medications—Using someone else’s medicine can lead to serious health risks
  • Don’t stop abruptly—To reduce the risk of insomnia relapse, talk to your healthcare provider before discontinuing this medication
  • Report side effects—Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience unwanted reactions
  • Monitor the results—Hydroxyzine is meant for short-term use, so you should tell your doctor if insomnia persists after you stop taking the drug

Can Hydroxyzine Help You Sleep Better?

Hydroxyzine can help you sleep better—according to various clinical studies, the drug can increase total sleep time and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Still, the medication is only meant for short-term use and may not offer a lasting solution when used alone. For long-term results, you should consult a sleep specialist. 

With only 1% of physicians in the U.S. trained in sleep medicine, you may have to join a queue of thousands of other patients seeking similar services. The good news is that telehealth platforms like Kick can help you connect with sleep specialists within hours. Designed by a Stanford sleep specialist, Kick’s program has helped many patients recover from sleepless nights and live a healthier life.

Source: Karolina Grabowska

Kick—Sleep Solutions at Your Fingertips

Kick’s sleep program offers a holistic approach to your sleep issues, including:

  • A personalized treatment—You get a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and lifestyle to ensure the root causes of your sleep issues are addressed
  • Access to certified sleep specialistsOur doctors are trained in sleep medicine, so you get expert guidance
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i) coaching—The program is designed to help you make meaningful behavioral changes that improve your sleep hygiene
  • Ongoing support—Your doctor will schedule regular online consultations to check your progress and adjust the treatment if necessary
  • Convenient and discreet interactions—You can consult our experts via chat and choose between having your medications delivered to your home or a local pharmacy
  • Fast-acting medications—Our sleep medications are gentle and effective

Getting Started With Kick

Kick’s sleep program received numerous positive reviews on Trustpilot—a testament to the exceptional results we achieved working with different patients:

“Experience using GoKick has been fantastic. Their website makes it easy--quick response time. Easy refills. Been using them since 2022.”

Vic Conner, U.S.

To benefit from the sleep program, follow three simple steps:

  1. Go to our Sleep Visit page and begin your 15-minute consultation
  2. Complete the questionnaire to help us understand your sleep patterns and medical history
  3. Enter your shipping and payment details

Our team will review your medical history and select two trial prescriptions tailored to your lifestyle and sleep issues. Our medications include:

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

If our specialist decides Kick isn’t the best solution for your sleep issue, they’ll advise you to consult your primary healthcare provider, and you won’t pay for the initial consultation as per our Doctor Guarantee.

Is There an Alternative to Hydroxyzine?

If your doctor decides that hydroxyzine isn’t the most effective medication based on your sleep issue or medical history, they may recommend other sleep drugs. Examples of the drug’s alternatives include:

None of these medications are a one-size-fits-all solution. For the most effective treatment, consider a holistic approach to your sleep issues and turn to sleep specialists for expert guidance.

Featured image source: Alena Shekhovtcova