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Can I Buy Hydroxyzine Over the Counter for Sleep Issues?

Can I Buy Hydroxyzine Over the Counter for Sleep Issues?

Although it’s an antihistamine initially developed for allergies, hydroxyzine has found off-label use in the treatment of anxiety and sleep disorders. Its effectiveness and versatility have made it popular among many patients struggling with sleepless nights. If you’re experiencing insomnia and would like to try this medicine, you might wonder, “Can I buy hydroxyzine over the counter?”

Learn how to obtain hydroxyzine for your sleep problems, and get practical tips on using it safely in this straightforward guide.

How To Get Hydroxyzine Prescribed for Sleeplessness

Hydroxyzine isn’t an over-the-counter medication—it’s a prescription drug, so you must consult a healthcare professional to get it. The process of obtaining this medication for insomnia typically involves three steps:

  1. Consultation—A sleep specialist should evaluate your health status and specific symptoms to determine whether hydroxyzine is safe for you
  2. Prescription—If deemed appropriate, your sleep doctor will prescribe hydroxyzine
  3. Pharmacy visit—You should take the prescription to a pharmacy to get it filled

The procedure seems straightforward, but with less than 1% of doctors specializing in sleep medicine, the waiting lists and appointment scheduling can be long. The excellent news is that telemedicine practices offer a convenient alternative.

Kick, an online performance medicine clinic, lets you consult sleep specialists from the comfort of your home, reducing waiting times and making the process of getting medications like hydroxyzine effortless.

Source: cottonbro studio

Kick—Convenient Access to Sleep Solutions 

Designed by Dr. Alex Dimitriu, a Stanford-based sleep expert, Kick’s sleep program offers a comprehensive approach to addressing sleep problems. It combines cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i) best practices with a selection of gentle and effective medications, including the following:

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

Your doctor will prescribe two trial medications that you’ll rotate during the first two weeks to reduce the risk of dependence. Unique benefits of joining Kick’s sleep program include:

  • Quick consultation—The program entails 15-minute consultations, making it easy to fit into your busy schedule
  • Personalized approach—The treatment is tailored to your specific sleep problems and health status
  • Ongoing support—Our expert will also schedule regular checkups and adjust the treatment if the desired results aren’t achieved

How To Join Kick

To benefit from Kick's sleep program, follow three easy steps:

  1. Visit the signup page for a 15-minute consultation
  2. Explain your medical history and specific sleep problems
  3. Enter your payment and delivery information

Your medication can be delivered to your doorstep or local pharmacy in unlabeled packaging, respecting your privacy. If Kick isn’t the best solution for your sleep problems, you won’t pay for the initial consultation, according to our Doctor Guarantee.

Kick’s sleep program has raving reviews on Trustpilot, demonstrating how our unique approach has helped many individuals overcome sleep problems quickly.

Source: Kampus Production

What To Look For When Buying Hydroxyzine Online

When purchasing Hydroxyzine online, check the following details about the establishment you’re buying from:

  1. Licensing and regulation
  2. Prescription requirement policy
  3. Routine check-ins and consultations
  4. Medication authenticity 
  5. Customer support

Licensing and Regulation

Verify that the online clinic is licensed and regulated by recognized healthcare authorities. Registered telemedicine clinics meet specific standards of care and operate legally. You can find this information on the clinic’s website or by contacting them directly.

Prescription Requirement Policy

If you’re buying from an online pharmacy, a prescription for hydroxyzine will be required if the establishment is legitimate. Avoid online pharmacies that offer to sell this drug without a prescription since this can indicate that it deals with counterfeit medicines.

Routine Check-Ins and Consultations

Reliable telemedicine clinics offer routine check-ins with healthcare professionals. These check-ins should be with a doctor who can assess your response to the medication and make any necessary adjustments. They should also address specific questions or concerns you may have about your medication and condition.

Medication Authenticity

When you receive your medication, check the packaging. It should come in sealed packaging that contains clear labels.

The packaging should provide detailed information about the medication, including its manufacturer, expiration date, and batch number. To verify the authenticity of any medication, check its appearance, smell, taste, and texture against the manufacturer’s description.

Customer Support

A reliable online clinic should have a responsive customer service team to answer your questions and resolve any issues. They should provide clear instructions on ordering, paying for, and receiving your medication. Look for online reviews or ratings of the clinic’s customer service to get a better idea of how satisfied its customers are.

Source: Cedric Fauntleroy

Side Effects of Hydroxyzine

Common side effects of hydroxyzine include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Disturbed coordination

Some patients may also experience rare side effects of this medication, including:

  • Convulsions
  • Tremor
  • Hallucinations

Adverse reactions to the drug happen rarely and are easily managed as long as you stick to your doctor’s instructions. If you experience side effects while on hydroxyzine, inform your doctor immediately.

Tips for Taking Hydroxyzine Safely

To eliminate the risk of unwanted reactions, you should follow specific guidelines while using this medication, including the following:

  • Avoid alcoholMixing hydroxyzine with alcohol raises the risk of drowsiness and dizziness
  • Stick to the prescribed dose—Always take the prescribed dose and never adjust it without consulting your doctor
  • Take it at a specific time—Take the medication at the same time each day (typically an hour before going to bed) to maintain consistent levels of the drug in your body
  • Avoid operating heavy machinery and driving—The drug can cause drowsiness, so avoid activities that require sharp focus
  • Stay hydrated—Drinking water can help alleviate side effects like dry mouth and constipation
  • Check potential interactions—Some medications may interact with hydroxyzine, so inform your doctor about all the drugs you take
  • Store the drug properly—Keep the medication at room temperature and away from heat, light, and moisture
  • Sleep for 7–9 hours—Allocate adequate time for sleep to ensure the effects subside naturally by the time you wake up

Who Should and Shouldn’t Use Hydroxyzine?

Hydroxyzine can be beneficial for:

  • People with allergies—Being an antihistamine, the drug can help alleviate symptoms of allergies, such as itching or hives
  • Individuals experiencing sleep problems—Due to its sedative effects, hydroxyzine can be used to manage sleep disorders
  • Patients with anxiety—The drug’s sedative properties make it a viable choice for reducing the symptoms of anxiety

Still, the drug is contraindicated for some patients due to the potential for condition interactions. Check out the table below for more details:

Who Should Avoid Hydroxyzine?


People allergic to cetirizine or levocetirizine

Hydroxyzine contains similar active ingredients to these medications

Patients with cardiovascular issues 

The drug can slow the heart rate, which can be risky for people with conditions like bradycardia or sick sinus syndrome

Pregnant or breastfeeding women

The medication could affect the unborn baby or cause birth defects. There’s also inconclusive evidence to rule out the risk of the drug passing into breast milk

People with depression

Hydroxyzine can raise the risk of depression and contribute to suicidal thoughts

Individuals with asthma/COPD

The drug can cause airways to narrow, making breathing more difficult for individuals with asthma or other breathing problems

Patients with QT prolongation

Hydroxyzine could cause heart problems, especially if used with other cardiovascular medicines

People with renal or liver disease

The drug may contribute to blockage in the digestive tract or bladder obstruction

People with glaucoma

Hydroxyzine may increase pressure in the eyes, potentially worsening glaucoma

Alternatives to Hydroxyzine for Sleep

Source: Yan Krukau

If the risks of using hydroxyzine outweigh the benefits for you, your doctor may recommend alternatives, which may fall into two categories:

  1. Sleep medications
  2. Natural remedies

Sleep Medications

Depending on the nature of your sleep issues and overall health condition, your doctor may recommend other medications to help you cope with the condition. Check out the table below for details:


Typical Dose for Sleep Issues

Typical Treatment Duration

Valium (Diazepam)

2 to 10 mg orally

Up to 4 weeks

Xanax (Alprazolam)

0.25 to 2 mg orally

2 weeks maximum

Ativan (Lorazepam)

2 to 4 mg orally

4 weeks maximum

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine HCl)

25 to 50 mg orally 



7.5 mg orally


Zoloft (Sertraline) 

50mg orally

4–6 weeks 


0.5 to 2 mg orally

2–4 weeks

This list isn’t exhaustive. Before starting any medication, inform your doctor about other substances you use and the health conditions you have to help them determine whether these medications are safe for you.

Natural Remedies

Non-pharmaceutical methods that can help improve sleep include:

  • Dietary supplementsMelatonin, valerian root, magnesium, and chamomile tea can be effective in promoting sleep
  • Physical exercise—Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep. Timing is important, though—if you exercise too close to bedtime, it might interfere with your sleep
  • Healthy eating habits—The food you eat or drink before bedtime can affect your sleep. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and heavy meals close to bedtime
  • Creating a restful environment—Make your sleeping environment sleep-friendly. You can use earplugs, an eye shade, a white noise machine, a humidifier, or other devices
  • Aromatherapy—Certain scents, such as lavender, can be relaxing and help induce sleep. You can use essential oils in a diffuser or add a few drops to your evening bath
  • Yoga and relaxation techniques—Yoga and deep breathing can help calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep. For the best results, make these practices a part of your daily routine

The effectiveness of each method on this list depends on your health history and sleep issues. If you have chronic sleep problems, consult a specialist for personalized guidance.

Featured image source: Antoni Shkraba