Can older people take hydroxyzine?

Experts say that people age 65 and older can use hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril and others), but that they should start on a low dose and be followed closely by a doctor.

Hydroxyzine is prescribed for such conditions as nausea, motion sickness and allergic itching. Older people may not handle the drug as well as younger people because their kidneys, liver and heart may not work as efficiently. Older people are also more likely to be taking other medications that may interact with hydroxyzine.

Hydroxyzine may not be as safe as other drugs available to treat the same conditions. Men and women age 65 or older should talk to their doctor to discuss the risks and benefits of taking it.

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