Hydroxyzine Side Effects and Weight Gain

Hydroxyzine, an antihistamine primarily prescribed for allergy symptoms and anxiety, has raised some concerns regarding its potential to contribute to weight gain. Here’s a detailed look at the relationship between hydroxyzine and weight gain, with key takeaways and insights.

1. What is Hydroxyzine?

Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine drug that blocks the effects of histamine, a chemical in the body responsible for allergy symptoms. While it is frequently used to treat itching due to allergies, its sedative properties also make it a choice for treating anxiety and tension.

2. The Association with Weight Gain

Research Overview: Several studies and user experiences suggest that hydroxyzine, like other first-generation antihistamines, might be linked with weight gain.

Mechanism: Animal studies have highlighted the role of histamine blockade on mesenteric lymphatics tone, which might contribute to weight gain and hepatic steatosis.

Factor Associated with Hydroxyzine Not Associated with Hydroxyzine
Sedative properties
Weight gain
Allergy symptom relief
Histamine blockade
Hepatic steatosis Possibly (based on animal studies)
Severe side effects

3. Side Effects of Hydroxyzine

Common Side Effects: Drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, and dry mouth.

Less Common Side Effects: Some users have reported weight gain as a side effect, although it’s not as common as the aforementioned ones.

4. Comparing Hydroxyzine with Other Antihistamines

While hydroxyzine has been linked with weight gain, it’s worth noting that many antihistamines carry this potential side effect. A study by Ratliff in 2010 revealed that Histamine 1 (H1) receptor blockers commonly used to alleviate allergy symptoms are known to report weight gain as a possible side effect.

5. Personal Experiences

Posts from communities such as Reddit have users discussing their weight gain experiences with hydroxyzine. While some have reported significant weight gain over short periods, others have not observed any changes.

6. Recommendations

Monitor Weight: If you are on hydroxyzine or planning to start, keep a close eye on any significant weight changes.

Consultation: Always consult with your healthcare provider about potential side effects and if you observe any drastic weight changes.

Alternative Medications: If weight gain becomes a concern, ask your doctor about alternative medications or remedies that don’t have this side effect.


While hydroxyzine’s association with weight gain is not as pronounced as some other medications, it’s essential to be aware of the potential side effect. As with any medication, individual experiences may vary, and it’s crucial to monitor any changes in your body and discuss them with your healthcare provider.


  • Ferreri, M. (1994). “Value of hydroxyzine in generalized anxiety disorder.”
  • Ratliff, J. (2010). “Association of prescription H1 antihistamine use with obesity.”
  • Sawantdesai, NS. (2016). “Evaluation of anxiolytic effects of aripiprazole.”

Note: Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions regarding medication.

FAQs: Hydroxyzine and Weight Gain

Can Hydroxyzine Cause Weight Loss?

Hydroxyzine has been primarily associated with weight gain rather than weight loss. However, body reactions to medications can be highly individual. If you notice unexpected weight changes while taking hydroxyzine, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying issues and discuss potential adjustments to your medication.

What Happens If You Take Hydroxyzine Every Night?

Taking hydroxyzine every night, especially for anxiety or insomnia, might lead to tolerance, reducing its effectiveness over time. Additionally, continuous use may exacerbate potential side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, and in some individuals, weight gain. It’s vital to have regular check-ins with your healthcare provider to evaluate the necessity and impact of long-term use.

Which Pill Can Make You Gain Weight Fast?

While hydroxyzine has been linked to weight gain, other medications are more notoriously associated with rapid weight increase. These include certain types of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and corticosteroids. The weight gain mechanism can vary, involving increased appetite, changes in metabolism, or fluid retention.

Does Hydroxyzine Make You Sleep a Lot?

Yes, one of the most common side effects of hydroxyzine is drowsiness or sedation. This is because hydroxyzine is a first-generation antihistamine, crossing the blood-brain barrier and affecting central nervous system activity. While this can be beneficial for alleviating anxiety or inducing sleep, it can also result in excessive sleepiness or fatigue.

Hydroxyzine Side Effects: Sexual and Gender Differences

While hydroxyzine’s side effects, including potential weight gain, are generally consistent across genders, individual responses can vary widely. There is no substantial evidence to suggest significant sexual or gender differences in the side effects of hydroxyzine. As always, any concerns regarding side effects should be discussed with a healthcare professional.

Hydroxyzine 25 mg Side Effects

At a 25 mg dosage, hydroxyzine’s side effects can include drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, and dry mouth. While this dosage is considered relatively low, the risk of weight gain, though less common, still exists. Monitoring your body’s response and reporting any adverse effects to your healthcare provider is crucial.

Why Does Doxepin Cause Weight Gain?

Doxepin, an antidepressant, can cause weight gain as a side effect, though it’s not entirely clear why. Theories suggest that it might increase appetite, alter metabolism, or cause fluid retention. It’s important to differentiate between doxepin and hydroxyzine, as they are different medications, though both can lead to weight gain.

Hydroxyzine Dosage for Panic Attacks

The appropriate dosage of hydroxyzine for panic attacks should be determined by a healthcare professional, based on the severity of the symptoms and the individual’s overall health. It’s crucial to use hydroxyzine as prescribed and consult with your healthcare provider to ensure it’s the right choice for managing panic attacks.

Does Hydroxyzine Make You Sleepy?

Yes, one of the primary side effects of hydroxyzine is sedation or drowsiness. This can be beneficial for individuals using it to manage anxiety or induce sleep but can be inconvenient for those who need to remain alert.

Does Hydroxyzine Cause Hair Loss?

There is no substantial evidence linking hydroxyzine to hair loss. However, if you experience unexpected hair loss while taking hydroxyzine, it’s essential to discuss this with your healthcare provider to investigate potential causes and solutions.

How Does Hydroxyzine Impact Cognitive Function?

Hydroxyzine has anticholinergic properties, meaning it blocks the action of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory. This can lead to side effects such as confusion, disorientation, and short-term memory issues, particularly in older adults. Careful monitoring is required, and alternatives should be considered for individuals at risk of cognitive impairment.

What is the Link Between Hydroxyzine and Metabolism?

Hydroxyzine can potentially alter metabolic processes, leading to side effects such as weight gain. It may increase appetite, slow down metabolism, or affect how the body stores and processes fats. Understanding these effects is crucial for individuals concerned about weight management while on this medication.

Is Hydroxyzine Safe for Long-Term Use?

The safety of long-term hydroxyzine use depends on individual health conditions and response to the medication. Prolonged use may increase the risk of side effects like drowsiness, dry mouth, and potential weight gain. Regular evaluations with a healthcare provider are necessary to assess the ongoing need and safety of hydroxyzine treatment.

How to Manage Weight Gain While on Hydroxyzine?

If you’re experiencing weight gain while taking hydroxyzine, consider discussing lifestyle modifications with your healthcare provider. Incorporating a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and other healthy habits can help manage weight. In some cases, adjusting the medication dosage or exploring alternative treatments may also be beneficial.

Can Hydroxyzine Affect Blood Pressure?

Hydroxyzine has the potential to cause fluctuations in blood pressure, though this is not a common side effect. Some individuals may experience a decrease in blood pressure, leading to dizziness or fainting. Monitoring blood pressure levels and reporting significant changes to a healthcare provider is vital for those on hydroxyzine treatment.

Are There Any Natural Alternatives to Hydroxyzine?

For those seeking natural alternatives to manage anxiety or insomnia, options such as mindfulness, meditation, and certain herbal supplements (e.g., valerian root, chamomile) may be considered. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any alternative therapies to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your specific health needs.

How to Safely Discontinue Hydroxyzine?

Discontinuing hydroxyzine should be done under the guidance of a healthcare provider to prevent potential withdrawal symptoms. A gradual reduction in dosage is typically recommended to allow the body to adjust. Never stop taking hydroxyzine abruptly without consulting with your healthcare provider first.

Can Hydroxyzine Interact with Other Medications?

Yes, hydroxyzine can interact with various medications, potentially altering their effects or increasing the risk of side effects. It’s essential to provide your healthcare provider with a complete list of all the medications, supplements, and herbs you are taking to avoid potential interactions and ensure safe use of hydroxyzine.

Is Hydroxyzine Suitable for Everyone?

Hydroxyzine may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions, such as heart problems, kidney disease, or liver disease. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also consult with their healthcare provider before using hydroxyzine. A thorough medical evaluation is necessary to determine if hydroxyzine is a safe and appropriate option.

How Does Hydroxyzine Compare to Other Anti-Anxiety Medications?

Compared to other anti-anxiety medications, hydroxyzine tends to cause fewer issues related to dependency and withdrawal. However, it may have a higher risk of sedation and potential for anticholinergic side effects. Discussing the benefits and risks with a healthcare provider can help determine the best treatment option based on individual needs and health status.

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