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About Hydroxyzine Capsules for Allergies in Pets

An Antihistamine Medication for Dogs and Cats

By Team PetCareRx. May 22, 2013

Hydroxyzine Bottle - Pills

indications for Hydroxyzine

Hydroxyzine, an antihistamine, is used for the treatment of allergies, itching, atopy, and dermatitis in cats and dogs. The antiemetic property of the medication reduces nausea, while the anxiolytic property aids the treatment of anxiety. The medication comes in two formulations, hydroxyzine pamoate and hydroxyzine hydrochloride salts. The active ingredient in the medication, hydroxyzine, works by inhibiting the effect of histamine on H1 receptors.


The drug should not be used in animals with hypersensitivity, allergy to antihistamine, glaucoma, high blood pressure, lung disease, heart disease, and prostate enlargement. The drug is not recommended for use in pregnant or nursing animals. Extreme caution is required when used in pets with urinary obstruction and intestinal obstruction. Possible drug interactions have been observed. The medication should not be used with drugs like barbiturates, tranquilizers, and Epinephrine. Precaution is required when given with CNS depressant drugs like Acepromazine, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) like Selegilene, and preventic collars and drugs used for wheezing such as Theophylline, Epinephrine, or Ephedrine. Store the drug at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture.


Hydroxyzine is a pet prescription drug and is available as tablets, capsules, and syrup. The drug is available in 25 mg/ml and 50 mg/ml injectable concentrations. The standard dosage for dogs is 1 mg/lbs (2 mg/kg) 2 – 3 three times a day orally. In cats, the dosage is 0.5 – 1 mg/lbs (1 – 2 mg/kg) or 5 – 10 mg/cat every 8 – 12 hours orally. The duration of the treatment depends on the clinical condition of the pet. It is recommended to continue the treatment, even if the pet shows signs of recovery.

Side Effects

The commonly observed side effects of hydroxyzine include sedation, lack of coordination, vomiting, lethargy, weakness, increased thirst, lack of appetite, and diarrhea.

Brand/Generic equivalents

Atarax, Vistaril

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Hydroxyzine at a glance

  • 1For dogs and cats
  • 2An antihistamine
  • 3An oral medication
  • 4Treats alleriges, itching, dermatitis, and anxiety