Antihistamines are often the first line of treatment or medications prescribed for treating itching caused by allergies. A medication of this category that used to be frequently recommended is Atarax, a branded formulation of the generic drug hydroxyzine. The antihistamine was primarily used to treat itching add also used to relieve symptoms of anxiety and tension, including nervousness and irritability. Atarax was also prescribed as a sedative prior to surgery to help control nausea and vomiting. However, the drug has hence been discontinued and following subsections offer a deeper look at the drug, including answers to the question – why was Atarax discontinued? Though Atarax is recommended for multiple uses, its primary indication is for relief from itching.

Mechanism of action of Atarax

Atarax works through its antagonism of histamine H1 receptors. It competes with histamine for binding at these receptors, effectively blocking the action of histamine. Histamine, a substance released by the body during allergic reactions, causes various symptoms such as itching, sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. By blocking the H1 receptors, Atarax reduces the effects of histamine and helps alleviate allergic symptoms. Apart from antihistamine properties, Atarax also exhibits anti-anxiety and sedative effects. These effects are believed to be mediated through interactions with other neurotransmitter systems, including serotonin and acetylcholine receptors. Atarax’s mechanism of action involves its dual effects as an H1 receptor antagonist and a modulator of other neurotransmitter systems, offering relief from allergic symptoms, anxiety, and tension.

Side effects of Atarax

All medications come with the possibility of undesirable outcomes and Atarax is no exception. The antihistamine can cause several side effects, though all users are unlikely to experience side effects. Additionally, the intensity and duration of reactions may differ. Commonly reported side effects of Atarax include the following:

Possible drug interactions of Atarax

In addition to the above side effects, Atarax can potentially interact with other medications, substances, or medical conditions. Patients are to intimate healthcare providers about all medications in use, including prescription, over-the-counter drugs, and herbal supplements. Commonly reported drug interactions associated with Atarax include the following:

Efficacy of Atarax

Atarax has demonstrated efficacy in various clinical conditions for which it is commonly prescribed. Its effectiveness can vary depending on the specific condition being treated and individual patient response. Here are some areas where Atarax has been found to be effective, during the studies:

Manufacturer of Atarax and why was Atarax discontinued?

Atarax was originally developed and manufactured by Union Chimique Belge Pharma in 1956. As the drug was a branded formulation of the generic drug hydroxyzine, pharmaceutical companies with different subsidiaries and manufacturing agreements in different regions, the name varied depending on the country or region. Atarax was approved for sale by Pfizer in the United States later and was a frequently recommended or prescribed medication. However, it was discontinued in the US mainly for commercial considerations – the drug became an uneconomically viable product line for the manufacturer and ended up being discontinued. It is important to emphasize here that Atarax was not removed from the market for safety or effectiveness reasons, according to the FDA. A generic version of Atarax known as hydroxyzine hydrochloride is presently available in the US and is reasonably priced.

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