OverviewDosageSide EffectsInteractionsHalf-Life

Although hydroxyzine is an antihistamine, people also use it to manage many different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).


For symptomatic relief of anxiety and tension, the recommended dose for adults is 50 to 100 mg four times a day. Children under 6 years of age can take 50 mg daily in divided doses. Meanwhile, the dose for children of at least 6 years of age is 50 to 100 mg daily in divided doses. Many experts recommend not using hydroxyzine in pediatric populations for anxiety since newer agents may be more beneficial, however, always follow your physician’s recommendations.

How it Works

How hydroxyzine works as an antianxiety drug is not fully understood. Researchers believe, though, that hydroxyzine acts on serotonin, which is a chemical that affects mood.


Does Hydroxyzine Work for Anxiety?

Yes, this drug can also treat anxiety and many different types of anxiety disorders. It is used most commonly for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), though.

How Long Does it Take for Hydroxyzine to Work for Anxiety?

Hydroxyzine effects kick in quickly; most people will start to feel the effects of hydroxyzine within 30 minutes. The drug reaches its maximum effect about 2 hours after administration and can last up to 6 hours or longer.

If you have been taking this medication consistently for a few weeks and you feel like it is not helping to treat your anxiety please reach back out to your physician for more alternative therapies or an increase in dose. This medication unlike some anti anxiety medications should reach maximum effectiveness fairly quickly within a week or two.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

More about Hydroxyzine


Written by

Fact Checked by