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How Can Atarax Help with Eczema?
Being first synthesized in 1950s, hydroxyzine hydrochloride, which later became known under different brand names, was one of the representatives of the first-generation antihistamines – a class of medications with a wide range of indications, starting with mental problems, such as anxiety, agitation, and finishing with stress related to dental procedures and itching, caused by allergic reactions, such as eczema.
First of all, let us find out what kind of medication is under the scope of this article. Atarax is one of the brand names of hydroxyzine hydrochloride. This medication is also produced under the brand name Vistaril. Atarax was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1956, and Vistaril – in 1959.  
Being one of the antihistamines, Atarax is capable of reducing anxiety symptoms, relaxing muscle tension, dilating breathing pass ways, and relieving pain and itching, which can be caused by eczema.
In order to understand how Atarax can help in treating eczema and relieving its symptoms, let us look what happens in the human body during allergic reaction, because eczema is nothing but “an increased reactivity of the skin to irritants and allergens” (according to the definition in the book “20 Common Problems in Dermatology” by Dr. Fleischer, Dr. Feldman, Dr. Katz, and Dr. Clayton).
When the allergic reaction occurs, the human body starts to release histamine - a chemical, which is a part of human body self-protection system, also known as immune system. So, when histamine is released, it travels to the cells in those body organ or area, which came into contact with allergen. There, at the place of allergic reaction, histamine binds to the cells receptors and makes them cause usual symptoms of allergy, such as sneezing in case of hay fever, or itching in case of eczema.  
What does Atarax do to prevent allergic symptoms? It works similarly to histamine – it travels to the place of allergic reaction, where it binds to the cells receptors… But unlike natural histamine, Atarax does not make cells cause allergic symptoms, such as itching. As the result, the severity of itching or other symptoms of allergy is reduced.
Speaking about the benefits of the medication, we should note that Atarax or other brands of hydroxyzine works in 30-60 minutes after it is taken. Besides, the medication remains effective for up to 4-6 hours (to be unbiased enough, it should be mentioned that modern generation of anti-allergic medications can work even quicker than Atarax and remain effective up to 24 hours).
Being an effective sedative and hypnotic medication, Atarax is said to cause no negative issues commonly associated with other medications of the same therapeutic values, such as abuse, dependence or addiction.
Finally, let us find out how to take Atarax and what side effects may be associated with its usage. It is known that Atarax is available in different forms: oral tablets, capsules, syrups, injections and suspensions. In order to treat eczema symptoms oral capsules are mostly used – 25 mg taken 3 or 4 times a day is the recommended dose. In general, it should be kept in mind that Atarax should not be used by pregnant women or nursing mothers.
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Describing side effects, associated with Atarax use, the Pill Book (The Illustrated Guide to the Most-Prescribed Drugs in the United States) mentions dry mouth and drowsiness as the most common adverse reactions, which usually disappear after a few days of continuous use of the medication or when the dose is reduced. Rarely, the medication may cause tremors or convulsions, especially at higher doses. In such cases a patient should contact his doctor as soon as possible.
Summarizing all the above said, we can assume that Atarax is one of the pioneer drugs in the treatment of allergic reactions, such as eczema. It can work effectively to reduce skin itching, which is the most annoying and bothersome symptom of eczema. However, being introduced more that a half of century ago, Atarax loses its popularity nowadays, giving way to more sophisticated modern medications.

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