Exploring the Link Between Hydroxyzine and Weight Gain: What You Need to Know

Hydroxyzine, a medication commonly prescribed for anxiety, itching, and allergies, has been a subject of discussion regarding its potential side effects, particularly weight gain. Understanding the relationship between hydroxyzine and weight gain is crucial for patients and healthcare providers alike. This article delves into the existing evidence, mechanisms, and practical advice for managing this potential side effect.

Overview of Hydroxyzine

Before exploring the link between hydroxyzine and weight gain, it’s essential to understand what hydroxyzine is and how it works. Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine used to treat itching caused by allergies, anxiety, and nausea, including that caused by motion sickness. It works by blocking the action of histamine, a substance in the body that causes allergic symptoms.

Uses of Hydroxyzine

  • Anxiety relief
  • Treatment of itching due to allergies
  • Nausea and vomiting control
  • Sedation before or after general anesthesia

Common Side Effects

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Possible weight gain

Hydroxyzine and Weight Gain: The Evidence

While hydroxyzine is effective for various conditions, concerns about weight gain as a side effect have emerged. Research on this topic provides mixed results, and the evidence linking hydroxyzine directly to significant weight gain is not conclusive. However, some patients report increased appetite and weight changes while on the medication.

Studies and Findings

Several studies have investigated the potential side effects of hydroxyzine, including its impact on weight. While some studies suggest a minimal impact on weight, others indicate a possible association between long-term use of hydroxyzine and weight gain. It’s important to note that these studies often involve small sample sizes and may not be representative of the general population.

Mechanisms Behind Weight Gain

The exact mechanisms by which hydroxyzine could lead to weight gain are not fully understood. However, several theories exist:

  • Increased Appetite: Hydroxyzine may increase appetite in some individuals, leading to higher calorie intake.
  • Sedation: The sedative effects of hydroxyzine may reduce physical activity levels, contributing to weight gain over time.
  • Metabolic Changes: Hydroxyzine could potentially alter metabolism, although evidence supporting this theory is limited.

Managing Weight Gain on Hydroxyzine

If you’re taking hydroxyzine and concerned about weight gain, there are several strategies you can employ to manage your weight:

Diet and Exercise

Maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise routine can help counteract potential weight gain. Focus on nutrient-dense foods and incorporate both cardiovascular and strength training exercises into your routine.

Monitor Your Weight

Regularly monitoring your weight can help you notice any changes early on, allowing you to adjust your diet and exercise plan as needed.

Consult Your Doctor

If you’re experiencing significant weight gain, consult your doctor. They may adjust your dose, suggest an alternative medication, or refer you to a nutritionist or dietitian.


While the link between hydroxyzine and weight gain is not definitively established, it’s a potential side effect that patients should be aware of. By understanding the mechanisms, monitoring changes, and implementing healthy lifestyle habits, individuals can effectively manage their weight while benefiting from the therapeutic effects of hydroxyzine.


Study Year Key Findings
Study on Hydroxyzine and Weight Gain 2020 Minimal impact on weight in short-term use
Long-term Effects of Hydroxyzine 2018 Possible association with weight gain in long-term use

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider for advice tailored to your health situation.