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Hydroxyzine HCL vs. Hydroxyzine Pamoate: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on March 2, 2024
Hydroxyzine HCl is hydrochloride salt form, while Hydroxyzine pamoate is a salt form with pamoic acid, affecting solubility and duration.

Key Differences

Hydroxyzine HCl and hydroxyzine pamoate are two forms of the antihistamine hydroxyzine, used primarily to treat anxiety and itching. Hydroxyzine HCl, the hydrochloride salt, is known for its quick onset, making it effective for acute anxiety management. Hydroxyzine pamoate, on the other hand, is the pamoate salt form, which may have a slightly longer onset but is also used for similar indications.
The difference in solubility between hydroxyzine HCl and hydroxyzine pamoate may affect their bioavailability and how quickly they take effect. Hydroxyzine HCl is more water-soluble, which can lead to a faster absorption rate when ingested. Hydroxyzine pamoate's solubility characteristics might result in a slower absorption, potentially leading to a prolonged duration of action.
Patients might experience different side effects or efficacy profiles with hydroxyzine HCl versus hydroxyzine pamoate due to their chemical differences. While both are effective for anxiety and itch relief, some may find one form more tolerable or effective based on individual metabolism and response.
In terms of prescribing practices, doctors might choose hydroxyzine HCl or hydroxyzine pamoate based on the clinical scenario, patient preferences, or specific health considerations. Hydroxyzine HCl might be preferred for acute situations needing rapid relief, whereas hydroxyzine pamoate could be chosen for longer-lasting effects.
Despite their differences, both hydroxyzine HCl and hydroxyzine pamoate are considered safe and effective for their approved uses. Choosing between the two often comes down to personal preference, medical history, and the specific needs of the treatment plan.

Comparison Chart

Chemical Form

Hydrochloride salt form.
Pamoate salt form with pamoic acid.


More water-soluble, leading to potentially quicker onset.
Less water-soluble, which may result in slower absorption.

Onset of Action

Generally has a faster onset due to higher solubility.
Slower onset, possibly leading to prolonged effects.


Often used for acute anxiety and itching.
Also used for anxiety and itching, with potential for longer-lasting relief.

Patient Preference

Might be preferred for rapid relief needs.
Could be chosen for its potentially extended duration.

Hydroxyzine HCL and Hydroxyzine Pamoate Definitions

Hydroxyzine HCL

A hydrochloride form of hydroxyzine used for anxiety and allergies.
The doctor prescribed hydroxyzine HCl for my acute anxiety episodes.

Hydroxyzine Pamoate

A pamoate salt form of hydroxyzine for long-lasting anxiety and itch relief.
Hydroxyzine pamoate has been effective for my chronic anxiety.

Hydroxyzine HCL

A medication form offering fast-acting anxiety and allergy relief.
I take hydroxyzine HCl before flying to ease my anxiety.

Hydroxyzine Pamoate

The pamoate salt of hydroxyzine, offering durable relief from pruritus and anxiety.
Hydroxyzine pamoate has been a cornerstone in managing my dermatitis.

Hydroxyzine HCL

An antihistamine effective for itching and anxiety in its hydrochloride salt form.
After taking hydroxyzine HCl, my allergic reaction subsided quickly.

Hydroxyzine Pamoate

A form of hydroxyzine providing extended relief from itching and anxiety.
Hydroxyzine pamoate's effects last longer, reducing the frequency of my doses.

Hydroxyzine HCL

The hydrochloride variant of hydroxyzine, known for its efficacy in treating symptoms of anxiety and pruritus.
Hydroxyzine HCl helped manage my itching due to eczema.

Hydroxyzine Pamoate

Hydroxyzine's pamoate variant, used for sustained treatment of allergies and anxiety.
Since starting hydroxyzine pamoate, my allergic symptoms have been under control.

Hydroxyzine HCL

Hydroxyzine in a soluble form for quick absorption and relief.
Hydroxyzine HCl provided rapid relief from my hives.

Hydroxyzine Pamoate

An antihistamine in pamoate form for effective, long-term management of anxiety and allergic reactions.
My doctor switched me to hydroxyzine pamoate for ongoing management of my allergies.


What are hydroxyzine HCl and hydroxyzine pamoate?

They are two salt forms of hydroxyzine; HCl is hydrochloride, and pamoate is a salt with pamoic acid.

Are the side effects of hydroxyzine HCl and pamoate different?

Side effects are similar, but individual reactions can vary between the two forms.

How should hydroxyzine HCl and pamoate be taken?

As prescribed by a healthcare provider, considering individual health needs.

What is hydroxyzine?

Hydroxyzine is an antihistamine used to treat anxiety, nausea, itching, and allergies.

Is there a difference in dosage between hydroxyzine HCl and pamoate?

Dosage may vary based on the form, individual needs, and specific medical advice.

How do hydroxyzine HCl and pamoate differ in use?

Both are used for anxiety and itching, but differences in onset and duration may influence specific uses.

Is hydroxyzine HCl faster acting than pamoate?

HCl is more water-soluble, potentially leading to a quicker onset of action.

Can I use hydroxyzine HCl or pamoate for allergies?

Yes, both forms are effective in treating allergic reactions and associated itching.

Can I switch between hydroxyzine HCl and pamoate freely?

Switching should be done under medical guidance due to differences in absorption and duration.

Can hydroxyzine HCl or pamoate be used in children?

Yes, but pediatric use should be under strict medical supervision.

How long does it take for hydroxyzine HCl and pamoate to work?

Onset can vary; HCl might work quicker due to its solubility, while pamoate may take slightly longer.

Can both forms of hydroxyzine cause drowsiness?

Yes, drowsiness is a common side effect of both hydroxyzine HCl and pamoate.

How do I know if hydroxyzine HCl or pamoate is better for me?

Your healthcare provider will decide based on your medical history and treatment goals.

Can hydroxyzine HCl or pamoate be used for chronic anxiety?

Yes, both forms can be used for anxiety management, including chronic conditions, under medical guidance.

Does hydroxyzine pamoate last longer than HCl?

Its solubility profile may result in a slower absorption, possibly extending its effects.

Are hydroxyzine HCl and pamoate effective for insomnia?

While not primarily for insomnia, their sedative effects can aid sleep in some cases.

Can hydroxyzine HCl or pamoate be used during pregnancy?

Use during pregnancy requires careful consideration of risks and benefits by a healthcare provider.

Are hydroxyzine HCl and pamoate addictive?

Hydroxyzine is not considered addictive, but it should always be used as prescribed to avoid misuse.

Are there any contraindications for hydroxyzine HCl and pamoate?

Contraindications are similar for both, including known hypersensitivity and certain medical conditions.

Can I drink alcohol while taking hydroxyzine HCl or pamoate?

Alcohol should be avoided as it can increase the sedative effects of hydroxyzine.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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