Atarax (hydroxyzine hydrochloride - Pfizer) was first marketed in 1956, at a time when different terms were competing to describe the drugs that in Britain eventually came to be called the tranquillisers. ‘Ataractics’ was one such term, and at that time ‘Atarax’ must have seemed a best-selling name. But it was never a very useful drug (‘It does not quieten angry animals. It is of dubious value in therapeutics’.1), and although it has continued to be available, it has not been marketed with especial vigour.
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