Atarax is for itch and Vistaril is for anxiety.
Many people believe that hydroxyzine HCl tablets (Atarax) are the best choice for itch and hydroxyzine pamoate capsules (Vistaril) are for anxiety or sleep. This belief is often passed down to students and shared among colleagues.
But despite this widespread acceptance, there is no evidence to suggest that either salt has advantages over the other. This practice appears to be based on tradition and nothing more.
Part of the confusion may be that many people don't realize that not all Vistaril products are the pamoate salts.