Promethazine (By mouth)

Introduction

Promethazine (proe-METH-a-zeen)

Treats allergies and motion sickness. Also used before and after surgery and other procedures as a sedative and to control pain or nausea and vomiting. This medicine is a phenothiazine.

Brand Name(s)

Phenergan, Promacot

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Liquid

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze the oral liquid.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how promethazine works. Tell your doctor if you are also using an MAO inhibitor (MAOI).
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, heart or blood vessel disease, glaucoma, a stomach ulcer, bowel problems, an enlarged prostate, bone marrow problems, trouble urinating, or seizures. Also tell your doctor if you have breathing problems, such as COPD, asthma, or sleep apnea.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Breathing problems, which could be life-threatening
    • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a nerve disorder that can be life-threatening)
    • Liver problems
  • Use in children: Give the medicine exactly as directed by the child's doctor. Too much of this medicine can cause death in a young child. Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 2 years old, unless your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Wear sunscreen. Do not use sunlamps or tanning beds.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Fever, sweating, confusion, uneven heartbeat, muscle stiffness
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not there (especially in children)
  • Seizures
  • Trouble breathing, slow breathing
  • Twitching or muscle movements you cannot control
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 7/4/2015

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