Promethazine (Rectal)

Introduction

Promethazine (proe-METH-a-zeen)

Treats allergies, allergic reactions, and motion sickness. Also used before and after surgery and other procedures to make you sleepy, control pain, or prevent and control nausea and vomiting. This medicine is a phenothiazine antihistamine.

Brand Name(s)

Promethegan, Phenadoz, Phenergan

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to promethazine or other phenothiazine medicines. Some other phenothiazine medicines are perphenazine, thioridazine, Compazine®, Thorazine®, and Trilafon®. You should not use this medicine while you are having certain breathing problems, such as asthma symptoms. Do not give this medicine to a child less than 2 years old.

How to Use This Medicine

Suppository

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine. Remove the foil or wrapper from the suppository before inserting it.
  • Lie on your left side with your left leg straight or slightly bent, and your right knee bent upward. Gently push the pointed end of the suppository into the rectum about 1 inch.
  • Keep lying down for about 15 minutes to keep the suppository from coming out before it melts. Then, wash your hands again.
  • To make the suppository easier to insert, you may use a lubricating gel such as K-Y® Jelly, but do not use petroleum jelly (Vaseline®).
  • Never take rectal suppositories by mouth.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • You may store the suppositories in the refrigerator, but do not freeze them.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine applicator(s), containers, and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

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

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using an MAO inhibitor such as Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using any medicines that make you sleepy. These include sleeping pills, cold and allergy medicine, narcotic pain relievers, and sedatives.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Tell your doctor if you have heart disease, liver disease, seizures, narrow-angle glaucoma, prostate problems, a stomach ulcer, or trouble urinating. Also tell your doctor if you have breathing problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, or sleep apnea. Make sure your doctor knows if you have a blockage in your digestive system, or if you have ever had neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS).
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Do not give this medicine to a child less than 2 years old, unless the doctor tells you to. Then give the medicine exactly as directed by the child's doctor. Get your child to a hospital right away if the child has a seizure, trouble breathing, or starts to hallucinate (seeing or hearing things that are not really there). Giving a child too much of this medicine can cause death.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen when you are outdoors. Avoid sunlamps and tanning beds.

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
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
  • Extreme feelings of energy or excitement.
  • Fever, sweating, confusion, uneven heartbeat, muscle stiffness.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach.
  • Problems with balance, walking, or speech.
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not really there (especially in children).
  • Seizures.
  • Severe confusion, drowsiness, or muscle weakness.
  • Shallow breathing.
  • Twitching or muscle movements you cannot control (often in your eyes, jaw, neck or upper body).
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

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

  • Blurred vision.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Mild skin rash or itching.
  • Nausea, vomiting.
  • Ringing in your ears.
  • Stuffy or runny nose.
  • Trouble sleeping, nightmares.

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 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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