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Promethazine (By mouth)

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

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not use it if you had an allergic reaction to promethazine or other phenothiazine medicines, or while you are having breathing problems, such as asthma symptoms. Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 2 years old.

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Liquid

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • 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 using the following:
    • Epinephrine
    • MAO inhibitors (MAOI)
    • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • This medicine can intensify the effects of alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, and narcotic pain medicine. 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 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 COPD, asthma, or sleep apnea.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a neurological disorder that can be life-threatening)
    • Respiratory depression
    • Seizures
  • 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.
  • Do not give this medicine to a child 2 years old or older, unless your doctor tells you to. Then give the medicine exactly as directed by the child's doctor. Giving a child too much of this medicine can cause death.
  • 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
  • Extreme feelings of energy or excitement
  • Fever, sweating, confusion, uneven heartbeat, muscle stiffness
  • 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, problems with balance, walking, or speech
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness
  • Yellow skin or eyes

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

  • Dry mouth
  • Mild skin rash or itching
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • 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


Last Updated: 11/4/2014
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