What is promethazine?
Promethazine is in a group of drugs called phenothiazines (FEEN-oh-THYE-a-zeens). It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain. Promethazine also acts as an antihistamine. It blocks the effects of the naturally occurring chemical histamine in your body.
Promethazine is used to treat allergy symptoms such as itching, runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, hives, and itchy skin rashes. It also prevents motion sickness, and treats nausea and vomiting or pain after surgery. It is also used as a sedative or sleep aid.
Promethazine is not for use in treating symptoms of asthma, pneumonia, or other lower respiratory tract infections.
Stop using promethazine and call your doctor at once if you have twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs. These could be early signs of dangerous side effects. Promethazine should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old. Promethazine can cause severe breathing problems or death in a child in very young children. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions when giving this medicine to a child of any age.
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Promethazine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of promethazine. There are many other medicines that can interact with promethazine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.
Before taking this medicine
Promethazine should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old. Promethazine can cause severe breathing problems or death in very young children. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions when giving this medicine to a child of any age.
You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to promethazine or to similar medicines such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, mesoridazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine, or trifluperazine.
To make sure promethazine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea, or other breathing disorder;
a sulfite allergy;
a history of seizures;
a weak immune system (bone marrow depression);
enlarged prostate or problems with urination;
stomach ulcer or obstruction;
heart disease or high blood pressure;
adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma);
low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia); or
if you have ever had a serious side effect while using promethazine or any other phenothiazine.
It is not known whether promethazine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine.
It is not known whether promethazine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
Take promethazine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Promethazine is often taken at bedtime or before meals. For motion sickness, promethazine is usually started within 1 hour before traveling. When used for surgery, promethazine is usually taken the night before the surgery.
How often you take this medicine and the timing of your dose will depend on the condition being treated.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
If a child is using this medicine, tell your doctor if the child has any changes in weight. Promethazine doses are based on weight in children, and any changes may affect your child's dose.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse while using promethazine.
This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using promethazine.