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Dangers of long-term Phenergan usage?
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Dangers of long-term Phenergan usage?

Hi, I have severe allergies and the resulting nasal congestion and asthma makes it very hard for me to sleep at night. I have tried dozens of sedatives and sleeping drugs (as well as the whole meditation, therapy angle) and surprisingly, the most effective solution has been 20 - 25mg of phenergan each night. My immunologist expressed concern about me taking phenergan every night, but I have been doing so for about 3 months now will no ill effects.
Does anyone know if there is a danger of taking this strong dose of Phenergan regularly for a long period of time?
Thanks!
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27 Comments Post a Comment
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Welcome to the forum!
Long term use of Phenargan can cause drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness; confusion, disorientation, incoordination, fatigue, insomnia (later on), tremors, convulsive seizures, excitation, mania, hallucination, increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and decrease in the blood cell count. After use for some time, this drug will start causing nasal stuffiness and asthma like symptoms, and your whole purpose of taking the drug would be lost.
Please go through proper medication for your condition. There are many other safer drugs to take care of asthma and nasal congestion. Please take drugs as advised by your doctor. Wearing masks specially designed to filter allergens will help you in a big way. Talk to your specialist about this.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow! Thanks for the info... it's interesting to note that my GP did not mention these long term side effects even after I asked about the effects of long term use.
My question is: how long is too long? A few weeks, months, years?
Thanks!
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351246_tn?1379685732
Hi
Well, there is no clear cut definition for long term use. Also in patients with asthma and nasal congestion it is advisable to not take the medication for too long as it can precipitate an asthma attack after chronic use. You have not suffered any side effects after 3 months of use (which can be considered long) whereas another person may feel the effects earlier. Hence the pros and cons can be decided on case to case basis. Please discuss with your doctor. Take care!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been taking phenergan ONE HUNDRED mgs for 3yrs now for Crohn's Disease- and it has been hell. YESTERDAY 2/19/09 I leanred of the dangers of long term phenergan, reglan, and compazine usage. It started with minor hand tremors ...then it progressed to not sleeping well. After that over the years I started to become increasinly restless. The last 2 months have been utter just horrible. My legs were constantly moving or flexing/twitching uncontrolably when I was at a state of rest/relaxion - which is often since I am fatigued a lot from Crohn's (I have an acute case). this spread to my arms and then neck/head. It is NEVER painful but a feeling of restlessness - like I want to crawl out of my skin ...like I have energy building up and if I don't move or twitch it drives me mad. After talking with a fellow patient I saw my doctor and talked to them and sure enough .... the phenergan has caused neruological damage. The question now is it permanent. I am OFF phenergan and on Zofran now. They gave me klonopin for the restlessness and it has helped for now. Hopefully the damage is not permanent but time will tell.
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Avatar_m_tn
Holy moly! Were you taking pills or injections?
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Avatar_m_tn
Please, I'm very concerned by your post. I have now been taking Phenergan 25mg for almost a year and I'm finding it extremely hard to ween myself off of it.
It helps me sleep so well (even better than any sleeping pill) and without it I find I have a huge amount of energy and wakefullness well into the night.

Are the side-effects and damages you mentioned permanent? Especially the nasal congestion, because I find this the most disruptive symptom that I have generally because it interrupts my breathing.
Thank you for your advice!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been taking 25mg Phenergan for the last 8yrs for help in trying to stay asleep in the early mornings and have found it to do wonders-if i miss a night i will be awake at 3am!!!! - i have had no side effects but am now finding if i have a dream or something that i have to do at work the next day, which wakes me up, that will be it...i'm awake!..too bloody early
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1533489_tn?1292283061
i have been on phen off and on for 5 yrs started when preg with my daughter. i was put on opiods for pain condition and the only way i could take them without throwing them up was phen. now i cannot help myself no matter what i do to gerk out my arms legs stretching my face hard tensing up whole body all day so bad i 25 and joints are going tendens in shoulders to. it hurts so bad but feel like crawing out skin if dont gerk limbs help advice anything  katy 270 791-4299
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
I started taking phenergan a couple of months ago for a skin condition I have called dermographism which makes me so incredibly itchy and when I scratch I come up in hives and red marks everywhere.
I have tried every anti-histamine out there and have become immune to them all and they no longer relieve the itching.
My doctor told me to try phenergan and since then I have been taking it every night and now I cannot sleep without it.
I thought seeming I am taking so much there must be some long term effects and when I came across this it got me worried.
There is just nothing else I can take because nothing works and I will be wide awake all night if I dont take it.
Please if you have any suggestions because my GP doesnt know alot about it and the dermatologist is too expensive to go and see on a regular basis.
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Avatar_f_tn
I've been taking around 5 25mg phenergan a day for about 5 months I mix them with either stilnox or tezapam I work nights and don't sleep during day. I went to doctor because my hand has been shaking with tremors I also am suffering asthma like symptoms, stuffy nose, cough that won't go away, depression, anger, insomnia, restlessness and I wish I never heard about phenergan. A warning to all do not take long term!
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Avatar_m_tn
Goodness me, that seems like far too much. If you have such dreadful trouble sleeping I might suggest that you change jobs before it ruins your health.
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Avatar_f_tn
Since falling pregnant with my first child I can't sleep more than 5 hours at night. 8 years &  3 kids later nothing has changed. I have tried dvery natural sleeping aid, they dont work for me. So I used over the counter sleeping tabs, they made me groggy the next day. Then I found phnerghan . I take only 10 mg a night. It's enough to get me back to sleep when I'm woken in the night. I worry about long term side effects.... But don't see an alternate. I'm rubbish on 5 hours sleep, I hope you,  Nuclearpowerpants , continue to sleep & haven't developed side effects,
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Avatar_m_tn
I kept taking it for a full year. I started getting worse. I then weaned myself off of it and can think clearer during the day and feel better. I don't sleep as well, but I have adjusted my life schedule to fit around it.
It still *****, but that's life. :)
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Avatar_f_tn
i am taking 25 mg phenergan a night, for the last month.. My doc reccomended it as i started to suffer with anxiety in the middle of the night.  I have always been a very bad sleeper and she reccomended it to help me stay asleep and be more relaxed. she also gave me an anti depressent called lexepro but i stopped that after 3 days because it made me feel totally of the wall. I find the phenergan good and the anxiety is not so bad now but would hate to feel i have to take something long term. is there anyother non medical treatments for this ??  i have a good diet and try to walk daily...
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Avatar_m_tn
I am really worried now. I have been taking 250mg a night to get me to sleep for a few weeks now. I never knew it could mess you up so bad. Im very lucky i found this forum so now i know i need to stop before its too late. I hope i can find something to help me sleep.....
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Avatar_m_tn
I actually overdosed on phenergan a few years ago. I just wanted to knock myself out because of anxiety. I took 400mg, which is 16 - 25mg tablets. I was in and out of consciousness and my parents had to atay up all night and stop me from getting into the medicine cabinet because i didnt know where i was or what i was doing. They were going to take me to hospital but by that time i had already absorbed all the phenergan. It was definitely the stupidest and most irresponsible thing i have ever done. Be very careful with this medication. It was only my size that saved me. All the best to all.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was on promethazine for 5yrs. I thought I had developed restless leg syndrome. I talked to my doctor and she said it was the promethazine my previous doc had prescribed. I was taking 50mg every night to help with the nausea caused by my mercaptopurine. My muscle twitching has gotten so bad my husband can't even sleep in the bed with me and we take turns on the couch. I have been off of it for over a year and my doctor prescribed baclofen to help, but it doesn't seem to do much. Anyone given this med on a daily basis should talk to their doctors again or get a second opinion.
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Avatar_m_tn
CBT; best research proven treatment for any of the anxiety disorders; cognitive behaviour therapy...all the best, CBT teaches u to be your own bext therapist..to recognise triggers and rather going where youve always gone in your thinking  teaches  you to explore ALL the available options before moving on to emotional and physical responses....
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so relieved I've finally found what my problem is! I have trouble sleeping, so have got myself into the routine of having 4-6 phenergan tabs at night to make myself sleepy.

In that time just when I'm almost asleep I start having the MOST UNCOMFORTABLE UNCONTROLLABLE RESTLESS LEGS! I was googling it and thought somehow I've just picked up this syndrome. I would literally cry at night and have to leave the bedroom because my uncontrollable jolts and twitches (that began to almost hurt) were waking up my army boyfriend who had work early the next morning.
I would have to lap the apartment for hours to tire out my legs, I couldn't even sit without my legs jolting about, I literally wanted to get out of my skin, to those who have experienced restless legs know what I mean, I'd rather a headache for hours then this feeling.

The last two nights I decided not to take my nightly phenergan, AND OH MY GOD THE LEGS HAVE STOPPED!

I am taking the time to write this online in hope of anyone who has been dealing with restless legs that take phenergan, stop taking phenergan! I am much happier trying to get myself to sleep naturally then taking the tablets and feeling sleepy but spending three or so hours in jolting pain!!!

thank god I've figured out what it is, and now I can get a good night sleep, AND in my bed with my man and not on the couch!!!!!!!! Haleloyah
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6524283_tn?1382085187
I was reading the stuff about promethazine and i have been taking it off and on for a long time, 3 years. I only recently started coming down with very hard time breathing even when i havent taken it in a while. its almost asthma like when i cant breath but inhalers dont work and my specialist doesnt know what is causing it.  its not asthma, not copd not a clot. my question is can promethazine cause this to happen?
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Avatar_m_tn
Interesting reading. I have been taking between three and four 25mg tablets of Phenergan every evening for the past 20 or so years.
They were first used to treat my allergies (hayfever mainly) but I soon found how they assisted with sleeping.
If I don't take them, I may only sleep for an hour.
But, I never awake feeling refreshed. I often have a heavy head (no I don't drink) or even a headache, which is difficult to shake all day.
Also, childhood eczema has returned in the past five years, and s causing great problems on legs/ankles at the moment. Even with the Phenergans, I'm woken at about 3 or 4am to find myself scratching away at my legs. The only effective quick-cure has been to pour very hot water over the most irritating inflammation, then applying very thick and greasy moisturising creams.
I use Dermovate on particularly bad outbreaks, but this is no solution over a period, as it weakens the skin structure.
This means you're washing sheets every other day, and altogether doesn't make for an easy working life. I'm now adjusting my diet to see if that helps.
I'm certain that the decades of Phenergan use haven't been a good idea, but I'm not sure I can blame the drug for where I find myself now.
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Avatar_m_tn
Try higher doses of melatonin.

You must get off of the Phenergan. It is probably wrecking your sleep.

It will be tough for a year or so, but it is essential that you wean your body off of it.

There are better options out there.
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow!!!
I have benn on 20 mgs of Promethazine (Phenargan) for 2 1/2 months now.  4 weeks after taking it, I started slowly getting sick...Hedaches, confusion, trouble breathing, sensitivity to light, eye changes,  all over fatigue. This week I couldnt even go to work I felt so horrible.   I finally went to my doc (who may I say prescribed it to me) two days ago.  He completely wrote me off and did not believe I was having these symptoms.  I didnt mention the P because i thought is was fine since he prescribed it.  After doing some on line research I have finally figured it out that I am being slowly poisened by this stuff.  If anyone has felt like this please post to me.  I need to know how long this stuff takes to get out of my system and start feeling better.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi. I've been taking phenergan  for same period, and experiencing same symptoms. I use Chinese medicine, and accupunture. Was told phenergan would be out of my symptom in 2 weeks
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8944740_tn?1400757441
I've heard emu oil is good for skin conditions. You can apply it topically or take orally, I'm not sure what is best for you.  Look it up.

And, for others reading this reply, magnesium chelate is excellent for a) restless legs  b) twitching and cramping AND c) sleep.  Just don't take too much as you can have toilets issues (unless you take taurine).  ;0)
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8944740_tn?1400757441
I need to know as well.  Starting reduction tonight after 2. months on 25mg.

I have read all of the comments following this post and, for those who are suffering from restless legs (phenergan related or not) MAGNESIUM is fantastic for this.

Also, I have found that propananol 40mg helps greatly with palpitations and tremors.  At least it does for me if I take a lower dose of Phenergan.  BE AWARE - propananol is a blood pressure medication so see your Dr.

Good luck to all.
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Avatar_f_tn
I took promethazine on and off for three years and now suffer form long term effects years later. I have restless leg and jerk at night as I fall asleep (Parkison type symptom). This symptoms is a noted side effect of long term use and had I been cognizant of this information I would have never used this in the first place. I now take meclazine for my balance and stomach issues. The balance issues is another long term side effect form the promethazine. At the time it felt like a miracle drug, but in the aftermath it is a demon. These side effects have not subsided nor do I believe they will go away ever. Personal- not professional recommendation: Stay far away from this stuff!
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