Aa
A
A
Close
Avatar universal
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!
Cancel
43 Answers
Page 1 of 1
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!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
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!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Holy moly! Were you taking pills or injections?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
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
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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,
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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. :)
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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...
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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.....
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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....
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
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?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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.  
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
I know this post has been more than 2 years, but I am really interested to know how long after stopping the medication did you start to feel 'normal' again?

I was also on this medication for about 3 months, and suffered the exact side effects you mentioned (I couldn't go to work too because I was extremely weak to even remain seated, and had to lie down). I stopped the medication for a little over a weak now, some side effects lifted, but my fatigue/ extreme weakness is still there.

I was just wondering how much longer would I still suffer from side effects of phenergan . Anyone know?
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
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)
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
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.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
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!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I was given Phenergan 50m to take at night because I had the shingles on my head and now have really bad itching and this keeps me awake.
it makes me drowsy but I get crazy restless legs. I have to keep getting up and walking around the house. also have to drink a lot of water for the dry mouth that comes with it too.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I have been taking 100mg a day of phenergan for 3+ years for chronic nausea.  I don't know what I'd do without it.  I'd be vomiting all day long.
My question is - does the effectiveness of phenergan wear off after long term use.  Also Zofran or meclizine doesn't even touch the nausea.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
they gave me one shot of the stuff in the hospital and the twitching happened immediately for me, it took me months before the twitching stopped completely. I would have bouts of twitching/must move or go crazy. I don't advise anyone to take this stuff, its scary when you don't have control over your own body.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I would not recommend taking this. I had really bad Nausea in high school so I was prescribed this and after a few months the nausea went away but then I started having Essential Tremors and it has been five years since I've had Promethazine.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
oh my gosh!!! I only took it for 4 months after surgery for anti nausea from pain meds and I have all of these symptoms for over a year. After numerous doctors and testings and my body just depleted and basically all the doctors just not listening to my symptoms I finally had someone admit to the promethazine being a possible cause. Why did the doctors not care to listen and now Ive lost over a whole year of my life and well being!! Now Im faced with all kinds of therapies which will be a long haul for me.I cant drive, talk normally,balance issues, vision problems, sleep issues and all kinds of body movements thats just uncontrollable and painful
How do I go from here? Take more drugs to hopefully clear up this mess that drugs basically caused to have more side effects? Ive lost faith in my primary doc and the surgeon!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Please someone reply to me ....I am desparate and now goingvto yet more neurologists for help . I feel the surgeon and my primary doc totally dropped the ball on me and did not monitor my symptoms. Total neglect of a patient who put my faith in the doctors who I respected the most and basically left my life in their hands. I have chorea, dystonia tics and now losing bladder control. I miss my family dearly and unable to drive or fly.
ANy help out there and what have u done.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Please someone reply to me ....I am desparate and now goingvto yet more neurologists for help . I feel the surgeon and my primary doc totally dropped the ball on me and did not monitor my symptoms. Total neglect of a patient who put my faith in the doctors who I respected the most and basically left my life in their hands. I have chorea, dystonia tics and now losing bladder control. I miss my family dearly and unable to drive or fly.
ANy help out there and what have u done.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I have been using Phenergan for over 5 years, 50 mg at night to sleep. The last two years I have had the worst recurring Chronic Hives. I thought it was from stress, but after reading your post I am thinking it could be a resistance to antihistimine. If I try and ween off the Phenergan my hives go crazy. The hives have been all over my face and neck causing extreme swelling. And occasionally my body. It has been ruining my life as I can't go out and I am con
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Stop taking!

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's on 6/18/2014.  Saw an Internationally known Neurologist this past Fall AND 1st thing he noticed on my meds list was Phenergan.  Turns out it can affect you neurologically.  I was using it for years for migraine nausea and regular nausea~ chronic.  
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Dr prescribed me twice a night for gastro intestinal disease  (mesenteric panniculitis) for 40+ days. Gave me tremors,  twitches,  tics, anxiety and panic. Didn't realize till too late...still have all these 4 months later, all because doctors don't know what they're doing. My life is over....
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I suppose, you must not take it on long run. It has so many side effects. Common and less severe side effects may include blurred vision, involuntary quivering, non-coordination, trouble sleeping, drowsiness, difficult urination while severe effects may include high BP, slow heartbeat, seizure, rapid breathing, tremor and lots more. Talk to an immunologist.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I suppose, you must not take it on long run. It has so many side effects. Common and less severe side effects may include blurred vision, involuntary quivering, non-coordination, trouble sleeping, drowsiness, difficult urination while severe effects may include high BP, slow heartbeat, seizure, rapid breathing, tremor and lots more. Talk to an immunologist.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I started taking Phenergan about 25 years ago to help with insomnia, usually 25mg per night.  I then cut back to 10mg and found it was helping with my vertigo,  taken 3-4 times per day.  Reading all these posts has now scared me but I think I am hooked!  Help!!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Hi all,
  My mother gave it to me nearly every night as a young child (prescribed by our family Doctor) in the early 70's, as I was "hyperactive" (I am extremely intelligent & apparently never stopped questioning anything & everything) & wouldn't sleep at night (and pretty much haven't since unless self-medicated, thank God for THC!).  
  I have had Asthma like breathing problems (I had to have my Adenoids removed at 9), eczema like skin conditions - allergic to soap & impure metals, muscle spasms, insomnia, hyper-awareness & slowly rotting teeth for the last 40 years !!!!!!!
  As for Neurological damage - who knows ???
I would not recommend giving this medication to children AT ALL - let alone long-term use !!
Regards
Marty
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I have been taking 10mg of Phenergan nightly for sleep for several years. It seems to give me just the degree of sedation I need for a reasonable night's sleep. No sign of side effects yet possibly because of the small dose.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
My husband died from Phenergan.  He was prescribed the medication to counteract another medication. Phenergan overtime, can store up in your fat cells then release all at once at anytime causing complete cardiac arrest. Anyone on long term phenergan use should have their levels tested every few months. The VA doctors did not test his levels and one morning he never woke up. His death was deemed military related since they did not take care of him properly. There thousands upon thousands of lawsuits for phenergan...with many of them being military personnel.  
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Okay, well now I'm terrified D: I've been taking 75mg of Promethazine a day (1 in the morning and two at night) for the last like 9 months. I was prescribed it by my psychiatrist because I hadn't been able to sleep until 6/7am in the morning consistently (no, my sleeping pattern wasn't just messed up, I longed for rest but physically couldn't clock out) and it was worsening my mental health. Since being on this drug, 80% of the time I can choose my own bed time effectively. But if I don't take it, my body doesn't allow me to sleep until 6/7am, just like before. Now I've read this forum and I feel extremely paranoid! If I wean down I won't be able to sleep, but if I carry on.. Who knows what symptoms I may develop? :( any reassurance out there?
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Hello....I had this happen to me. Could you please contact me regarding this? No-one seemed to pay attention that I was on this! And the effects...I too was in military !
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Michelle...I had a similar thing happen to me. Would you contact me. I too was in the military and no-one seemed to pay attention...thank you
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Your Answer
Avatar universal
Answer
Do you know how to answer? Tap here to leave your answer...
Answer
Answer
Post Answer
A
A
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Allergy Community Resources