Promethazine is used to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting related to certain conditions (e.g., motion sickness, before/after surgery). It is also used to treat allergic symptoms such as rash, itching, and runny nose. It may be used for a short time to treat a runny nose due to the common cold. It may also be used to help you feel calmer before/after surgery or to help certain narcotic pain relievers (e.g., meperidine) work better. Promethazine is an antihistamine. It works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. Its other effects (e.g., anti-nausea, calming, pain relief) may work by affecting other natural substances (e.g., acetylcholine) and by acting directly on certain parts of the brain. Cough-and-cold products have not been shown to be safe or effective in children younger than 6 years. Therefore, do not use this product to treat cold symptoms in children younger than 6 years unless specifically directed by the doctor. Some products (such as long-acting tablets/capsules) are not recommended for use in children younger than 12 years. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details about using your product safely. These products do not cure or shorten the length of the common cold and may cause serious side effects. To decrease the risk for serious side effects, carefully follow all dosage directions. Do not use this product to make a child sleepy. Do not give other cough-and-cold medication that might contain the same or similar ingredients (see also Drug Interactions section). Ask the doctor or pharmacist about other ways to relieve cough and cold symptoms (such as drinking enough fluids, using a humidifier or saline nose drops/spray).
How To Use
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 4 times daily as needed or as directed by your doctor. For motion sickness, promethazine should be taken 30-60 minutes before beginning travel. If needed, the dose may be repeated 8 to 12 hours later as directed. For continued travel, your doctor may direct you to take promethazine twice a day, in the morning and before the evening meal. For allergies, this medication may be taken at bedtime to decrease daytime drowsiness. When used before surgery, promethazine may be taken the night before or just before the procedure and may be continued afterwards. If you are using the liquid form, use a medication measuring device to carefully measure the prescribed dose. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to therapy. Take this medication exactly as directed to get the most benefit from it. Do not take more medication or take it more often than prescribed. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions. Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first. This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: epinephrine for low blood pressure, metrizamide, sibutramine. If you are currently using any of these medications listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting promethazine. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially: anticholinergics (e.g., benztropine, belladonna alkaloids), cancer chemotherapy (e.g., methotrexate), guanethidine, guanadrel. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have taken MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine) within 2 weeks before, during or after taking promethazine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you also take drugs that cause drowsiness such as: certain antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine), anti-seizure drugs (e.g., carbamazepine), medicine for sleep or anxiety (e.g., alprazolam, diazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), psychiatric medicines (e.g., chlorpromazine, risperidone, trazodone). Check the labels on all your medicines (e.g., cough-and-cold products) because they may contain drowsiness-causing ingredients or other antihistamines. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Also report the use of drugs which might increase seizure risk (decrease seizure threshold) when combined with promethazine such as bupropion, isoniazid (INH), phenothiazines (e.g., thioridazine), theophylline, tramadol, or tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline), among others. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for details. This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including some pregnancy tests, blood sugar tests, skin test for allergies), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug. This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
Do not share this medication with others.
If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly. Symptoms of overdose may include severe dizziness, fainting, very slow/shallow breathing, loss of consciousness, muscle stiffness/twitching, hot dry skin, widened pupils.
See also Warning section. Before taking promethazine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to any other phenothiazines (e.g., prochlorperazine); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. This medication should not be given to a person who is unconscious. This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: certain lung/breathing problems (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, sleep apnea). Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: blood/immune system problems (e.g., bone marrow depression), a certain eye problem (narrow-angle glaucoma), heart disease (e.g., angina, irregular heartbeat), high blood pressure, liver disease, certain nervous system problems (e.g., neuroleptic malignant syndrome, Reye's syndrome), seizure, stomach/bowel problems (e.g., blockage, ulcer disease), sun sensitivity when using other medications, urination problems (e.g., due to enlarged prostate, blockage). This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Children should be supervised to avoid injury during bicycle riding or other possibly hazardous activities. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Promethazine may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors. This medication can reduce sweating, making you more likely to get heat stroke. Avoid strenuous work/exercise, drink plenty of fluids, and dress lightly while in hot weather. Liquid products may contain sugar and alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, liver disease, or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially confusion and drowsiness. Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially slowed breathing (see Warning section). Special caution should be taken in children who have lost a lot of fluid (dehydration), those who have a family history of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and those who are hard to wake up from sleep. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is unknown whether promethazine passes into breast milk. It may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Therefore, breast-feeding while using this medication is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, blurred vision, or dry mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor. Some people, particularly children, may experience excitability rather than drowsiness. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: lack of coordination, severe dizziness, ringing ears, fainting, slow heartbeat, mental/mood changes (e.g., hallucinations, nervousness, irritability), involuntary movements (e.g., fixed upward stare, neck twisting, tongue movements), restlessness, shaking (tremor), decreased/painful urination, weakness, vision changes (e.g., double vision). Stop taking this medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: slow/shallow breathing, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat), severe abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting, easy bleeding/bruising, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine. This drug may infrequently cause a very serious (rarely fatal) nervous system disorder (neuroleptic malignant syndrome). If you notice any of the following unlikely but very serious side effects, stop taking this medication and seek immediate medical attention: severe muscle stiffness, mental/mood changes (e.g., sudden confusion, extreme drowsiness), very high fever, seizures, irregular/fast heartbeat, increased sweating. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but stop taking this medication and seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Promethazine should not be used in children younger than 2 years since it might cause serious (possibly fatal) slow/shallow breathing. This problem has occurred even with normal doses in this age group. The lowest effective dosage should be used, and other drugs that affect breathing should be avoided. Seek immediate medical attention in the unlikely event that slow/shallow breathing occurs. In children, drugs for nausea should only be used in cases of prolonged vomiting when the cause is known. Avoid use of promethazine in children with liver disease (including possible Reye's syndrome).
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
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