Prochlorperazine

Brand names of prochlorperazine

  • Apo-Prochlorazine
  • Combid [CD]
  • Compazine
  • Eskatrol
  • Nu-Prochlor
  • PMS-Prochlorperazine
  • Pro-Iso
  • Stemetil
  • Sab-Prochlorperazine
  • Stemetil
  • Ultrazine [CD]

Prochlorperazine is a member of the class of drugs called antipsychotics and, particularly belongs to the family of medications known as phenothiazines. This medication is employed to treat symptoms related to psychotic disorders, for instance, extreme anxiety, confusion, tension, hallucinations as well as agitation. Prochlorperazine acts by means of influencing the balance of chemicals in the brain.

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Prochlorperazine can also be prescribed to put off nausea and vomiting attributable to using particular medicines, such as those used to treat cancer, and also for motion sickness. When prochlorperazine is used to treat queasiness and vomiting, the doses of this medication are much less compared to those employed for treating psychotic problems. This medication also results in a number of side effects depending on the use of its dosage.

Things you need to tell your physician before taking prochlorperazine

As in the instance of starting treatment with any other prescription drug, prior to taking you should tell your physician or pharmacist whether you have any allergic reactions to this medication, any of its ingredients, any other phenothiazine drug (such as chlorpromazine) or who suffer from any other type of allergies. Prochlorperazine may contain a number of inactive substances that may result in allergic reactions or cause additional problems. Hence, it is advisable that you ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients contained by prochlorperazine if you are not certain about them.

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It is important to note that prochlorperazine should never be given to cure patients who are in semi-comatose or people who are already taking excessive doses of any drug that causes stupor and slows down the breathing, such as narcotics, alcohol and/ or barbiturates. Prior to starting treatment with prochlorperazine, it is important that you talk to your physician or pharmacist regarding your entire medical history, particularly if you have ever had or are suffering from any type of breathing problems (for instance, asthma, emphysema); any blood disorder (such as depression of the bone marrow); low blood pressure; specific type of problems related to the heart rhythm (such as irregular heartbeat, prolonged QTc interval); problems related to urination (for instance, urinary retention, trouble in passing urine owing to a distended prostate); any liver ailment; glaucoma; seizures/ convulsions; and/ or Reye's syndrome.

Use of prochlorperazine is like to cause drowsiness, light-headedness or even result in blurred vision. Hence it is advisable that you should not undertake any task involving alertness or clear vision, such as driving or operating a machine, while undergoing treatment with this drug until you are certain about its impact on your body and that you can accomplish the tasks safely. People taking prochlorperazine should necessarily reduce their intake of alcoholic beverages. In order to diminish the side effects like drowsiness and dizziness caused by this drug, you should raise very slowly from a lying or sitting position.

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People taking prochlorperazine are likely to become more sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, they should try their best to avoid being exposed to the sun, sunlamps and tanning booths for prolonged periods. You may use a sunscreen or wear protective clothes while going out in the sun. In addition, prochlorperazine is also likely to reduce the patient's body's aptitude to accommodate to extreme cold or hot temperatures. Such patients also face the risks of fainting and to avoid such a condition, they should keep away from exposure to extreme temperatures (such as swimming in chilly water). They may also develop fever or have heatstroke when the weather conditions are hot as their sweating decreases considerably. It is advisable that people taking prochlorperazine should stay away from undertaking arduous work or exercises; drink lots of fluids and wear light dresses during the hot weather.

Aged people taking prochlorperazine are likely to be more susceptible to the consequences of this medication and may especially experience constipation, low blood pressure, problems related to the nerve and muscles and urinary problems. Even children taking this drug are alike to face an augmented risk of suffering side effects, such as problems related to the nerve/ muscles. Hence, prochlorperazine is not suggested for children below two years old or children who have been suffering from temporary ailments, such as flu and/ or chicken pox. In addition, prochlorperazine is also not recommended for children who are in surgery.

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Pregnant women should only be given this medication when it is absolutely necessary for their condition. It is essential for pregnant women intending to take prochlorperazine to consult their physician regarding the benefits and risks of using this drug during pregnancy. However, provided you are already taking prochlorperazine, never stop taking it until your physician asks you to do so. It may be noted that, although rare, babies that are born to women who have been using prochlorperazine during their pregnancy may develop liver disorders accompanied by symptoms, which may include dark urine, and the eyes and skin turning yellow. Women who take this medication during the last three months of their pregnancy often give birth to babies who often develop certain symptoms, such as a sensation of having breathing problems; firmness as well as trembling of the muscles; stupor; and/ or continuous crying. Contact your physician immediately in case you detect any of these symptoms in your newborn during the first month of their birth.

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According to information available from the use of related medications, it is likely that prochlorperazine passes onto breast milk. Hence, new mothers should consult their physician regarding the risks and benefits of using this drug prior to breast-feeding. Breast-feeding without the consent of the physician is not suggested for women who are already taking this medication.

Usage

The phenothiazine drug prochlorperazine is employed to treat acute queasiness and vomiting. In addition, this medication is also used for managing psychotic symptoms.

How to use prochlorperazine

Prochlorperazine should be taken orally either with or without food. Alternately, you may also take the medication as instructed by your physician. If you are using the syrup form of prochlorperazine, use a device meant for measuring medicines to measure the prescribed dosage of the medication cautiously. Be careful so that you skin does not come in contact with the syrup as, although rarely, it may result in skin reactions. The dosage of prochlorperazine is essentially dependent on the age of the patient, his/ her medical condition as well as response to the treatment. It is advisable that you should not take the medication in excessive or lower dosages, more frequently or for a longer period than what has been prescribed without talking to your physician. In case you alter the prescribed dose of the medication it will not help to improve your condition more quickly, but may aggravate the side effects of using prochlorperazine. Provided you are taking prochlorperazine according to the prescribed regimen, you should use it on a regular basis with a view to obtain the maximum benefits from using the medication. In order to help you remember that you have to take prochlorperazine, it is essential to take the medication at the same time(s) daily. Contact your physician right away in case your condition persists or worsens even after treatment with prochlorperazine.

How prochlorperazine works

Prochlorperazine works by holding back the actions in the gastrointestinal tract as well as the brain's trigger regions that control the vomiting impulse.

Side effects

Serious:
  • difficulty breathing
  • difficulty swallowing
  • distension of the tongue
  • neck stiffness
  • neuroleptic malignant syndrome (high fever, disorientation, confusion, spasms or stiffness of the muscles)
  • profuse sweating
  • rapid heartbeat
  • seizures
Common:
  • blurred vision
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • nausea
  • reduced sweating
  • shaking of hands
  • stooped posture
Less common:

Possible interactions

Herbal medicines or minerals:
If you are undergoing treatment with prochlorperazine, you need to consult your physician before you add any new herbal products or supplements containing minerals to your already existing list of medications. For instance, using the herbs valerian and kava kava together with prochlorperazine may deteriorate the drowsiness caused by this medication and, hence, it is advised that you exercise caution in this regard. As the herb ginseng may partially perform as an MAO inhibitor, taking this along with prochlorperazine is not recommended. In addition, when the herb St. John's wort and prochlorperazine is taken in conjunction, it may result in augmented susceptibility to sunlight.
When you are using prochlorperazine for a long-term basis, you need to also take a riboflavin or vitamin B2 supplement.
Foods:
People undergoing treatment with prochlorperazine should keep away from taking high dosage of vitamin C either in foods or in supplement form for it may reduce the medicinal benefits of this phenothiazine drug.
Alcohol:
Consumption of alcoholic beverages is likely to augment the sedative effect of prochlorperazine and also heighten the depressive effects of this medication on the performance of the brain. In addition, it may also increase the blood pressure. Drugs belonging to the family of phenothiazines may also enhance the inebriating actions of alcohol.
Tobacco smoking:
Smoking tobacco along with undergoing treatment with prochlorperazine may possibly lessen the drowsiness caused by the use of this medication.
Marijuana smoking:
When people taking prochlorperazine also smoke marijuana, they are likely to experience a restrained enhancement in stupor; heightening of orthostatic hypotension; and augmented risks of impulsive latent psychoses. All these may actually confound the reading of the mental condition as well as the patient's response to treatment with prochlorperazine.
Exposure to heat:
If you are undergoing treatment with prochlorperazine it is essential that you exercise caution and keep away from exposure to extreme heat whenever possible. In fact, this medication has the potential to damage the controlling of the body temperature and, at the same time, augment the chances of having a heatstroke.
Exposure to cold:
It is important to note that elderly people taking prochlorperazine are likely to face an augmented risk of developing hypothermia.
Exposure to sun:
It is advised that you use caution while going out in the sun till your susceptibility to sunlight after taking prochlorperazine has been decided on. It may be noted that a number of drugs belonging to the family of phenothiazines may result in photosensitivity.

Discontinuation

If you have been using prochlorperazine for a prolonged period, never stop taking this medication all of a sudden. If you need to discontinue with this medication, you should lessen the dosage of the medication gradually over a period of two to three weeks before you stop taking it completely. The gradual reduction in dosage of the medication should preferably be done under the direct guidance of your physician or healthcare provider.

Storage instructions

You should always store prochlorperazine in the container it was made available. Seal the lid of the container and keep it in a place that is beyond children's reach. Keep all the medications of prochlorperazine in their wrapper and never remove the wrap of any suppository till immediately prior to you popping it in. In addition, keep this medication at room temperature and in a place that is away from extreme heat as well as moisture. Never keep prochlorperazine in your bathroom, which is damp most of the time. When any medication becomes outdated or is needed no longer, discard it in an appropriate and safe manner. If required, talk to your pharmacist or any waste disposal company regarding the safe disposal of all unnecessary medications.

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