What is phenergan for?

Contents

Phenergan

Generic Name: promethazine (oral) (pro METH a zeen)
Brand Names: Phenergan, Phenadoz, Promethegan

Phenergan is also found in combination with other medications such as phenylephrine (Prometh Hydrochloride), codeine (Prometh VC), or dextromethorphan (Promethazine DM)

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD Last updated on Feb 15, 2019.

  • Overview
  • Side Effects
  • Dosage
  • Professional
  • Tips
  • Interactions
  • More

What is Phenergan?

Phenergan (promethazine) belongs to a group of drugs called phenothiazines. 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.

Phenergan is used to treat allergy symptoms such as itching, runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, hives, and itchy skin rashes.

Phenergan also prevents motion sickness, and treats nausea and vomiting or pain after surgery. It is also used as a sedative or sleep aid.

Phenergan is not for use in treating symptoms of asthma, pneumonia, or other lower respiratory tract infections.

Important information

Stop using Phenergan 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. Phenergan should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old. Phenergan 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.

Phenergan 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 Phenergan. 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

Phenergan should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old. Phenergan 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 Phenergan if you are allergic to promethazine or to similar medicines such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, mesoridazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine, or trifluperazine.

You should not take Phenergan if you have asthma or another lower respiratory tract disorder.

To make sure Phenergan 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);

  • glaucoma;

  • enlarged prostate or problems with urination;

  • stomach ulcer or obstruction;

  • heart disease or high blood pressure;

  • liver disease;

  • 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 Phenergan will affect an unborn baby. Animal studies have not shown any effects. 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 affect a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are nursing prior to using Phenergan.

How should I take Phenergan?

Take Phenergan 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.

Phenergan is often taken at bedtime or before meals. For motion sickness, Phenergan is usually started within 1 hour before traveling. When used for surgery, Phenergan is usually taken the night before the surgery.

How often you take Phenergan 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. Phenergan 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 Phenergan.

This medicine can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Phenergan.

Store Phenergan at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include overactive reflexes, loss of coordination, severe drowsiness or weakness, fainting, dilated pupils, weak or shallow breathing, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid while taking Phenergan?

This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of Phenergan. Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Phenergan can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

Phenergan side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Phenergan and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe drowsiness, weak or shallow breathing;

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • confusion, agitation, hallucinations, nightmares;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • fast or slow heartbeats;

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);

  • uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);

  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);

  • sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing; or

  • very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out.

Side effects such as confusion and severe drowsiness may be more likely in older adults.

Common Phenergan side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness;

  • ringing in your ears;

  • double vision;

  • feeling nervous;

  • dry mouth; or

  • tired feeling, sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Phenergan?

Cold or allergy medicine, sedatives, narcotic pain medicine, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and medicine for seizures, depression or anxiety can interact with Phenergan and cause medical problems or increase side effects. Tell your doctor if you regularly use any of these medicines.

Also tell your doctor if you are using any of the following medicines:

This list is not complete and there are many other medicines that can interact with Phenergan. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start 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.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Copyright 1996-2020 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.02.

Related questions

  • How long does promethazine stay in your system?
  • What’s the difference between Par promethazine with codeine and Hi-Tech promethazine with codeine?

Medical Disclaimer

More about Phenergan (promethazine)

  • Side Effects
  • During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
  • Dosage Information
  • Patient Tips
  • Drug Images
  • Drug Interactions
  • Compare Alternatives
  • Support Group
  • Pricing & Coupons
  • 98 Reviews
  • Drug class: antihistamines
  • FDA Alerts (3)

Consumer resources

  • Phenergan (Promethazine Injection)
  • Phenergan (Promethazine Suppositories)
  • Phenergan (Promethazine Tablets)
  • Phenergan (Advanced Reading)
  • Phenergan Injection, Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
  • Phenergan Rectal (Advanced Reading)

Other brands: Promethegan, Phenadoz, Antinaus 50

Professional resources

  • Phenergan (FDA)
  • … +3 more

Other Formulations

  • Phenergan VC

Related treatment guides

  • Allergic Reactions
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Light Sedation
  • … +6 more

promethazine (oral) (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)

Brand Names: Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot

Generic Name: promethazine (oral)

  • What is promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?
  • What are the possible side effects of promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?
  • How should I take promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?
  • What should I avoid while taking promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?
  • What other drugs will affect promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?
  • Where can I get more information (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?

What is promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?

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.

Promethazine 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.

Promethazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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Promethazine 25 mg-AMN

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Promethazine 25 mg-ESI

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Promethazine 50 mg-AMN

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What are the possible side effects of promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using promethazine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe drowsiness, weak or shallow breathing;
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • confusion, agitation, hallucinations, nightmares;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • fast or slow heartbeats;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement);
  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);
  • sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, mouth sores, red or swollen gums, trouble swallowing; or
  • severe nervous system reaction–very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out.

Side effects such as confusion and severe drowsiness may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness;
  • ringing in your ears;
  • double vision;
  • feeling nervous;
  • dry mouth; or
  • tired feeling, sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about promethazine (Pentazine, Phenergan, Promacot)?

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.

Are you currently using promethazine HCL?

See also Warning section.Promethazine is used to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting related to certain conditions (such as before/after surgery, motion sickness). It is also used to treat allergy symptoms such as rash, itching, and runny nose. It may be used to help you feel sleepy/relaxed before and after surgery or to help certain narcotic pain relievers (such as meperidine) work better. It may also be used for a short time to treat a runny nose due to the common cold.Promethazine is an antihistamine and works by blocking a certain natural substance (histamine) that your body makes during an allergic reaction. Its other effects (such as anti-nausea, calming, pain relief) may work by affecting other natural substances (such as 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 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).

Promethazine oral solution or syrup

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Bronchitis and Pneumonia

What is bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi, which are the airways that carry the air to the lungs. Bronchitis is usually caused by a virus and disappears without intervention, within a few days, just like a cold or the flu. All we can do is try to relieve the cough, fever and nasal congestion that comes with it, so that it seems to disappear more quickly! Sometimes, however, bronchitis is caused by bacteria and does not easily heal on its own. Bacterial bronchitis usually requires antibiotic therapy, such as penicillin.

What is the difference between bacterial and viral bronchitis?

Two things can help you tell the difference between these two types of bronchitis: the length of time the symptoms last and the colour of the secretions.

If your symptoms get worse by the day and persist for more than a week, you probably have bacterial bronchitis. Greenish phlegm is also a signal of a bacterial infection. Clear or yellowish secretions generally indicate that the infection is viral in origin.

Do you always need to take antibiotics when you have bronchitis?

NO. Antibiotics are only used when bacteria are involved: Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Since 75% of all cases of bronchitis are caused by viruses, only 1 person with bronchitis out of 4 requires antibiotic therapy. The others will see their symptoms resolve by themselves.

Apart from medication, what else can you do to feel better?

Rest as much as possible, and drink lots of liquids. People with bronchitis should drink 6 to 8 cups of liquid daily (1.5 to 2 litres). Water helps to liquefy the secretions and make them easier to spit. Since it is difficult to drink a lot during the night, use a humidifier to keep the bedroom air moist. (And clean the humidifier regularly!)

How are bronchial coughs treated?

Cough is the main symptom of viral and bacterial bronchitis. There are two types of cough: dry (no secretions) and productive (with secretions).

For a dry, bothersome cough, consider a cough suppressant. They are available in syrups and also in tablets. If it is not strong enough to relieve your cough, codeine-containing cough products can be used, but most are not available without a prescription. Codeine-containing products should be used with caution since they can cause drowsiness.

For a productive cough, consider an expectorant. Don’t stop a productive cough, unless it is disturbing your sleep and keeping you from getting better. Instead, use an expectorant to help liquefy the secretions, making them easier to expel. Guaifenesin is the only expectorant recognized as effective. It is found in many cough products. To obtain the desired effect, guaifenesin-containing products should be used at least 4 times a day.

Be careful when choosing a cough product. Make sure that the product you selected contains only the ingredient(s) you need. Several products contain a cocktail of ingredients that you might not need or contain ingredients that have conflicting effects such as suppressing the cough and liquefying the secretions in the same product.

How to treat bacterial bronchitis?

A 7 to 10-day course of antibiotics is usually prescribed to treat bacterial bronchitis. Several different antibiotics are used: some are more effective than others but are also more costly. Symptoms usually subside within 2 to 3 days. If there is no improvement after 3 days, return to your physician. Keep in mind that all antibiotic therapies should be continued to the end of the course. Even if you feel fine after a few days, keep taking them-otherwise a more severe infection may develop and a second course of antibiotics may be required.

Antibiotics must be taken at the appropriate time to ensure their efficacy. For example, some antibiotics should be taken on an empty stomach (1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal), while others can be taken with food. In addition, antibiotics can cause adverse effects. Consult your pharmacist who will tell you how to avoid or minimize any side effects.

What about pneumonia?

Pneumonia occurs when the lungs become infected. Pneumonia is more serious than bronchitis and is more difficult to treat. However, the treatment is the same: plenty of rest and liquids, cough suppressants, and antibiotics if bacteria are involved.

What Is Promethazine, and How Can It Be Abused?

Promethazine was developed in the mid-1940s when a team of scientists from the French chemical manufacturing company Rhône-Poulenc combined phenothiazine and a diamine side chain of diphenhydramine to create a new drug. Their creation, promethazine, is a synthetic medication that belongs to a pharmaceutical family known as phenothiazines.

Has your Promethazine use become unmanageable? Take our addiction assessment now. It’s free and 100% confidential.

Medical Uses for Promethazine

As a medication, promethazine has several uses, including treating allergies, motion sickness, and more. It is also a strong sedative that is sometimes prescribed during labor, before and after surgery, and at other times.

Promethazine is a first generation antihistamine that is only available by prescription. It effectively treats several conditions, such as:

  • Allergies
  • Motion sickness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Hives

As an antihistamine, promethazine competes with histamine for binding at some of its receptor sites (H1-receptors), thereby blocking histamine from binding to many. This, in turn, prevents or reduces the typical effects of histamine activating those receptors, including hives, constriction of the airways, nausea, increased wakefulness, nasal congestion, sneezing, and a runny nose.

Promethazine Side Effects

Even though promethazine is a useful medicine, it is not without risks. Common side effects of promethazine include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sedation
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness

Rare but serious side effects of promethazine include:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Yellow skin and/or eyes
  • Fever
  • Rigid muscles

How Use Leads to Abuse

Although it is not a controlled substance, promethazine does have the potential to be abused. The risk of abuse heightens when it’s combined with codeine, which is a combination used as a prescription medication for cough and upper respiratory symptoms accompanying allergies or a cold. Codeine is an opioid that can alleviate coughing.

Promethazine DM is the combination of Promethazine and dextromethorphan, cough medicine brands such as, Robitussin, Delsym or NyQuil

For someone looking for a way to get high, promethazine with codeine combinations may be easier to access than other opioids that are more carefully controlled. Opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone are Schedule II drugs, whereas the combination of promethazine and codeine is a Schedule V drug. Although this lower scheduling means that the medication is thought to have a lower abuse potential, it could make it easier to obtain.

Dangers of Promethazine Abuse

Promethazine abuse can lead to side effects that range from inconvenient to incredibly dangerous. Promethazine overdose can be even more dangerous. Overdosing on promethazine may cause symptoms such as:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Decreased or stopped breathing
  • Dizziness/fainting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Tense muscles
  • Incoordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Flushing
  • Excessive agitation or excitement
  • Lost of consciousness

If an overdose occurs, it is very important that someone call the poison control helpline (1-800-222-1222). If the person has had a seizure, has difficulty breathing, has collapsed, or cannot be woken up, immediately call 911.

Treatment for Promethazine Addiction

Although it is clear that promethazine abuse can be dangerous, there is not much research that offers a clear picture of its addictive potential. However, a 2013 study found that 26 percent of methadone maintenance patients sampled had their urine test positive for promethazine, while only 15 percent of those promethazine-positive patients had a current prescription for promethazine. Additionally, 17 percent of injection heroin users reported using promethazine in the past month, and 24 percent of injection drug users who reported enrollment in methadone treatment reported promethazine use in the past month. They concluded there was “compelling evidence of significant nonmedical use of promethazine in this patient population” and recommended that there be further research on the nonmedical use of promethazine.

Furthermore, there is evidence that codeine, which is combined with promethazine in some medications, is addictive. Codeine on its own is a Schedule II substance. This means that it has a high potential for abuse, although it is still medically useful in certain cases. Medications consisting of both codeine and promethazine are Schedule V, meaning they have a lower potential for abuse, but there is still abuse potential and so they are controlled substances.

Promethazine Withdrawal Symptoms

People who frequently use codeine (with or without promethazine) may develop a dependence on opioids. If they stop using it or drastically decrease their use, they may experience withdrawal. Withdrawal can last several days, and symptoms may include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Restlessness/irritability/anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Chills
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches

If you, or a loved one, are struggling with an addiction to cough syrup or cold medicine, or if promethazine abuse has become part of your or your loved one’s life, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible. In treatment, clients have the opportunity to safely detox from any drugs they are dependent on and to receive treatment for their addiction with therapy and sometimes medication as well. With a strong support network and a commitment to working on recovery, clients can discover a brighter, healthier future – one that is much better than anything addiction to promethazine or codeine could offer.

Additional Reading

  • What Is Losartan, and How Is It Abused?
  • What Is Prednisone, and How Is It Abused?
  • Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
  • Subutex and Effects of Use
  • What Is Meloxicam and How Is It Abused?

Promethazine

Promethazine is the generic form of the brand-name drug Phenergan, used as an antihistamine, sedative, and anti-nausea drug.

Your doctor may also prescribe promethazine to relieve allergy symptoms like runny nose and watery, red eyes, or prevent and treat motion sickness.

Additionally, it can help with allergic skin conditions or reactions to blood or plasma products and may be used to treat the discomforts of a common cold like sneezing, coughing, and runny nose.

Physicians might combine promethazine with other drugs to help relieve a sudden allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

This medication may also be given to relax and sedate people before and after surgery, during labor, or to prevent and control the nausea and vomiting that may occur after surgery.

When combined with narcotic pain medication after surgery, it can improve the effectiveness of the pain medication.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved promethazine hydrochloride in 1951.

It’s marketed by Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and is available as a tablet, syrup, or a suppository to use rectally.

Promethazine Warnings

The FDA has issued a black-box warning about the use of promethazine hydrochloride in children younger than 2 years because the drug could lead to severe or fatal breathing problems.

Never use promethazine if you are allergic to it or any similar drugs, including:

  • Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
  • Fluphenazine (Prolixin)
  • Mesoridazine (Serentil)
  • Perphenazine (Trilafon)
  • Prochlorperazine (Compazine)
  • Thioridazine (Mellaril)
  • Trifluperazine (Stelazine)

Let your doctor know right away if you have unusual or unexpected side effects to this medication.

Promethazine may lead to impaired thinking or reaction time. Drinking alcohol could increase the side effects of this medication.

It’s also possible that serious side effects might result. If you notice twitching, uncontrollable eye movements or uncontrollable movements of your lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs, call your doctor at once.

Let your doctor know if you have or have ever had any conditions that affect the production of blood cells in your bone marrow. It’s also important to alert your healthcare provider of the following conditions:

  • An enlarged prostate gland
  • Glaucoma
  • Seizures
  • Ulcers
  • Blockage in the passageway between your stomach and intestines
  • Blockage in your bladder
  • Asthma or other lung diseases
  • Sleep apnea
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease

If you are planning to give promethazine to your child, it’s important that you discuss your child’s medical history with his/her doctor, listing problems that include vomiting, flu-like symptoms, weakness, listlessness, drowsiness, confusion, aggression, seizures, and yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Tell your pediatrician if your child isn’t drinking normally, appears dehydrated, or has excessive diarrhea or vomiting.

If you are 65 or older, promethazine may not be the safest treatment option for your conditions. Talk to your doctor about other drugs that might be safer.

If you are planning to have any type of surgery, including dental, make sure the physician knows you are using promethazine hydrochloride in advance.

Pregnancy and Promethazine

There are no conclusive studies as to how promethazine impacts pregnant women.

However, taking it within two weeks of delivery might affect your newborn’s platelet function. If you become pregnant while taking this drug, tell your doctor right away.

Be sure to let your doctor know if you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant as well as whether you are breastfeeding.

It’s unknown whether promethazine hydrochloride will pass into breast milk. Talk with your doctor about using promethazine while breastfeeding.

More Features

Promethazine overdose

Definition

Promethazine is a medicine used to treat nausea and vomiting. Promethazine overdose occurs when someone takes too much of this medicine.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Alternative Names

Phenergan overdose

Poisonous Ingredient

Promethazine

Where Found

Promethazine may be sold under the following brand names:

  • Anergan
  • Fargan
  • Phenergan
  • Promahist
  • Promethegan
  • V-Gan

Note: This list may not be all-inclusive.

Symptoms

  • Heart and blood vessels
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Convulsions
  • Nervous system
    • Coma
    • Delirium
    • Depression
    • Disorientation
    • Drowsiness
    • Excitation
    • Fever
    • Hallucinations
    • Nervousness
    • Unsteadiness
    • Tremor
  • Other
    • Flushed skin
    • Large (dilated) pupils with vision difficulty
    • Muscle stiffness in face or neck

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • The patient’s age, weight, and condition
  • Name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength, if known)
  • The time it was swallowed
  • The amount swallowed
  • If the medication was prescribed for the patient

However, DO NOT delay calling for help if this information is not immediately available.

Poison Control

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

See: Poison control center – emergency number

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient’s vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. The patient may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Laxative
  • Medicine (antidote) to reverse the effect of the poison
  • Tube through the mouth or nose into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)

Outlook (Prognosis)

If the patient survives the first 24 hours, recovery is likely. Few patients actually die from promethazine overdose.

Goldfrank LR, ed. Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies. 8th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2006.

Review Date: 2/2/2011
Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-2012 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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