Promethazine may cause breathing to slow or stop, and may cause death in children. Promethazine should not be given to babies or children who are younger than 2 years old and should be given with caution to children who are 2 years of age or older. Combination products containing promethazine and codeine should not be given to children younger than 16 years old. Promethazine should not routinely be used to treat vomiting in children; it should only be used in specific cases when a doctor decides that it is needed. Tell your child's doctor if your child has any condition that affects his/her breathing such as lung disease, asthma, or sleep apnea (stops breathing for short periods of time during sleep). Tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications your child is taking, especially barbiturates such as phenobarbital (Luminal), medications for anxiety, narcotic medications for pain, sedatives, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers. Call your child's doctor immediately and get emergency medical treatment if your child has difficulty breathing, wheezes, slows or pauses in breathing, or stops breathing.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of giving promethazine to your child.
Promethazine is used to relieve the symptoms of allergic reactions such as allergic rhinitis (runny nose and watery eyes caused by allergy to pollen, mold or dust), allergic conjunctivitis (red, watery eyes caused by allergies), allergic skin reactions, and allergic reactions to blood or plasma products. Promethazine is used with other medications to treat anaphylaxis (sudden, severe allergic reactions) and the symptoms of the common cold such as sneezing, cough, and runny nose. Promethazine is also used to relax and sedate patients before and after surgery, during labor, and at other times. Promethazine is also used to prevent and control nausea and vomiting that may occur after surgery, and with other medications to help relieve pain after surgery. Promethazine is also used to prevent and treat motion sickness. Promethazine helps control symptoms, but will not treat the cause of the symptoms or speed recovery. Promethazine is in a class of medications called phenothiazines. It works by blocking the action of a certain natural substance in the body.
Promethazine comes as a tablet and syrup (liquid) to take by mouth and as a suppository to use rectally.When promethazine is used to treat allergies, it is usually taken one to four times daily, before meals and/or at bedtime. When promethazine is used to relieve cold symptoms, it is usually taken every 4 to 6 hours as needed. When promethazine is used to treat motion sickness, it is taken 30 to 60 minutes before travel and again after 8 to 12 hours if needed. On longer trips, promethazine is usually taken in the morning and before the evening meal on each day of travel. When promethazine is used to treat or prevent nausea and vomiting it is usually taken every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Promethazine may also be taken at bedtime the night before surgery to relieve anxiety and produce quiet sleep. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take promethazine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Promethazine suppositories are for rectal use only. Do not try to swallow the suppositories or insert in any other part of your body.
If you are taking promethazine liquid, do not use a household spoon to measure your dose. Use the measuring spoon or cup that came with the medication or use a spoon made especially for measuring medication.
If the suppository feels soft, hold it under cold, running water for 1 minute. Remove the wrapper.
Dip the tip of the suppository in water.
Lie down on your left side and raise your right knee to your chest. (A left-handed person should lie on the right side and raise the left knee.)
Using your finger, insert the suppository into the rectum, about 1/2 to 1 inch (1.25 to 2.5 centimeters) in children who are 2 years of age older and 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in adults. Hold it in place for a few moments.
Stand up after about 15 minutes. Wash your hands thoroughly and resume your normal activities.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking promethazine if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take promethazine because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat the same conditions.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
ringing in ears
blurred or double vision
loss of coordination
abnormally happy mood
breathing stops for a short time
fast or irregular pulse or heartbeat
abnormal or uncontrollable movements
hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotion
uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
unusual bruising or bleeding
sore throat, fever, chills, and other signs of infection
uncontrolled eye movements
tongue sticking out
abnormal neck position
inability to respond to people around you
yellowing of the skin or eyes
swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, throat, arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
difficulty breathing or swallowing
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Promethazine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you experience any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
Keep this medication in the carton or container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store promethazine tablets and liquid at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Store promethazine suppositories in the refrigerator. Protect the medication from light. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
slowed or stopped breathing
loss of consciousness
tight muscles that are difficult to move
loss of coordination
continuous twisting movements of the hands and feet
wide pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes)
abnormal excitement or agitation
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Promethazine can interfere with the results of home pregnancy tests. Talk to your doctor if you think you might be pregnant while you are taking promethazine. Do not try to test for pregnancy at home.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking promethazine.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 01/01/2011
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2013. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.