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Promethazine Hydrochloride Rectal suppository

What is this medicine?

PROMETHAZINE (proe METH a zeen) is an antihistamine. It is used to treat allergic reactions and to treat or prevent nausea and vomiting from illness or motion sickness. It is also used to make you sleep before surgery, and to help treat pain or nausea after surgery.

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for rectal use only. Do not take by mouth. Wash your hands before and after use. Take off the foil wrapping. Wet the tip of the suppository with cold tap water to make it easier to use. Lie on your side with your lower leg straightened out and your upper leg bent forward toward your stomach. Lift upper buttock to expose the rectal area. Apply gentle pressure to insert the suppository completely into the rectum, pointed end first. Hold buttocks together for a few seconds. Remain lying down for about 15 minutes to avoid having the suppository come out. Do not use more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. This medicine should not be given to infants and children younger than 2 years old.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:

  • blurred vision

  • irregular heartbeat, palpitations or chest pain

  • muscle or facial twitches

  • pain or difficulty passing urine

  • seizures

  • skin rash

  • slowed or shallow breathing

  • unusual bleeding or bruising

  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • headache

  • nightmares, agitation, nervousness, excitability, not able to sleep (these are more likely in children)

  • stuffy nose

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:

  • medicines called MAO Inhibitors like Nardil, Parnate, Marplan, Eldepryl

  • other phenothiazines like trimethobenzamide

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • barbiturates such as phenobarbital

  • bromocriptine

  • certain antidepressants

  • certain antihistamines used in allergy or cold medicines

  • epinephrine

  • levodopa

  • medicines for sleep

  • medicines for mental problems and psychotic disturbances

  • medicines for movement abnormalities as in Parkinson's disease, or for gastrointestinal problems

  • muscle relaxants

  • prescription pain medicines

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, use only that dose. Do not use double doses.

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • glaucoma

  • high blood pressure or heart disease

  • kidney disease

  • liver disease

  • lung or breathing disease, like asthma

  • prostate trouble

  • pain or difficulty passing urine

  • seizures

  • an unusual or allergic reaction to promethazine or phenothiazines, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives

  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant

  • breast-feeding

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not start to get better in 1 to 2 days.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. To reduce the risk of dizzy or fainting spells, do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. Alcohol may increase dizziness and drowsiness. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

This medicine may cause dry eyes and blurred vision. If you wear contact lenses you may feel some discomfort. Lubricating drops may help. See your eye doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

If you are diabetic, check your blood-sugar levels regularly.

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Date Last Reviewed: 7/16/2009
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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