Prescription vs.OTC: Prescription by Doctor required

Promethazine is prescribed for symptomatic treatment of various allergic conditions. It is also used as an antiemetic, to treat motion sickness, as a sedative. This medicine also employes as an analgesic adjunct for control of postoperative pain or an anesthetic adjunct.

Belonging to a group of drugs called phenothiazines, Promethazine is used to treat allergies with symptoms like a runny nose, hives, and watery eyes. Acting as an anti-histamine, it blocks the effect of histamine in the body. It is also helpful in treating motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting. It is often utilized as a sleeping aid.

If you are allergic to similar medicines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, fluphenazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine, or trifluperazine, Promethazine is not to be used. If you suffer from medical conditions such as seizures, glaucoma, liver and heart disease, sulfite allergy, or an enlarged prostate, alert your doctor. The drug is not for children under the age of 2.

Follow all the instructions given by your doctor while taking Promethazine. It is taken before meals or at bedtime. The medicine must be measured properly using proper dosage spoons. If it is to be used for surgery, it is usually taken the night before the procedure.

Caution in breast cancer or other prolactin-dependent tumors (may elevate prolactin levels). It may alter temperature regulation or mask toxicity of other drugs due to antiemetic effects. May alter cardiac conduction - life threatening arrhythmias have occurred with therapeutic doses of phenothiazines.

This medicine may cause orthostatic hypotension; use with caution in patients at risk of hypotension or where transient hypotensive episodes would be poorly tolerated (cardiovascular disease or cerebrovascular disease).

Information given here is based on the salt content of the medicine. Uses and effects of the medicine may vary from person to person. It is advisable to consult a Internal Medicine Specialist before using this medicine.

Primary use of this medicine are as follows:

  • Hypersensitivity

  • Depression

  • Coma

Common side effects this medicine may cause:

  • Is It safe with alcohol?

    This medicine may cause excessive drowsiness and calmness with alcohol.
  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    This medicine may be unsafe to use during pregnancy. Animal studies have shown adverse effects on the foetus, however, there are limited human studies. The benefits from use in pregnant women may be acceptable despite the risk. Please consult your doctor.
  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    Unknown. Human and animal studies are not available. Please consult your doctor.
  • Is it safe to drive while on this medicine?

    Caution is advised when driving or operating machinery.
  • Does this affect kidney function?

    Caution to be advised in patients with impaired renal function.
  • Does this affect liver function?

    There is no data available. Please consult doctor before consuming the drug.
  • How long is the duration of effect?

    The duration for which this medicine will remain active is about 2 - 6 hours.
  • What is the onset of action?

    The effect of this medicine is initiated within 20 minutes after its administration.
  • Are there any missed dose instructions?

    If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double the dose.
  • Are there any overdose instructions?

    Kindly consult your doctor in case of over dosing.

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Promethazine as ingredient

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This medication counteracts with independent histamine for binding at H1-receptor sites in places like the GI tract, uterus, bronchial muscle, and large blood vessels. It causes symptoms of nausea to subside via anticholinergic actions and by implicating activity on the medullary chemoreceptor trigger region.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Lab Test

    Alters the flare response in intradermal allergen tests
  • Interaction with Medicine

    Concomitant use of this medicine must be avoided along with the below mentioned medicines:
    • CYP2D6 enzyme substrate.
    • Benztropine (and other anticholinergics) may inhibit the therapeutic response to Promethazine and excess anticholinergic effects may occur.
    • Chloroquine may increase Promethazine concentrations.
    • Cigarette smoking may enhance the hepatic metabolism of Promethazine. Larger doses may be required compared to a nonsmoker.
    • Concurrent use of Promethazine with an antihypertensive may produce additive hypotensive effects.
    • Antihypertensive effects of guanethidine and guanadrel may be inhibited by Promethazine.
    • Concurrent use with TCA may produce increased toxicity or altered therapeutic response.
    • Promethazine may inhibit the antiparkinsonian effect of levodopa; avoid this combination.
    • Promethazine plus lithium may rarely produce neurotoxicity.
    • Barbiturates may reduce Promethazine concentrations.
    • Propranolol may increase Promethazine concentrations.
    • Sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine may increase Promethazine concentrations.
    • Promethazine and possibly other low potency antipsychotics may reverse the pressor effects of epinephrine.
    • Promethazine and CNS depressants (ethanol, narcotics) may produce additive CNS depressant effects.
    • Promethazine and trazodone may produce additive hypotensive effects.
  • Interaction with Disease

    May impair physical or mental abilities; patients must be cautioned about performing tasks which require mental alertness (ie, operating machinery or driving). Effects with other sedative drugs or ethanol may be potentiated. Avoid use in Reye's syndrome. Use with caution in Parkinson's disease; hemodynamic instability; bone marrow suppression; predisposition to seizures; subcortical brain damage; and in severe cardiac, hepatic, renal, or respiratory disease.

Ques: Is Promethazine a narcotic/opiate/pain killer?

Ans: Promethazine, active constituent of Promethazine, is an antihistamine drug and not a narcotic/opiate/pain killer. The patient should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use.

Ques: Is Promethazine over the counter?

Ans: No, this drug is only available with a doctor's prescription only.

Ques: Can I take Promethazine for a hangover/sore throat/ nausea/stomach flu/cramps/toothache/ headache/ cough/pain?

Ans: This medication is used for the treatment of symptoms of allergies, but not used for a hangover, sore throat, stomach flu, cramps, toothache, headache and cough. The patient should follow the advice of the doctor regarding its use.

Ques: Can I take Promethazine with Nyquil/ codeine and ibuprofen/ Tylenol/ oxycodone/ Benadryl/ Dayquil/ Zofran/codeine and Nyquil/Xanax?

Ans: Yes, but taking other medicines may alter the effects of Promethazine. Always consult your doctor for the change of dose regimen or an alternative drug of choice that may strictly be required.

Ques: Does Promethazine has codeine in it?

Ans: No, it does not contain codeine in it.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

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Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Reviewed By
MBBS, Master in Healthcare Administration, Diploma in Occupational Health
General Physician
Table of Content
About Promethazine
What are the uses of Promethazine
What are the contraindications of Promethazine ?
What are the side effects of Promethazine ?
Key highlights of Promethazine
What are the dosage instructions?
Medicines containing Promethazine
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Promethazine ?
FAQs about Promethazine