|Type of medicine||Phenothiazine|
|Used for||Prochlorperazine is used to treat dizziness and problems with balance, and for nausea and vomiting including that associated with migraine
It may also be used in schizophrenia (a mental illness with symptoms such as hearing, seeing or sensing things that are not real), and to help in the short term management of anxiety
|Available as||Tablet, buccal tablet (dissolves in the mouth), oral liquid and injection form|
Prochlorperazine belongs to a group of medicines called "phenothiazines", which work by blocking the effects of a chemical in the brain called dopamine. It is used to treat dizziness and problems with balance, and for nausea and vomiting including that associated with migraine.
It may also be used in schizophrenia (a mental illness with symptoms such as hearing, seeing or sensing things that are not real), mania (over-active behaviour or thoughts) and to help in the short term management of anxiety.
Before taking prochlorperazine
Before taking prochlorperazine make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you are over 65 years of age.
- If you suffer from any heart problems.
- If you suffer from liver, kidney or breathing problems.
- If you suffer from jaundice.
- If you suffer from Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, depression, myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakening disease), phaeochromocytoma (a growth on the adrenal glands), prostate problems or glaucoma.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take prochlorperazine
- Before beginning treatment, read the printed information leaflet that comes with your medicine.
- If you have been supplied the standard 5 mg tablets, take these in the normal way by swallowing them with a glass of water.
- If you have been supplied the 3 mg buccal tablets (Buccastem®), the advised dose should be placed high between the upper lip and gum and left to dissolve. Do not use the standard 5 mg tablets in this way.
- If you are prescribed a regular dose, try to get into the habit of taking this medicine at the same times each day to avoid missing any doses. Prochlorperazine can also be taken as required when treating sickness.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Keep your regular appointments with your doctor, so your progress can be checked.
- Do not stop taking these tablets without first speaking with your doctor.
- Alcohol will increase feelings of drowsiness. If you do drink alcohol, drink only in moderation and be aware of its effects on you.
- Prochlorperazine may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight. Use a sunscreen that protects against UVA light and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, especially in strong sunlight or until you know how your skin reacts. Do not use sunbeds.
Can prochlorperazine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this|
|Dizziness and drowsiness||Make sure your reactions are normal before driving, operating machinery or doing any other jobs which could be dangerous if you were not fully alert
Avoid alcohol; it will increase any feelings of drowsiness
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If headache continues speak with your doctor|
|Dry mouth||Try chewing sugar-free gum, sucking pieces of ice or sugar-free sweets. If this becomes troublesome speak to your pharmacist or doctor|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well balanced diet containing plenty of fibre and drink 6-8 glasses of water each day. If constipation continues to be a problem speak to your pharmacist or doctor|
|Blurred vision||Make sure that you can see properly before starting any task that may be dangerous if your eyesight is affected|
|Shakiness, abnormal face and body movements, restlessness, uncontrollable movements of the tongue, face and jaw, mood changes, insomnia (trouble sleeping), confusion, problems passing urine||Speak with your doctor as soon as possible if you suffer from any of these problems|
Important: If you experience 'flu like' symptoms such as muscle stiffness, high temperature, abnormal paleness, sweating, a fast heartbeat, extreme drowsiness or confusion contact your doctor or go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital immediately.
How to store prochlorperazine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 60th Edition (September 2010) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Buccastem®; Manufacturer's PIL, Buccastem®, Alliance Pharmaceuticals, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2010, accessed January 2011.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Stemetil Tablets®; Manufacturer's PIL, Stemetil Tablets®, Sanofi-Aventis, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated June 2010, accessed January 2011.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Stemetil Syrup®; Manufacturer's PIL, Stemetil Syrup®, Sanofi-Aventis, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated April 2010, accessed January 2011.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Pippa Crossley|
|Last Checked: 22/02/2011||Document ID: 1477 Version: 25||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.