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All about: Prochlorperazine Tablets

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Generic Name: Prochlorperazine Tablets (pro-klor-PURR-uh-zeen)
Brand Name: Compazine

Prochlorperazine is used for:

Controlling severe nausea and vomiting and treating schizophrenia. It is also used for the short-term (4 weeks) treatment of generalized nonpsychotic anxiety. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Prochlorperazine is a phenothiazine. It works by blocking a certain chemical (dopamine) in the brain.

Do NOT use Prochlorperazine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Prochlorperazine or similar medicines
  • you are taking astemizole, cisapride, or terfenadine
  • you have severe central nervous system depression

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Prochlorperazine:

Some medical conditions may interact with Prochlorperazine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of heart disease, central nervous system depression, blood problems, liver problems, low blood pressure, increased pressure in the eye, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, tardive dyskinesia, bone marrow problems, unusual muscle movements, Parkinson disease, a predisposition to glaucoma, Reye syndrome, prostate problems, or seizures, or you have alcoholism

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Prochlorperazine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Anticholinergics (eg, diphenhydramine, oxybutynin, scopolamine) or lithium because they may decrease Prochlorperazine's effectiveness
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, enalapril), anticholinergics (eg, diphenhydramine, oxybutynin, scopolamine), general anesthetics (eg, thiopental), haloperidol, methyldopa, or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of side effects, such as seizures, may be increased
  • ACE inhibitors (eg, enalapril), anticholinergics (eg, diphenhydramine, oxybutynin, scopolamine), astemizole, cisapride, dofetilide, haloperidol, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), methyldopa, metrizamide, naltrexone, polypeptide antibiotics (eg, actinomycin), serotonin receptor antagonist antiemetics (eg, ondansetron), terfenadine, tramadol, trazodone, or tricyclic antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Prochlorperazine
  • Bromocriptine, guanethidine, levodopa, or pergolide because their effectiveness may be decreased by Prochlorperazine
  • Lithium because unexpected toxic effects may occur

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Prochlorperazine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Prochlorperazine:

Use Prochlorperazine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Prochlorperazine by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • If you miss a dose of Prochlorperazine, take it as soon as possible. If you are taking 1 dose at bedtime and do not remember until the next morning, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Prochlorperazine.

Important safety information:

  • Prochlorperazine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, blurred vision, or lightheadedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Prochlorperazine with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Prochlorperazine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Prochlorperazine; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Prochlorperazine before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Prochlorperazine may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to Prochlorperazine. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Avoid exposure to extreme heat while taking Prochlorperazine.
  • Patients who will be having spinal cord surgery should stop using Prochlorperazine at least 48 hours before surgery. Do not use Prochlorperazine for at least 24 hours after surgery and do not use it to control nausea and vomiting that has occurred before or after surgery.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by Prochlorperazine. Symptoms may include fever; stiff muscles; confusion; abnormal thinking; fast or irregular heartbeat; and sweating. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Use Prochlorperazine with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Prochlorperazine should not be used in CHILDREN who are having surgery, who are younger than 2 years old, or who weigh less than 20 pounds; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Prochlorperazine while you are pregnant. Prochlorperazine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Prochlorperazine, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Prochlorperazine:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Blurred vision; chills; constipation; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; jitteriness; nasal congestion; sleeplessness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); agitation; altered mental abilities, including lack of response to your surroundings; changes in breasts; changes in menstrual period; changes in vision; difficulty swallowing; drooling; excessive sweating; fever; inability to move eyes; increased body heat; involuntary movements of tongue, face, mouth, or jaw (eg, protrusion of tongue, puffing of cheeks, puckering of mouth, chewing movements); irregular or fast heartbeat; mask-like face; muscle stiffness; muscle spasms of face, neck, or back; prolonged or painful erection; restlessness; rigid muscles; shuffling walk; sore throat; tension in legs; tremors; twitching or twisting movements; unusual eye movements; weakness of arms or legs; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include deep sleep or loss of consciousness; muscle spasms; restlessness; seizures; tremors; twitching.

Proper storage of Prochlorperazine:

Store Prochlorperazine at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Prochlorperazine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Prochlorperazine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Prochlorperazine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Prochlorperazine. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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