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All about: Compazine

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Generic Name: prochlorperazine (pro klor PER a zeen)
Brand Names: Compazine, Compazine Spansule

What is Compazine (prochlorperazine)?

Prochlorperazine is in a class of drugs called phenothiazines.

Prochlorperazine is most commonly used to treat nausea and vomiting. It is also sometimes used to treat psychotic disorders and anxiety.

Prochlorperazine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Compazine (prochlorperazine)?

Call your doctor immediately if you have uncontrollable movements of the mouth, tongue, cheeks, jaw, arms, or legs. Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Prochlorperazine may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. If you experience dizziness, drowsiness or blurred vision, avoid these activities. Dizziness is likely to occur when you are rising from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to prevent dizziness and a possible fall. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking prochlorperazine. Do not crush, break, or chew any sustained-release capsules or tablets. Swallow them whole.

Do not let the liquid form of prochlorperazine touch your skin or clothes.

Do not mix the liquid form with coffee, cola, tea, grape, or apple juice.

Who should not take Compazine (prochlorperazine)?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • a bone marrow disease,

  • glaucoma,

  • seizures,

  • Parkinson's disease,

  • kidney disease,
  • liver disease, or
  • an enlarged prostate.

You may not be able to take prochlorperazine, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

It is not known whether prochlorperazine will harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. It is not known whether prochlorperazine will harm a nursing infant. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from prochlorperazine. You may require a lower dose of this medication.

How should I take Compazine (prochlorperazine)?

Take prochlorperazine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Prochlorperazine can be taken with or without food or milk.

Do not crush, break, or chew the sustained-release capsules. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release slowly in your body.

Mix the concentrate with 2 to 4 ounces of water, soda, juice, milk, or semisolid food such as applesauce or pudding.

Shake the liquid form of prochlorperazine well before measuring a dose. To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the suspension with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular tablespoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Do not let the liquid form of prochlorperazine touch your skin or clothes.

Do not mix the liquid with coffee, tea, cola, grape, or apple juice.

The suppositories are for rectal use only. Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to explain how to use a suppository if you do not know how.

Store the tablets and capsules at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Store the liquid in a light-resistant container at room temperature.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you are taking prochlorperazine as needed for nausea and vomiting, take the missed dose as soon as possible, if it is needed, and then wait at least 4 hours before taking another dose.

If you are taking prochlorperazine once a day for any other condition, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, then go back to your regular schedule the next day. If you do not remember until the next day, skip the dose you missed and take only the dose regularly scheduled for that day. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

If you are taking prochlorperazine several times a day for a condition other than nausea and vomiting, take the missed dose within 1 hour of its regular time. If more than 1 hour has passed, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical treatment.

Symptoms of a prochlorperazine overdose include uncontrollable movements, agitation, seizures, severe dizziness or fainting, coma, deep sleep, irregular heartbeats, and high or low body temperature.

What should I avoid while taking Compazine (prochlorperazine)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Prochlorperazine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities.

Dizziness is likely to occur when you rise from a sitting or lying position. Rise slowly to prevent dizziness and a possible fall.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking prochlorperazine. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Prochlorperazine may increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.

Compazine (prochlorperazine) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking prochlorperazine and seek emergency medical treatment:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • uncontrollable movements of the tongue, face, lips, arms, or legs;

  • muscle spasms of the face or neck;

  • severe restlessness or tremor;

  • severe drowsiness or fainting; or

  • a rash.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take prochlorperazine and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • decreased sweating;

  • dry mouth and stuffy nose;

  • constipation;

  • blurred vision;

  • mild restlessness, weakness, or tremor;

  • difficult urination or dark urine;

  • decreased sex drive;

  • dizziness; or

  • increased appetite.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Compazine (prochlorperazine)?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines:

  • antacids (take antacids at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking a dose of prochlorperazine; otherwise they will decrease the effectiveness of your medication);
  • alcohol; over-the-counter cough, cold, or allergy medications; sleep aids; antidepressants; muscle relaxants; barbiturates; or seizure medications. (these drugs will increase the side of effects of prochlorperazine, especially drowsiness and dizziness);

  • blood pressure medications such as propranolol (Inderal), methyldopa (Aldomet), and clonidine (Catapres) (these medicines may cause dizziness and fainting if used with prochlorperazine);

  • anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin) (these medicines may have decreased effects, which could lead to blood clotting); and

  • phenytoin (Dilantin) (prochlorperazine may increase the effects of phenytoin and lead to side effects; you may need a lower dose of phenytoin).

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with prochlorperazine. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about prochlorperazine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Prochlorperazine is available with a prescription under the brand name Compazine. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Compazine 5 mg--round, yellow, film-coated tablets

  • Compazine 10 mg--round, yellow, film-coated tablets

  • Compazine Spansule 10 mg--black/clear capsules with yellow pellets

  • Compazine Spansule 15 mg--black/clear capsules with yellow pellets

  • Compazine Syrup 5 mg/5 mL--clear, orange-yellow, fruit-flavored liquid

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.06. Revision Date: 2/13/04 4:00:01 PM.

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