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Prochlorperazine

Why is this medication prescribed?

Prochlorperazine is used to treat the nausea and vomiting caused by radiation therapy, cancer chemotherapy, surgery, and other conditions. It also is used to treat psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and hostility.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

Prochlorperazine comes as a tablet, extended-release (long-acting) capsule, oral liquid, and rectal suppository. Prochlorperazine usually is taken three or four times a day (tablets), or once or twice a day (extended-release capsules). Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take prochlorperazine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Although prochlorperazine is not habit-forming, do not stop taking it abruptly, especially if you have been taking it for a long time. Your doctor probably will decrease your dose gradually.

Do not open extended-release capsules; swallow them whole.

Do not allow the liquid to touch your skin; it can cause irritation.

If you are to insert a rectal suppository, follow these steps:

  • If the suppository feels soft, hold it under cold, running water for 1 minute. Then remove the wrapper.
  • Dip the tip of the suppository in water.
  • Lie down on your left side and raise your right knee to your chest. (A left-handed person should lie on the right side and raise the left knee.)
  • Using your finger, insert the suppository into the rectum, about 1/2 to 1 inch in children and 1 inch in adults. Hold the suppository in place for a few moments.
  • Stand up after about 15 minutes. Wash your hands thoroughly and resume your normal activities.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking prochlorperazine,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to prochlorperazine, any tranquilizer, or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially antihistamines, lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), medications for depression and Parkinson's disease, muscle relaxants, narcotics (pain medication), sedatives, seizure medication, sleeping pills, and vitamins.
  • be sure a child younger than 16 years of age does not have symptoms of Reye's syndrome (sudden, severe, and persistent vomiting; unusual behavior; fever; and seizures). Call your child's doctor immediately if your child experiences any of these symptoms. Do not give prochlorperazine or aspirin to the child.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, liver, or kidney disease; a bad reaction to insulin; shock therapy; glaucoma; an enlarged prostate; difficulty urinating; asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or lung disease; Parkinson's disease; or seizures.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking prochlorperazine, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking prochlorperazine.
  • you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you.
  • remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
  • plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight and to wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Prochlorperazine may make your skin sensitive to sunlight.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Although side effects from prochlorperazine are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if this symptom is severe or does not go away:

  • drowsiness

If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • jaw, neck, and back muscle spasms
  • fine worm-like tongue movements
  • rhythmic face, mouth, or jaw movements
  • slow or difficult speech
  • difficulty swallowing
  • restlessness and pacing
  • tremors
  • shuffling walk
  • skin rash
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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