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Promethazine suppositories

Pronunciation

Generic Name: promethazine (proe-METH-a-zeen)
Brand Name: Phenergan

Promethazine suppositories should not be used in children younger than 2 years old. Potentially fatal side effects (eg, difficult or slowed breathing, drowsiness leading to coma) may occur in this age group when taking promethazine suppositories.

Caution should be used when using promethazine suppositories in children 2 years old and older. The lowest possible dose should be used in this age group, and promethazine suppositories should not be used with other medicines that cause slowed breathing.


Promethazine suppositories is used for:

Relieving allergy symptoms, including hives or runny nose. It is used to prevent and control nausea and vomiting during and after surgery. It is also used to help produce light sleep; prevent and treat motion sickness; or treat pain after surgery, in combination with other medicines. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Promethazine suppositories is a phenothiazine. It works by blocking the action of various chemicals in the brain, preventing or reducing the symptoms these chemicals cause.

Do NOT use promethazine suppositories if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in promethazine suppositories
  • you have severe central nervous system depression or are in a coma
  • you are taking astemizole, cisapride, terfenadine, or tramadol

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

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Before using promethazine suppositories:

Some medical conditions may interact with promethazine suppositories. 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 nervous system problems, bone marrow depression, alcoholism, heart problems, a blood disease, glaucoma, increased eye pressure, low blood pressure, liver problems, prostate problems, Parkinson disease, seizures, or Reye syndrome, or if you have been in a coma

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

  • Charcoal or lithium because they may decrease promethazine suppositories's effectiveness
  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (eg, enalapril), astemizole, cisapride, general anesthetics (eg, thiopental), methyldopa, terfenadine, or tramadol because side effects, such as low blood pressure and seizures, may occur
  • ACE inhibitors (eg, enalapril), haloperidol, lithium, meperidine, metrizamide, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (eg, phenelzine), naltrexone, polypeptide antibiotics (eg, actinomycin), or trazodone because the risk of their side effects may be increased by promethazine suppositories
  • Bromocriptine, epinephrine, levodopa, or pergolide because their effectiveness may be decreased by promethazine suppositories

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if promethazine suppositories 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 promethazine suppositories:

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

  • Wash your hands before and after using promethazine suppositories. If the suppository is too soft to use, put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. You may also run cold water over it. Remove the wrapper. Moisten the suppository with cool water. Lie down on your side. Insert the pointed end of the suppository into the rectum. Use your finger to push it in completely.
  • If you are using promethazine suppositories for motion sickness, take a dose at least 30 to 60 minutes before you begin traveling.
  • If you miss a dose of promethazine suppositories and you are using it regularly, use it as soon as possible. If several hours have passed or if it is nearing time for the next dose, do not double the dose to catch up, unless advised by your health care provider. Do not use 2 doses at once.

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

Important safety information:

  • Promethazine suppositories may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use promethazine suppositories with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using promethazine suppositories; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a possibly fatal syndrome that can be caused by promethazine suppositories. 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.
  • Promethazine suppositories may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to promethazine suppositories. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
  • Use promethazine suppositories with extreme caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Promethazine suppositories should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old. Serious, and sometimes fatal, side effects (difficult or slowed breathing, drowsiness leading to coma) have occurred when promethazine suppositories has been used in children in this age group.
  • Promethazine suppositories should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN 2 years old or older. The lowest effective dose should be used in children 2 years old and older.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using promethazine suppositories while you are pregnant. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use promethazine suppositories, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of promethazine suppositories:

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; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; nausea; vomiting.

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); confusion; excessive sweating; fainting; fever, chills, or sore throat; hallucinations; mental or mood changes (eg, agitation, delirium, exaggerated sense of well-being, excitability, hysteria, nervousness); seizures; severe of persistent dizziness; shortness of breath or trouble breathing; slow or fast heartbeat; tremor; trouble sleeping; uncontrolled muscle movements; unusual brusing or bleeding; yellowing of skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include convulsions; dry mouth; flushing; hallucinations; loss of consciousness; nightmares; seizures; shortness of breath; trouble breathing; unusual drowsiness or restlessness.

Proper storage of promethazine suppositories:

Store promethazine suppositories in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Keep promethazine suppositories out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about promethazine suppositories, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Promethazine suppositories 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.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take promethazine suppositories or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about promethazine suppositories. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to promethazine suppositories. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using promethazine suppositories.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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