Generic Name: prochlorperazine (oral) (pro klor PER a zeen)
Brand Name: Compazine
What is oral prochlorperazine?
Prochlorperazine is an anti-psychotic medicine in a group of drugs called phenothiazines (FEEN-oh-THYE-a-zeens). It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain.
Prochlorperazine oral (taken by mouth) is used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. It is also used to treat anxiety, and to control severe nausea and vomiting.
Prochlorperazine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about oral prochlorperazine?
You should not use prochlorperazine if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications.
Stop taking prochlorperazine and call your doctor at once if you have twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs. These could be early signs of dangerous side effects.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking oral prochlorperazine?
You should not use prochlorperazine if you are allergic to it, or if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications.
Do not give this medication to a child or teenager with a fever, flu symptoms, or an infectious disease such as chickenpox, measles, stomach flu, or an infection of the central nervous system.
To make sure prochlorperazine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
bladder obstruction or other urination problems;
a blockage in your intestines;
severe asthma or other breathing problem;
heart disease, high blood pressure;
past or present breast cancer;
liver or kidney disease;
adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma);
seizures, or a history of brain tumor;
if you have ever had a serious side effect while using prochlorperazine or another phenothiazine; or
if you also take certain other medications--lithium, propranolol, a diuretic or "water pill," a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin), or seizure medication.
Tell your doctor if you will be exposed to extreme heat or cold, or to insecticide poisons while you are taking prochlorperazine.
It is not known whether prochlorperazine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
Taking antipsychotic medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy may cause problems in the newborn, such as withdrawal symptoms, breathing problems, feeding problems, fussiness, tremors, and limp or stiff muscles. However, you may have withdrawal symptoms or other problems if you stop taking your medicine during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking prochlorperazine, do not stop taking it without your doctor's advice.
Prochlorperazine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Prochlorperazine is not for use in children younger than 2 years old or weighing less than 20 pounds. Talk with your doctor before giving this medication to a child who has been ill with a fever or flu symptoms.
How should I take oral prochlorperazine?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.
Do not take this medicine in larger amounts than recommended, or for longer than prescribed. High doses or long-term use of prochlorperazine can cause a serious muscle movement disorder that may not be reversible. The longer you take prochlorperazine, the more likely you are to develop a serious movement disorder. The risk of this side effect is higher in older adults, especially women.
If you take prochlorperazine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.
If you need to have an x-ray or CT scan of your spinal column using a dye that is injected into a vein, you may need to temporarily stop taking prochlorperazine. Be sure the doctor knows ahead of time that you are taking this medication.
Do not stop using prochlorperazine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using prochlorperazine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
Overdose can cause severe drowsiness, irregular heartbeats, feeling restless and agitated, or seizure (convulsions).
What should I avoid while taking oral prochlorperazine?
Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of prochlorperazine.
This medication may cause drowsiness or blurred vision and may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert and able to see clearly. Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.
Oral prochlorperazine side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking prochlorperazine and call your doctor at once if you have any of these signs of a serious movement disorder:
tremors or shaking in your arms or legs;
uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement); or
any new or unusual muscle movements you cannot control.
Also call your doctor at once if you have:
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
little or no urinating;
feeling restless, jittery, or agitated;
jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing;
decreased white blood cells--sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, mouth sores, trouble swallowing;
lupus-like syndrome--joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, chest pain, vomiting, unusual thoughts or behavior, and patchy skin color; or
severe nervous system reaction--very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out.
Common side effects may include:
headache, dizziness, drowsiness;
dry mouth, stuffy nose;
mild itching or rash;
missed menstrual periods; or
sleep problems (insomnia).
Side effects such as painful or difficult urination, constipation, and confusion may be more likely in older adults.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Prochlorperazine Dosing Information
Usual Adult Dose for Nausea/Vomiting:
Severe nausea and vomiting:
Tablet: 5 to 10 mg 3 to 4 times a day.
Capsule: 15 mg on arising or 10 mg capsule every 12 hours. Daily oral doses above 40 mg should be used only in resistant cases.
Rectal: 25 mg twice a day.
IM: 5 to 10 mg. If necessary, repeat every 3 to 4 hours. Total IM dosage should not exceed 40 mg/day.
IV: 2 1/2 to 10 mg by slow IV injection or infusion at a rate not to exceed 5 mg/min.
A single dose of the drug should not exceed 10 mg. Total IV dosage should not exceed 40 mg/day.
Adult surgery (for severe nausea and vomiting):
IM: 5 to 10 mg injection 1 to 2 hours before induction of anesthesia (repeat once in 30 minutes, if necessary), or to control acute symptoms during and after surgery (repeat once if necessary).
IV: 5 to 10 mg as a slow IV injection or infusion 15 to 30 minutes before induction of anesthesia, or to control acute symptoms during or after surgery. Repeat once if necessary. A single dose of the drug should not exceed 10 mg. The rate of administration should not exceed 5 mg/minute.
Usual Adult Dose for Anxiety:
Tablet: 5 mg 3 to 4 times a day.
Capsule: 15 mg on arising or 10 mg every 12 hours.
Do not administer in doses of more than 20 mg/day or for longer than 12 weeks.
Usual Adult Dose for Psychosis:
Mild psychotic disorders:
5 to 10 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day.
Moderate to severe psychotic disorders:
Oral: 10 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day. Increase dosage every 2 to 3 days until symptoms are controlled or side effects become bothersome. Some patients respond satisfactorily on 50 to 75 mg/day. In more severe disturbances, optimum dosage is usually 100 to 150 mg/day.
IM: For immediate control of severely disturbed adults, inject an initial dose of 10 to 20 mg deeply into the upper outer quadrant of the buttock. Many patients respond shortly after the first injection. If necessary, repeat the initial dose every 2 to 4 hours (or, in resistant cases, every hour) to gain control of the patient. More than 3 to 4 doses are seldom necessary. After control is achieved, switch patient to an oral form of the drug at the same dosage level or higher. If, in rare cases, parenteral therapy is needed for a prolonged period, give 10 to 20 mg every 4 to 6 hours.
What other drugs will affect oral prochlorperazine?
Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking prochlorperazine with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Many drugs can interact with prochlorperazine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with prochlorperazine.
More about prochlorperazine
- Prochlorperazine suppositories
- Prochlorperazine syrup
- Prochlorperazine tablets
- Prochlorperazine rectal
Compare with other treatments for:
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about oral prochlorperazine.
- 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.
- Disclaimer: 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 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 8.01. Revision Date: 2014-01-16, 7:33:48 AM.