Compazine Side Effects
Generic name: prochlorperazine
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 20, 2021.
Note: This document contains side effect information about prochlorperazine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Compazine.
For the Consumer
Applies to prochlorperazine: oral tablet
Other dosage forms:
Oral route (Tablet)
Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk of death compared with placebo. Although the causes of death in clinical trials were varied, most deaths appeared to be either cardiovascular (eg, heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (eg, pneumonia) in nature. Observational studies suggest that, similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs, treatment with conventional antipsychotic drugs may increase mortality. It is unclear from these studies to what extent the mortality findings may be attributed to the antipsychotic drug as opposed to patient characteristics. Prochlorperazine maleate is not approved for the treatment of patients with dementia-related psychosis.
Side effects requiring immediate medical attention
Along with its needed effects, prochlorperazine (the active ingredient contained in Compazine) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking prochlorperazine:
Incidence not known
- black, tarry stools
- chest pain
- clay-colored stools
- dark urine
- decrease in how much or how often you urinate
- difficulty in swallowing and breathing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when suddenly getting up from a lying or sitting position
- dryness of the mouth
- fever and chills
- inability to have or keep an erection
- loss of appetite
- mask-like face
- nasal congestion
- painful or difficult urination
- shuffling walk
- sore throat
- sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- stomach pain
- swollen glands
- tightness of the throat
- trembling and shaking of the fingers and hands
- uncontrolled chewing movements and movements of the arms and legs
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood
- yellow eyes or skin
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking prochlorperazine:
Symptoms of overdose
- Change in consciousness
- fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
- loss of consciousness
- severe sleepiness
Side effects not requiring immediate medical attention
Some side effects of prochlorperazine may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
- Blurred vision
- increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight
- irregular menstrual periods
- itching, rash, redness, or discoloration of the skin
- trouble sleeping
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to prochlorperazine: compounding powder, injectable solution, oral capsule extended release, oral syrup, oral tablet, rectal suppository
Very common (10% or more): Mild leukopenia (up to 30%)
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Blood dyscrasia
Blood dyscrasias included pancytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, eosinophilia, hemolytic anemia, and aplastic anemia.
Mild leukopenia occurred in patients given high doses for prolonged durations.[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Drowsiness, dyskinesia, akathisia, parkinsonism, tremor/tremulousness
Frequency not reported: Convulsion, grand mal/petit mal convulsion, seizures, dizziness, altered consciousness, extrapyramidal reactions, dystonia/acute dystonia/acute dystonic reactions, akinesia, tardive dyskinesia, autonomic dysfunction, headache, opisthotonos, hyperreflexia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, cerebral edema, EEG changes, altered cerebrospinal fluid proteins[Ref]
Acute dystonia was usually transitory, but was more commonly reported in young adults and children shortly after beginning treatment or increasing the dosage.
Akathisia usually occurred in patients who were given large initial doses.
Autonomic dysfunction included dry mouth, nasal congestion, headache, nausea, constipation, obstipation, adynamic ileus, ejaculatory disorders/impotence, priapism, atonic colon, urinary retention, miosis, and mydriasis.
Extrapyramidal reactions include acute dystonia, akathisia, parkinsonism, and tardive dyskinesia. These reactions have lasted months to years, especially in elderly patients with brain damage.
Grand and petit mal convulsions have occurred in patients with/with a history of EEG abnormalities.
Parkinsonism typically occurred in adults and elderly patients after weeks to months of treatment, and included tremor, rigidity, akinesia, and most commonly, tremor.[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Constipation, dry mouth
Lenticular and corneal deposits occurred in patients who received large doses over a prolonged duration.[Ref]
Common (1% to 10%): Blurred vision
Common (1% to 10%): Rigidity
Cardiovascular side effects may be correlated with higher doses and may occur more frequently in patients with risk factors (e.g., patients with cardiac disease, hypokalemia, receiving tricyclic antidepressants, and/or who are elderly).
Cyanosis occurred in pediatric patients who developed laryngospasm form serious dystonic tractions.
Frequency not reported: Fatal hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, ST depression, ventricular/atrial arrhythmias, atrioventricular block, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest, U-Wave and T-Wave changes/distortions[Ref]
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Elevated bilirubin and hepatic enzyme levels
Rare (0.01% to 0.1%): Jaundice/transient jaundice
Frequency not reported: Liver damage, cholestatic jaundice, cholestasis/biliary stasis[Ref]
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Sudden death/unexplained sudden death
Frequency not reported: Neonatal drug withdrawal syndrome, hyperthermia, hyperpyrexia, mild fever, reversed epinephrine effect, intensification and prolongation of the action of atropine, heat, organophosphorous insecticides, and central nervous system depressants (e.g., opiates, analgesics, antihistamines, barbiturates, alcohol)[Ref]
Mild fever usually occurred after patients were given large IM doses.[Ref]
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Galactorrhea, amenorrhea/menstrual irregularities
Frequency not reported: Ejaculation disorder/inhibition, priapism, impotence, lactation, urinary retention[Ref]
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Hyperprolactinemia/elevated prolactin levels, gynecomastia,
Frequency not reported: Endocrine disturbances, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH), false-positive pregnancy tests[Ref]
Skin pigmentation and epithelial keratopathy occurred in patients who received large doses over a prolonged duration.[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Rash, dermatitis, skin disorders/reaction, photosensitivity, itching, erythema, urticaria, eczema, exfoliative dermatitis, angioneurotic edema, contact skin sensitization/dermatitis, maculopapular eruptions, erythema multiforme, abnormal pigmentation/skin pigmentation and epithelial keratopathy[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Metallic gray-mauve coloration to exposed skin[Ref]
Frequency not reported: Glycosuria[Ref]
More about Compazine (prochlorperazine)
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- 230 Reviews
- Drug class: phenothiazine antiemetics
- Other brands
Related treatment guides
1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0
2. "Product Information. Compazine (prochlorperazine)." SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA.
3. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics." O 0
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.