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Meprozine Side Effects

Generic name: meperidine / promethazine

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Apr 7, 2023.

Note: This document contains side effect information about meperidine / promethazine. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Meprozine.

Applies to meperidine / promethazine: injectable solution, oral capsule.

Warning

Meperidine and promethazine can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.

Meperidine and promethazine should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old.

Do not use this medicine if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days, such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine.

Taking this medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Like other opioid medicines, meperidine and promethazine can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak.

A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.

Long-term use of opioid medication may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men or women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to meperidine / promethazine: injectable solution, oral capsule.

General

The most frequently observed meperidine adverse reactions have included light-headedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Somnolence is the most prominent CNS effect reported with promethazine.[Ref]

Nervous system

Meperidine:

Common (1% to 10%): Lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation

Rare (less than 0.1%): Extrapyramidal reactions

Frequency not reported: Weakness, headache, tremor, uncoordinated muscle movements

Promethazine:

Common (1% to 10%): Drowsiness

Frequency not reported: Sedation, somnolence, dizziness, confusion, extrapyramidal symptoms, lassitude, tremors, convulsive seizures, neuroleptic malignant syndrome[Ref]

Hyperexcitability and extrapyramidal movements have been reported following a single dose of promethazine.[Ref]

Psychiatric

Hyperexcitability and abnormal movements have been reported following a single dose of promethazine.[Ref]

Meperidine:

Frequency not reported: Euphoria, dysphoria, agitation, transient hallucinations and disorientation

Promethazine:

Frequency not reported: Confusion, disorientation, euphoria, nervousness, insomnia, excitation, catatonic-like states, hysteria, hallucinations, nightmares, agitation, paradoxical reactions, hyperexcitability[Ref]

Respiratory

Meperidine:

Frequency not reported: Respiratory depression, respiratory arrest

Promethazine:

Frequency not reported: Asthma, respiratory depression, apnea, nasal stuffiness[Ref]

Gastrointestinal

Meperidine:

Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, vomiting

Frequency not reported: Dry mouth, constipation, biliary-tract spasm

Promethazine:

Frequency not reported: Dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, jaundice[Ref]

Cardiovascular

Meperidine:

Frequency not reported: Phlebitis, hypotension, tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitation, syncope, circulatory depression, shock, cardiac arrest, faintness

Promethazine:

Frequency not reported: Tachycardia, bradycardia, increased or decreased blood pressure, faintness[Ref]

Dermatologic

Meperidine:

Common (1% to 10%): Sweating

Frequency not reported: Facial flushing

Promethazine:

Frequency not reported: Dermatitis, photosensitivity, urticaria angioneurotic edema[Ref]

Other

Promethazine

Frequency not reported: Tinnitus, vertigo[Ref]

Hematologic

Promethazine:

Frequency not reported: Leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytopenic purpura, agranulocytosis[Ref]

Ocular

Meperidine:

Frequency not reported: Visual disturbances

Promethazine:

Frequency not reported: Blurred vision, diplopia

References

1. Inturrisi CE. Disposition of narcotics in patients with renal disease. Am J Med. 1977;62:528-9.

2. Geller RJ. Meperidine in patient-controlled analgesia: a near-fatal mishap. Anesth Analg. 1993;76:655-7.

3. Stone PA, Macintyre PE, Jarvis DA. Norpethidine toxicity and patient controlled analgesia. Br J Anaesth. 1993;71:738-40.

4. Samuels SI, Rabinov W. Difficulty reversing drug-induced coma in a patient with sleep apnea. Anesth Analg. 1986;65:1222-4.

5. Armstrong PJ, Bersten A. Normeperidine toxicity. Anesth Analg. 1986;65:536-8.

6. Hagmeyer KO, Mauro LS, Mauro VF. Meperidine-related seizures associated with patient-controlled analgesia pumps. Ann Pharmacother. 1993;27:29-32.

7. Olive JM, Masana L, Gonzalez J. Meperidine and reversible parkinsonism. Mov Disord. 1994;9:115-6.

8. Shaw HL. Treatment of intractable cancer pain by electronically controlled parenteral infusion of analgesic drugs. Cancer. 1993;72:3416-25.

9. Jones J, Sklar D, Dougherty J, White W. Randomized double-blind trial of intravenous prochlorperazine for the treatment of acute headache. JAMA. 1989;261:1174-6.

10. Olver IN, Laidlaw CR, Matthews JP, Bishop JF, Hayes AM, Wolf M, Toner GC. A randomised double blind crossover study of domperidone and prochlorperazine suppositories for controlling emesis in outpatients receiving chemotherapy. Eur J Cancer. 1994;30a:426-9.

11. Baker FM, Cook P. Compazine complications: a review. J Natl Med Assoc. 1981;73:409-12.

12. Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Program. Drug-induced extrapyramidal symptoms. JAMA. 1973;224:889-91.

13. Marcantonio ER, Juarez G, Goldman L, et al. The relationship of postoperative delirium with psychoactive medications. JAMA. 1994;272:1518-22.

14. Product Information. Compazine (prochlorperazine). SmithKline Beecham. 2001;PROD.

15. Drotts DL, Vinson DR. Prochlorperazine induces akathisia in emergency patients. Ann Emerg Med. 1999;34:469-75.

16. Fogarty T, Murray GB. Psychiatric presentation of meperidine toxicity. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1987;7:116-7.

17. Reutens DC, Stewart-Wynne EG. Norpethidine induced myoclonus in a patient with renal failure. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1989;52:1450-1.

18. Stanski DR, Cherry C, Bradley R, et al. Efficacy and safety of single doses of intramuscular ketorolac tromethamine compared with meperidine for postoperative pain. Pharmacotherapy. 1990;10:s40-4.

19. Elloway R, Sherman S, Maas L, et al. Meperidine-induced bronchospasm. Gastrointest Endosc. 1992;38:93.

20. Hey VM, Ostick DG, Mazumder JK, Lord WD. Pethidine, metoclopramide and the gastro-oesophageal sphincter. Anaesthesia. 1981;36:173-6.

21. Product Information. Demerol (meperidine). Sanofi Winthrop Pharmaceuticals. 2002;PROD.

22. Reilly GD, Wood ML. Prochlorperazine--an unusual cause of lip ulceration. Acta Derm Venereol. 1984;64:270-1.

23. Duxbury AJ, Ead RD, Turner EP. Erosive cheilitis related to prochlorperazine maleate. Br Dent J. 1982;153:271-2.

24. Manser TJ, Warner JF. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome associated with prochlorperazine. South Med J. 1990;83:73-4.

25. Product Information. Phenergan (promethazine). Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. 2001;PROD.

Further information

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.