Phenylephrine / promethazine Side Effects
For the Consumer
Applies to phenylephrine / promethazine: oral solution, oral syrup
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high or low blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, change in eyesight.
- Fast or slow heartbeat.
- Trouble passing urine.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Mood changes.
- Ringing in ears.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Trouble controlling body movements, twitching, change in balance, trouble swallowing or speaking.
- Change in eyesight.
- Yellow skin or eyes.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly health problem called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) may happen. Call your doctor right away if you have any fever, muscle cramps or stiffness, dizziness, very bad headache, confusion, change in thinking, fast heartbeat, heartbeat that does not feel normal, or are sweating a lot.
- This drug may cause very bad and sometimes deadly breathing problems. Call your doctor right away if you have slow, shallow, or trouble breathing.
- Low white blood cell counts have rarely happened with this drug. This may lead to a higher chance of getting an infection. Tell your doctor if you have ever had a low white blood cell count. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of infection like fever, chills, or sore throat.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Feeling sleepy.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Feeling nervous and excitable.
- Dry mouth.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Not able to sleep.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to phenylephrine / promethazine: oral syrup
Cardiovascular side effects have included increased or decreased blood pressure.[Ref]
Nervous system side effects have included sedation, sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, disorientation, restlessness, anxiety, nervousness, tremor, weakness, and extrapyramidal symptoms such as oculogyric crisis, torticollis, and tongue protrusion.[Ref]
Ocular side effects have included blurred vision.[Ref]
Gastrointestinal side effects have included dry mouth, nausea, and vomiting.[Ref]
Hematologic side effects have included rare cases of leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and agranulocytosis.[Ref]
Dermatologic side effects have included rash and rarely photosensitivity.[Ref]
Respiratory side effects have included respiratory distress.[Ref]
1. "Product Information. Phenergan VC (phenylephrine-promethazine)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.
It is possible that some side effects of phenylephrine / promethazine may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.
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- Drug class: upper respiratory combinations