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Promethazine VC Plain Side Effects

Generic Name: phenylephrine / promethazine

Note: This document contains side effect information about phenylephrine / promethazine. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Promethazine VC Plain.

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.
  • Seizures.
  • 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.
  • Dizziness.
  • 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

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to phenylephrine / promethazine: oral syrup


One of the most commonly reported adverse reactions has included drowsiness.[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Sedation, sleepiness, somnolence, dizziness, tremor, weakness, and extrapyramidal symptoms such as oculogyric crisis, torticollis, and tongue protrusion, incoordination, seizures, neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Frequency not reported: Dizziness, tremor, weakness[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Euphoria, confusion, disorientation, restlessness, anxiety, nervousness, excitation, catatonic-like states, hysteria, hallucinations, nightmares, insomnia, delirium, agitated behavior

Frequency not reported: Restlessness, anxiety, nervousness


Frequency not reported: Increased or decreased blood pressure, tachycardia, bradycardia, faintness

Frequency not reported: Hypertension[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Blurred vision, diplopia[Ref]


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


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


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


Frequency not reported: Respiratory distress, asthma, nasal stuffiness, apnea

Frequency not reported: Respiratory distress[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Jaundice


Frequency not reported: Lassitude, tinnitus, fatigue

Frequency not reported: Precordial pain


1. "Product Information. Promethazine VC (phenylephrine-promethazine)." Actavis U.S. (Alpharma USPD), Owings Mills, MD.

2. "Product Information. Phenergan VC (phenylephrine-promethazine)." Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Philadelphia, PA.

Some side effects of Promethazine VC Plain may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.