What is Prochlorperazine for?
Oral prochlorperazine is a medication that is used for treatment of severe nausea and vomiting as a result of various medical conditions and during the treatment of anti-cancer drugs, medication for migraine and post-operative conditions. Prochlorperazine works by directly affecting the area of the brain that is responsible for keeping the balance of natural chemicals or neurotransmitters resulting to a decreased urge to vomit. Prochlorperazine may also be used to treat several disorders of the neurologic system like schizophrenia and may also be effective in the treatment of chronic stress and anxiety.
Prochlorperazine is a generic name and one of the brand names of prochlorperazine is Compazine. Compazine is available in oral, intravenous form, intramuscular and rectal (suppository) form.
How do you use Prochlorperazine?
Before taking prochlorperazine, inform your doctor if you are allergic to it or to any prochlorperazine ingredients. You should also mention if you are currently taking any medication for any illness; these include medications that cause drowsiness, shallow breathing, medications for blood disorders, lung illnesses, liver illnesses and medications for seizures. Inform your doctor if you are taking any vitamins, nutritional supplements, herbal preparations and natural treatments which may affect the therapeutic properties of prochlorperazine.
Your doctor will mention some important information about how prochlorperazine is taken; come back for regular follow-ups and evaluation of the effect of this medication on your condition. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding; if you plan to become pregnant or to breastfeed you should stop taking this medication and inform your doctor of any changes to your prescription.
- Take the pills with or without food. There are no special diets while you are taking the medication.
- Take your medication on time. If you missed a dose, take the dose as soon as you remember. Never double your dose to make up for the missed one. If it is near the time for your next dose, skip the missed one and maintain your schedule. Remember to avoid missing your dose since you will reduce the effect.
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages; prochlorperazine will make you dizzy and taking alcohol will only make your dizziness and the feeling of light-headedness worse.
- Avoid direct sun exposure; wear sunscreen with the highest SPF level and use long-sleeved shirts and hats to protect yourself.
- Avoid dehydration by taking more fluids that usual. Limit strenuous activity and always have someone with you to help you when you feel dizzy.
- Stopping the medication abruptly can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness and jittery feeling. Your doctor will advise you how to wean yourself from Compazine to reduce these unusual side effects.
Storage condition for Prochlorperazine:
Place Compazine in room temperature between 59 to 86 degrees F and keep away from direct sunlight and moisture. Keep the bottle tightly closed and the medication in its original packaging. Keep the medication literature for future references.
Other important information:
Taking prochlorperazine must be under the close supervision of your doctor. For adult patients, keep your doctor informed of your medical condition especially when you have dementia. This medication is not recommended for patients suffering from dementia since heart failure and pneumonia may result. Always keep your doctor informed of any side effects, allergic reactions and the worsening of your symptoms.
What are the side effects of Prochlorperazine?
Prochlorperazine is used as an effective treatment for nausea and vomiting but along with its use are several side effects that one must be aware of:
- Dizziness, anxiety or confusion may be common in some patients but for worsening dizziness, consult your doctor at once.
- Blurred vision, sleeping problems and headaches may also be common.
- Mild swelling of the hands and feet are also seen in some patient but worsening swelling of the extremities call for immediate medical attention.
- In women, long term use may cause weight gain, breast swelling, and discharge coming from the breast and missed menses.
- In men, impotence and decreased libido.
- A mild skin rash is also seen in some patients.
Side effects that demand immediate medical attention includes:
- Tremors, problems with balancing or keeping your gait, uncontrollable twitching of different areas of the face and extremities and seizures should be consulted at once.
- High fevers, convulsion, pale skin, severe sweating and rapid breathing should be consulted as soon as possible.
- Decreased or difficulty in urination, joint pain, chest pain and muscle pain.
- Restlessness and agitation must also be consulted; keep the patient warm and safe always and seek medical help as soon as possible.
In case of over dosage:
If you suspect over dosage, contact your local poison control center or the American Association of Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. You may also call 911 for immediate emergency response. Signs of over dosage include confusion, agitation, rapid and shallow breathing, restlessness, seizures, coma and many more. You should always keep this medication out of reach of children.
What is the usual does of Prochlorperazine?
Compazine for adult nausea and vomiting – 5 to 10mg tablet thrice or four times a day, 25mg rectal dose two times a day, 5 to 10mg every three to four hours a day and 2 ½ to 10mg intravenously via slow IV infusion.
Compazine for surgery – for severe nausea after a surgical procedure prochlorperazine is given 5 to 10mg 1 to 2 hours before anesthesia is given and repeat if necessary during and after surgery. It may also be given via slow IV for 5 to 10mg 15 to 30 minutes before anesthesia is provided.
This medication may also be used for mild psychoses, anxiety and other neurological disorders. Your doctor will guide you in taking the right dose for your condition as well as the right duration of the treatment with prochlorperazine. You will need to come back for regular check-ups and for blood works to determine the effect of prochlorperazine to your condition. Follow your prescription carefully and always have your doctor’s emergency number to report any side effects and worsening nausea and vomiting.