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PROCHLORPERAZINE - a patient's guide


This medicine is used to relieve nausea and anxiety. This article looks at the drug's properties and possible side effects.




USE: Anti-nausea

This medicine is called a phenothiazine which is mainly indicated for the relief of severe nausea, vomiting, vertigo, and also anxiety/psychosis related conditions.

Its mode of action mainly involves blocking dopamine and histamine receptors involved within the vomiting centre which has an anti-emetic effect, relieving nausea and vomiting.

Stemetil suppositories are also useful for severe vomiting, when tablets cannot be kept down.


  • Hypersensitivity to phenothiazines
  • Liver and kidney impairment
  • Epilepsy, Parkinson's disease
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Hypothyroidism, myaesthenia gravis (muscles weakness disorder)
  • Children, elderly
  • Glaucoma or prostate problems
  • Exposure to hot/cold extremities

Side effects:

Drowsiness, dry mouth and impaired concentration are the most common adverse effects likely to occur.

Occasional nasal congestion, mild skin reactions, dizziness, insomnia, photosensitivity, tardive dyskinesia (facial spasm) and Parkinson-like effects can also occur (esp. in patients on high doses or long term therapy).

Rarely blood disorders, liver impairment and gynaecomastia (enlarged breast tissue) have also been reported.

Overdose: marked sedation, dizziness, heart irregularities, hypothermia - seek urgent medical help


Additive effects seen with alcohol, opoid analgesics and CNS depressants (sedatives, barbituates etc).

Patient information:

  • Follow instructions carefully on the label of this medicine (do not exceed recommended dosage)
  • AVOID ALCOHOL because this medicine will cause excess sedation
  • Caution: driving or operating machinery because this medicine may cause drowsiness
  • Avoid excess exposure to direct sunlight or sun lamps as this medicine can cause photosensitivity
  • Avoid hot/cold extremities due to a higher risk of hyper/hypothermia
  • Do not take this medicine with calcium (milk) or iron supplements (for approx. 4 hours)
  • Place Buccastem tablet between gum and top lip or as directed and allow to dissolve
  • Do not take any other medicines unless directed by your doctor/ pharmacist
  • Contact your doctor or seek urgent medical attention if side effects are severe or ongoing.

See also:

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