Promethazine is a generic name for a class of antihistamine drugs used to prevent motion sickness, nausea, or vomiting; and for sedation, and the treatment of itching related to allergies. It is in the latter that we’re interested in here, treating allergy symptoms and reactions with Promethazine, such as: nasal congestion, itching nose, clear runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, hives, and itchy skin rashes. Brand names of promethazine include Phenadoz, Phenergan, and Promethegan. The FDA has approved Promethazine in 1951.
Promethazine is a prescription drug in the USA, but is available OTC in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and in many other countries. For the treatment of allergy induced symptoms and itches, tablets may be taken with or without food, once every 4 to 8 hours. Though be very careful about giving it to children, especially those below 2 years of age – Promethazine can cause severe breathing problems or even death. Doctor’s instructions must be followed carefully when given to a child of any age. Always keep this medicine out of children’s reach.
As an anti-allergic medication, Promethazine can also be used to treat hay fever, or better known as allergic rhinitis. To treat allergic reactions, it can be given either alone or in combination with an oral decongestant. All patients are recommended to have their blood pressure measured frequently. Moreover, during long-term therapy, blood cell counts, liver function studies, EKG, and EEG should be undertaken. These studies and examinations are to be taken at intervals according to risk profile of the patient.
Promethazine can produce side effects that impair your thinking or reactions. It’s required that when under medication you should not be driving or do any hazardous work which takes a great deal of concentration and alertness. Also, do not take alcohol, which serves to enhance the side effects of Prometazine.
Typical side effects of Promethazine include blurred vision, confusion, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, and dry mouth. Serious side effects, in which the patient should contact their physician immediately include seizures, respiratory depression (most common in children under two years of age or people with compromised function of pulmonal region), and malignant neuroleptic syndrome.
Before taking Promethazine, make sure you convey to your physician if you have or have ever experienced urination problems, digestive obstruction, stomach ulcers, glaucoma, sleep apnea, bone marrow disorder, or seizure disorder. You should also notify your physician, before taking the drug, if you have any history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or liver disease.
If you have any of the above conditions, you may not be able to take Promethazine unless your doctor requires you to take adjusted dosage, or undergo special laboratory tests during treatment. In addition, this medication is harmful to an unborn baby, so if you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant, avoid this treatment, or consult further with your doctor.
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of a promethazine overdose may include severe drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, large pupils, flushing, nausea, vomiting, shallow breathing, and fainting.