Compazine

prochlorperazine

By GlaxoSmithKline

What side effects are possible with this medication?

A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. It can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent, but does not occur in everyone. The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. If you develop any of these side effects (or any other side effects not listed here) or they change in intensity, speak to your doctor or pharmacist for advice on managing them and on the risks and benefits of the medication.

  • blurred vision, changes in color vision, or difficulty seeing at night
  • constipation
  • decreased sexual ability
  • difficulty urinating
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • inability to move eyes
  • increased sensitivity of eyes to light
  • loss of balance control
  • nasal congestion
  • rough or "fuzzy" tongue
  • skin rash
  • stiffness of arms or legs
  • watering of mouth
  • weight gain (unusual)
Click here to learn about serious side effects that can potentially occur with any medication. These examples are provided for information purposes only and are not meant to be exhaustive. Always consult your doctor for sound medical advice specific to your particular medication and treatment.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone at 1-800-332-1088.

Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?

Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

Alcohol: The effects of alcohol may be increased by the use of this medication.

Body temperature regulation: Prochlorperazine, like other antipsychotic medications, may affect your body's ability to control core body temperature. Those taking this medication should be careful when experiencing conditions that may elevate body temperature, including strenuous exercise, exposure to extreme heat, or being dehydrated.

Drowsiness/reduced alertness: The use of this medication may impair the mental and physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks, such as driving or operating machinery.

Dystonia: Symptoms of dystonia (prolonged abnormal contractions of muscle groups) may occur in susceptible individuals during the first few days of treatment. Symptoms of dystonic include spasm of the neck muscles sometimes progressing to tightness of the throat, swallowing difficulty, difficulty breathing, and/or protrusion of the tongue.

While these symptoms can occur at low doses, they occur more frequently and with greater severity with high potency and at higher doses. Call your doctor if you have these symptoms so they can be managed.

Hormone imbalances: This medication may cause unusually high or low levels of certain hormones, including prolactin. If you experience any symptoms such as the absence of your menstrual period, a change in breast size, or leaking milk from breasts, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

Medical conditions: Prochlorperazine should be used with caution if you have glaucoma, epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, or enlarged prostate.

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS): Prochlorperazine, like other antipsychotic medications, can cause a potentially fatal syndrome known as neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). If you notice the symptoms of NMS, get immediate medical attention. Symptoms include high fever, muscle stiffness, confusion or loss of consciousness, sweating, racing or irregular heartbeat, and fainting.

Pseudo-Parkinsonism: This medication may cause movements that are similar to people who have Parkinson disease. Symptoms may include mask-like faces, drooling, tremors, pill rolling motion, and shuffling gait. Call your doctor if you notice these symptoms so they can be managed.

Sun: This medication makes you more sensitive to the harmful effects of sunlight.

Tardive dyskinesia: Tardive dyskinesia is a muscle movement disorder. It can occur with several antipsychotic medications, including prochlorperazine. Some people who get tardive dyskinesia may have it permanently, even after stopping the medication. Symptoms include wormlike movements of the tongue or other uncontrolled movements of the mouth, tongue, cheeks, jaw, body, arms, or legs.

Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.

Pregnancy test: Taking prochlorperazine may give a false reading on a pregnancy test. Talk with your doctor if you suspect there is a chance you may be pregnant.

Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking prochlorperazine, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.

Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children under 2 or weighing less than 20 pounds. Children with an illness involving fever or dehydration seem to be much more susceptible than adults to reactions involving the muscles. In these cases, prochlorperazine should be used under close supervision and at low doses.

Seniors: Seniors over 55 years may be more likely to experience adverse effects from this medication.

What other drugs could interact with this medication?

There may be an interaction between prochlorperazine and any of the following:

  • blood thinners (e.g., warfarin)
  • epinephrine
  • guanethidine
  • phenytoin
  • propranolol
  • thiazide diuretics (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide)

If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

  • stop taking one of the medications,
  • change one of the medications to another,
  • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
  • leave everything as is.

An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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