Oct 6th 2023
Prochlorperazine is an antipsychotic drug used to treat conditions like schizophrenia. It’s important to be cautious and stay in communication with your doctor when taking prochlorperazine, as it can cause serious adverse effects for some people .
The most common brand names of prochlorperazine include :
As an antipsychotic medication, prochlorperazin/disorder/schizoaffective-disordere is used for the treatment of disorders that present with psychosis. These include schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Prochlorperazine is FDA-approved for the treatment of these conditions and is especially effective for treating the positive symptoms of psychotic disorders, such as hallucinations, delusions, agitation, and chaotic speech and behavior .
Prochlorperazine may also be used for treating nausea and vomiting, especially that which occurs after chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It can also be beneficial before and after a surgery .
While not FDA-approved for this purpose, prochlorperazine may be used off-label for the treatment of migraine headaches .
Prochlorperazine is a first-generation antipsychotic drug. These medications work by blocking the activity of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is believed to cause psychotic symptoms when present in excess. Prochlorperazine may exert other effects, such as blocking the activity of histaminergic, cholinergic, and noradrenergic receptors .
Prescription versions of prochlorperazine are typically available as an oral tablet or a liquid swallowed by mouth. Some versions come as an anal suppository. The brand name version, Compazine, is available as both a 5 mg and 10 mg tablet. Liquid syrups containing prochlorperazine typically come as a solution that contains 5 mg of Compazine per 5 mL .
Prochlorperazine is usually taken by mouth in tablet form. An adult dose of the medication is typically 3 to 4 tablets per day, while pediatric doses range from 1 to 3 daily tablets. In some instances, patients may take a suppository version of prochlorperazine, which is inserted in the anus twice per day .
If you have questions about how to take prochlorperazine, talk with your prescribing doctor or your pharmacist. Never take prochlorperazine without proper medical advice.
The half-life of a drug gives you an indication of how long the drug will stay in your system . The half-life of prochlorperazine is about 8 hours after oral administration, meaning that half of the initial dose will clear from the body within this time . Given the half-life of the medication, you can expect it to be eliminated from the body within about 40 hours, but this can vary from person-to-person.
If your doctor has prescribed prochlorperazine, it is because they believe the benefits will outweigh the potential risks for you. However, if side effects are severe or persistent, contact your doctor immediately to discuss your options.
Below are the milder side effects associated with prochlorperazine, many of which will improve with time :
Some side effects of the medication, although rare, can be severe and may require prompt medical attention :
Certain people should not take prochlorperazine or should monitor themselves closely for adverse reactions, in consultation with their doctor. The following precautions should be taken with this medication  :
Certain substances, including medications and supplements, can cause dangerous interaction effects when combined with prochlorperazine. For this reason, it is important to tell your doctor about all medications and substances you are taking, to determine whether it is safe to take prochlorperazine when also taking these substances.
While the following list is not exhaustive, it contains numerous substances that may be dangerous in combination with prochlorperazine :
It is also not advisable to consume large amounts of alcohol in combination with prochlorperazine, as this can enhance the depressant effects of the drug on the central nervous system .
Your medication should be kept out of reach of children in its original, tightly closed container to prevent a child or someone else from mistakenly accessing the medication. The medication should be stored at room temperature, and not in excessively hot or moist environments, such as the bathroom .
Prochlorperazine overdose is possible and requires immediate medical attention. Someone who has overdosed may show some or all of the following symptoms :
If you or someone in your presence has a seizure, collapses, is struggling to breathe, or cannot be awakened after taking prochlorperazine, call 911 immediately to connect with emergency medical care .
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