Phenergan (promethazine) belongs to a group of drugs called phenothiazines. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain. Promethazine also acts as an antihistamine. It blocks the effects of the naturally occurring chemical histamine in your body.
Phenergan is used to treat allergy symptoms such as itching, runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, hives, and itchy skin rashes.
Phenergan also prevents motion sickness, and treats nausea and vomiting or pain after surgery. It is also used as a sedative or sleep aid.
Phenergan is not for use in treating symptoms of asthma, pneumonia, or other lower respiratory tract infections.
Stop using Phenergan and call your doctor at once if you have twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs. These could be early signs of dangerous side effects. Phenergan should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old. Phenergan can cause severe breathing problems or death in very young children. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions when giving this medicine to a child of any age.
Phenergan can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of Phenergan. There are many other medicines that can interact with promethazine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.
Before taking this medicine
Phenergan should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old. Phenergan can cause severe breathing problems or death in very young children. Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions when giving this medicine to a child of any age.
You should not take Phenergan if you are allergic to promethazine or to similar medicines such as chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, mesoridazine, perphenazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine, or trifluperazine.
You should not take Phenergan if you have asthma or another lower respiratory tract disorder.
To make sure Phenergan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea, or other breathing disorder;
- a sulfite allergy;
- a history of seizures;
- a weak immune system (bone marrow depression);
- enlarged prostate or problems with urination;
- stomach ulcer or obstruction;
- heart disease or high blood pressure;
- liver disease;
- adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma);
- low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia); or
- if you have ever had a serious side effect while using promethazine or any other phenothiazine.