Meds and you

30 September 2013


Prochlorperazine is an anti-emetic. Anti-emetics are drugs that are used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting.


Prochlorperazine is the active ingredient of Mitil tablets (Nappi Code: 744182-026), Scripto-matic tablets (Nappi Code: 762849-126), Stemetil tablets (Nappi Code: 766542-009/017), Stemetil supps (Nappi Code: 766518-019, 766526-003) and Stemetil injection (Nappi Code: 766461-009).

General information
Prochlorperazine is an anti-emetic. Anti-emetics are drugs that are used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting.

In South Africa prochlorperazine is registered for the symptomatic relief of nausea and vomiting and for the management of vertigo, schizophrenia, psychosis and minor emotional disturbances.

Prochlorperazine is also used as an adjunctive treatment of migraine.

It should be noted that this drug does not cure the underlying condition, but simply keeps the symptoms under control.

Because prochlorperazine may cause dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation, driving and any hazardous tasks should be avoided until you know how this medication affects you.

How does prochlorperazine work?

Fast facts Drug schedule: schedule 5
Available as: prochlorperazine is available as tablets, injections or suppositories.
What does it do? Prochlorperazine prevents and relieves nausea and vomiting.
Overdose risk: medium
Dependence risk: low
Is prochlorperazine available as a generic? yes
Is prochlorperazine available on prescription only? yes

User information
Onset of effect: 20-60 minutes
Duration of action: up to 6 hours
Stopping this medicine: if you are taking this drug for short-term use in can be safely stopped when no longer needed. In case of long term use you should consult your doctor first.
Prolonged use: prolonged use is not recommended. The patient may develop irreversible tardive dyskineasia, jaundice or pigmentation of the eyes.

Special precautions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have liver or kidney disease
  • you have cardiovascular disease

  • you have a medical condition affecting your breathing

  • you have epilepsy

  • you have glaucoma

  • you have prostate problems

  • you have Parkinson's Disease

  • you have a thyroid disorder

  • you have been diagnosed with phaeochromocytoma

  • you have a history of jaundice

  • you are taking any other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.
Breastfeeding: avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.
Porphyria: this medication is safe to use.
Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children who weigh less than 10 kg or who are younger than 10 years.
The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as there is an increased likelihood of adverse effects.
Driving and hazardous work: caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizziness, light-headedness and/or sedation. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.
Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.

Possible side effects


antacids that contains aluminium or magnesium reduced effect of prochlorperazine
atropine or other ant cholinergic drugs enhanced risk of anticholinergic adverse effects which may include dry mouth, constipation or urinary retention
blood pressure medication increased risk of a drop in blood pressure
drugs for Parkinsonism worsening of Parkinsonism symptoms
phenobarbital reduced effect of both prochlorperazine and phenobarbital
sedative drugs (alcohol, benzodiazepines, antihistamines increased CNS suppression and CNS effects
lithium reduced levels of prochlorperazine in body
propranolol increased risk of toxicity of both prochlorperazine and propranolol
antidiabetic drugs reduces effect of these drugs
terfenadine risk of abnormal heart rhythms
tricyclic antidepressants increased risk of toxicity of both prochlorperazine and the tricyclics

Disease interactions
Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have liver or kidey disease, cardiovascular disease, any medical condition affecting your breathing, if you have epilepsy, glaucoma, prostate problems, a history of hepatitis, Parkinson's disease, a thyroid disorder, or if you have been diagnosed with phaeochromocytoma or if you have a history of jaundice.

Overdose action
A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage
Adults: oral, 15-40 mg/day in 3-4 divided doses with a maximum daily dose of 100 mg/day

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

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