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Know the basics|Know the precautions & warnings|Know the side effects|Know the interactions|Understand the dosage

Know the basics

What is prochlorperazine used for?

This medication is used to treat severe nausea and vomiting from certain causes (for example, after surgery or cancer treatment). Prochlorperazine belongs to a class of drugs known as phenothiazines.

This medication is not recommended for use in children younger than 2 years or in children going through surgery.

How to use prochlorperazine rectal

Unwrap and insert one suppository rectally as directed by your doctor, usually 2 times a day. Remain lying down for a few minutes after using this medication, and avoid having a bowel movement for an hour or longer so the drug will be absorbed. The suppository is for rectal use only.

The dosage is based on your age, medical condition, and response to treatment. In children, the dosage may also be based on weight. Do not increase your dose or use this medication more often than directed.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

How should I take prochlorperazine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

If you take prochlorperazine long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

If you need to have an x-ray or CT scan of your spinal column using a dye that is injected into a vein, you may need to temporarily stop taking prochlorperazine. Be sure the doctor knows ahead of time that you are taking this medication.

Do not stop using prochlorperazine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using prochlorperazine.

How do I store prochlorperazine?

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not freeze. Different brands of this medication may have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using prochlorperazine?

Some medical conditions may interact with prochlorperazine. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have developed severe side effects (eg, blood problems, yellowing of the skin or eyes) while taking another phenothiazine (eg, thioridazine)
  • if you have a history of heart problems (eg, angina, mitral valve problems), blood problems (eg, anemia), diabetes, liver problems (eg, cirrhosis), high or low blood pressure, kidney problems, neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS), tardive dyskinesia (TD), bone marrow problems (eg, low white blood cell count), an enlarged prostate gland, seizures, trouble urinating, mental or mood problems (eg, depression), or an adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma)
  • if you have asthma, a lung infection, or other lung or breathing problems (eg, emphysema); or increased pressure in the eyes or glaucoma, or if you are at risk for glaucoma
  • if you have Alzheimer disease, dementia, Parkinson disease, or Reye syndrome
  • if you have had high blood prolactin levels or a history of certain types of cancer (eg, breast, pancreas, pituitary, brain), or if you are at risk of breast cancer
  • if you are in poor health or are regularly exposed to extreme heat or certain insecticides (organophosphorus insecticides)
  • if you have a history of alcohol abuse, drink alcohol, or are in alcohol withdrawal
  • if you will be having or have recently had a myelogram (x-ray of the spinal cord)
  • if you take any medicine that may increase the risk of a certain type of irregular heartbeat (prolonged QT interval). Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines may increase the risk of this type of irregular heartbeat

Is it safe to take prochlorperazine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

Pregnancy and breastfeeding: There is not enough information about the safety of using pancreatin during pregnancy and breast-feeding. It is best to avoid use unless you have been diagnosed with pancreas problems that make use of Prochlorperazine essential.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of prochlorperazine?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using prochlorperazine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms, or legs;
  • tremor (uncontrolled shaking), drooling, trouble swallowing, problems with balance or walking;
  • feeling restless, jittery, or agitated;
  • high fever, stiff muscles, confusion, sweating, fast or uneven heartbeats, rapid breathing;
  • feeling like you might pass out;
  • seizure (black-out or convulsions);
  • decreased night vision, tunnel vision, watery eyes, increased sensitivity to light;
  • nausea and stomach pain, skin rash, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, fever, sore throat, flu symptoms;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, chest pain, vomiting, unusual thoughts or behavior, and patchy skin color; or
  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing (breathing may stop).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety;
  • sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams;
  • dry mouth, stuffy nose;
  • blurred vision;
  • constipation;
  • breast swelling or discharge;
  • a missed menstrual period;
  • weight gain, swelling in your hands or feet;
  • impotence, trouble having an orgasm;
  • mild itching or skin rash; or

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with prochlorperazine?

Prochlorperazine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Some medicines may interact with Prochlorperazine. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

Many prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for allergies, blood clotting problems, cancer, infections, inflammation, aches and pains, heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, irregular heartbeat, mental or mood problems, nausea or vomiting, Parkinson disease, seizures, stomach or bowel problems, overactive bladder), multivitamin products, and herbal or dietary supplements (eg, herbal teas, coenzyme Q10, garlic, ginseng, gingko, St. John’s wort) may interact with prochlorperazine. Ask your doctor if you are unsure if any of your medicines may interact with prochlorperazine.

Does food or alcohol interact with prochlorperazine?

Prochlorperazine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.]

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

What health conditions may interact with prochlorperazine?

Prochlorperazine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Prochlorperazine.

What is the dose of Prochlorperazine for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Nausea/Vomiting

Severe nausea and vomiting:

Tablet: 5 to 10 mg 3 to 4 times a day.

Capsule: 15 mg on arising or 10 mg capsule every 12 hours. Daily oral doses above 40 mg should be used only in resistant cases.

Rectal: 25 mg twice a day.

IM: 5 to 10 mg. If necessary, repeat every 3 to 4 hours. Total IM dosage should not exceed 40 mg/day.

IV: 2 1/2 to 10 mg by slow IV injection or infusion at a rate not to exceed 5 mg/min.

A single dose of the drug should not exceed 10 mg. Total IV dosage should not exceed 40 mg/day.

Adult surgery (for severe nausea and vomiting):

IM: 5 to 10 mg injection 1 to 2 hours before induction of anesthesia (repeat once in 30 minutes, if necessary), or to control acute symptoms during and after surgery (repeat once if necessary).

IV: 5 to 10 mg as a slow IV injection or infusion 15 to 30 minutes before induction of anesthesia, or to control acute symptoms during or after surgery. Repeat once if necessary. A single dose of the drug should not exceed 10 mg. The rate of administration should not exceed 5 mg/minute.

Usual Adult Dose for Anxiety

Non-psychotic anxiety:

Tablet: 5 mg 3 to 4 times a day.

Capsule: 15 mg on arising or 10 mg every 12 hours.

Do not administer in doses of more than 20 mg/day or for longer than 12 weeks.

Usual Adult Dose for Psychosis

Mild psychotic disorders:

5 to 10 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day.

Moderate to severe psychotic disorders:

Oral: 10 mg orally 3 to 4 times a day. Increase dosage every 2 to 3 days until symptoms are controlled or side effects become bothersome. Some patients respond satisfactorily on 50 to 75 mg/day. In more severe disturbances, optimum dosage is usually 100 to 150 mg/day.

IM: For immediate control of severely disturbed adults, inject an initial dose of 10 to 20 mg deeply into the upper outer quadrant of the buttock. Many patients respond shortly after the first injection. If necessary, repeat the initial dose every 2 to 4 hours (or, in resistant cases, every hour) to gain control of the patient. More than 3 to 4 doses are seldom necessary. After control is achieved, switch patient to an oral form of the drug at the same dosage level or higher. If, in rare cases, parenteral therapy is needed for a prolonged period, give 10 to 20 mg every 4 to 6 hours.

What is the dose of Prochlorperazine for a child?

Children seem more prone to develop extrapyramidal reactions, even on moderate doses. Therefore, use lowest effective dosage.

How is Prochlorperazine available?

Prochlorperazine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Tablets: 5mg; 10 mg

Capsule: 10 mg; 15 mg

Vials: 2 mL (5 mg/mL); 10 mL (5 mg/mL)

Suppositories: 2.5 mg; 5 mg; 25 mg

Syrup: 5 mg/5 mL

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • agitation
  • jitteriness
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • blank facial expression
  • drooling
  • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • shuffling walk
  • sleepiness
  • coma (loss of consciousness for a period of time)
  • seizures
  • irregular heartbeat
  • fever
  • dry mouth
  • constipation

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Prochlorperazine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Prochlorperazine. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/prochlorperazine.html. Accessed July 26, 2016.
Prochlorperazine. http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-4824/prochlorperazine-rectal/details. Accessed July 26, 2016.

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD on May 02, 2020
Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD