Prochlorperazine is used to treat nausea and vomiting. Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects. Prochlorperazine is also called Stemetil, Nausafix or Buccastem.
|Type of medicine||Also called|
What is prochlorperazine?
Prochlorperazine is used to treat nausea and vomiting due to a variety of causes such as cancer medication, a migraine headache or following surgery. It is also used for vertigo due to Meniere's disease or for short-term management of anxiety. It is thought that prochlorperazine works by blocking the action of dopamine, a chemical in the brain. In New Zealand, prochlorperazine is available as tablets and can be given as an injection in the hospital.
A lower strength of prochlorperazine tablets (Buccastem) can be bought from a pharmacy without a prescription after consultation with a pharmacist.
- The dose of prochlorperazine will be different for different people, depending on its use.
- Always take your prochlorperazine exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much prochlorperazine to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.
How to take prochlorperazine
Prochlorperazine tablets are available in 2 strengths.
|Prochlorperazine tablets||How to take them|
|5 mg tablet||
|3 mg tablet (called Buccastem®)||
- Limit or avoid alcohol while you are taking prochlorperazine. It can increase your chance of side effects such as drowsiness (makes you sleepy).
- Prochlorperazine can make your skin sensitive to sunlight. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight for long periods or sun beds. Apply a good sunscreen (SPF30+) to all uncovered skin before going out in the sun.
Precautions before taking prochlorperazine
- Do you have problems with your liver or kidneys?
- Do you have problems with your heart?
- Do you have prostate problems or problems passing urine (wee)?
- Do you have breathing problems?
- Do you have epilepsy?
- Do you have Parkinson’s disease?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Do you suffer from depression?
- Do you have a thyroid condition?
- Do you have a condition called ‘Myasthenia gravis’?
- Do you have glaucoma (increased pressure in your eye)?
- Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
- Are you taking or using any other medicines? This includes any medicines being taken which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start prochlorperazine. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.
What are the side effects of prochlorperazine?
Like all medicines, prochlorperazine can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.
|Side effects||What should I do?|
|Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product|
Prochlorperazine may interact with some medicines and herbal supplements so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting prochlorperazine or before starting any new medicines.
Additional resources for healthcare professionals
Stemetil Medsafe, NZ
A delicate balance – managing vertigo in general practice BPAC, NZ, 2012