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Promethazine has been licensed to treat nausea, motion sickness, and various other conditions. It is available by prescription only and comes in tablet, rectal suppository, syrup, and injectable form. By blocking histamine and acetylcholine receptors, the drug causes several different effects in the body and brain. Most people have no problems with it, but side effects can include dry mouth, drowsiness, and confusion.

What Is Promethazine?

Promethazine hydrochloride (Phenergan®) is a prescription medication approved for a variety of widely different uses. It is probably used most often as a nausea medication, although it is frequently used for other purposes as well.
 
It should be noted that this article applies only to products that contain just promethazine as the active ingredient. Some promethazine cough syrups (such as Phenergan with Codeine) contain other active ingredients as well.
 
(Click What Is Promethazine Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Potential Side Effects

Just like any medicine, promethazine may cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious reactions are less common.
 
Some of the side effects seen with promethazine include, but are not limited to:
 
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth.
     
(Click Promethazine Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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