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More Details on Promethazine Indications

How Does Promethazine Work?

This medication has several different effects in the body and the brain. Many of these effects are most likely due to its antihistamine activity, since it works by blocking histamine receptors.
 
Promethazine also belongs to a group of drugs known as phenothiazines. Although phenothiazines are usually used as antipsychotic medications, promethazine has little dopamine-blocking activity. This makes it a weak antipsychotic medication, and it is not used for this purpose.
 
This medicine also blocks acetylcholine receptors, which is probably why it helps to alleviate nausea and motion sickness.
 

Using Promethazine in Children

Promethazine should not be given to children under the age of two, due to the risk of breathing difficulty and death (see Phenergan and Children).
 
Nausea and vomiting medications (like promethazine) should not be used to treat most cases of vomiting in children and adolescents. In these age groups, only prolonged cases of vomiting with clear, known causes should be treated with this medication.
 

Is Promethazine Used for Off-Label Reasons?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medicine for something other than the conditions discussed in this article. For instance, using promethazine to treat morning sickness would be an off-label use (see Phenergan and Pregnancy for more information).
 
Giving promethazine to treat nausea and vomiting related to gastrointestinal illness (such as the "stomach flu") or to treat a cough are also be off-label uses. Although various cough syrups that contain promethazine plus other active ingredients are approved for treating cough, no products that contain just promethazine are approved for this purpose.
 
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