Promethazine - rectal

Patient Medicine Information
Why do I need this medicine?
Promethazine helps relieve symptoms of cold and allergy, such as runny nose, itch, watery eyes and sneezing. It also helps relieve allergic skin conditions such as hives and itchy rash.

This medicine may also be used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness (unpleasant feeling when you’re travelling), or after undergoing surgery.

Promethazine may also be used to facilitate sleep in individuals who have difficulty sleeping and relieve apprehension or anxiety prior to or after surgery.

This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
How do I use this medicine?
Use Promethazine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not use more or less than instructed by your doctor.

Promethazine suppository is to be inserted into the rectum. Do not eat, chew or swallow it. Do not use it in any other way. Try to go to the toilet before you insert the suppository.

Follow these steps:
  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Remove the suppository from the foil wrapper.
  3. If you are right-handed, lie on your left side and pull your right knee up to your chest.
  4. Gently insert the suppository with the pointed end first into your rectum. Gently push the suppository as far as it would go.
  5. Remain lying in this position for 15-30 minutes to allow the suppository to melt. If you feel that the suppository is slipping out, press your buttocks together. The suppository must remain in the rectum so that the medicine can be absorbed.
You may stop using Promethazine once you feel better, unless your doctor has instructed you otherwise.
What should I do if I have forgotten to use this medicine?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.

DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
When should I not use this medicine?
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • lower lung problems
  • asthma
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (long-term lung disease that causes airflow obstruction making it hard to breathe)
  • sleep apnoea (sleep disorder that causes interrupted breathing during sleep)
as Promethazine may not be suitable for you.

Do not give this medicine to children below 2 years old, or in children who have symptoms that may suggest Reye’s syndrome (a rare condition that affects the brain and liver) or other liver diseases.

Do not use Promethazine if you are currently taking or have taken a medicine that is used to treat depression known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine and tranylcypromine within the last 14 days.
What should I take note of while using this medicine?
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
  • glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
  • epilepsy (fits or seizures or fits)
  • heart disease
  • liver disease
  • stomach or bowel disorder e.g. stomach ulcer, bowel obstruction
  • prostate enlargement or difficulty in passing urine
  • bone marrow depression (a condition in which the blood cells are low)
  • myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder)
  • Parkinson’s disease (disorder that affects movement of a person, causing symptoms such as tremors, muscle stiffness, slowed movement and impaired balance or walking)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Promethazine to a child more than 2 years old. Children may be more sensitive to the side effects.

Notify your doctor if you consume large amounts of alcohol or if you are a frequent drinker.

If you are going to have certain laboratory tests (e.g. pregnancy test), inform your doctor that you are using this medicine.
What side effects could I experience?
Promethazine may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.

Other side effects include any of the following: headache, stuffy nose, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation, loss of appetite, tiredness, nervousness, nightmares, and confusion.

Promethazine may also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Apply sunscreen when going outdoors and avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV lamps.

Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
  • slow, shallow or ineffective breathing
  • muscle stiffness, fever, rapid or irregular heartbeat, increased sweating
  • tremors, uncontrollable movements, imbalance while walking, trouble speaking
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • unusual bleeding or bruising, frequent and persistent sore throat with fever
  • fits or seizures
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Can I use this with other medicines?
Do not use Promethazine if you are currently taking or have taken a medicine that is used to treat depression known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine and tranylcypromine within the last 14 days.

Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
  • strong painkillers e.g. oxycodone, buprenorphine
  • medicine for sleep disorder e.g. zolpidem
  • medicines to treat depression e.g. amitriptyline, desipramine, doxepin
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Promethazine.

Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol intake may worsen the dizziness and drowsiness caused by Promethazine.
How should I store this medicine?
Store in the refrigerator, between 2-8°C.

Keep away from the reach of children.

Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
This information is independently developed by MIMS based on promethazine - rectal and is provided for your reference only. It is not a replacement for and should only be used in conjunction with full consultation with a licensed healthcare professional, the information provided by your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer of the medication. It may not contain all the available information you require and cannot substitute professional medical care, nor does it take into account all individual circumstances. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, we shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2022 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
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