1. What’s promethazine

Promethazine is an antihistamine medication that relieves the signs of allergy symptoms. It is referred to as a drowsy (sedating) antihistamine. It is extra more likely to make you are feeling sleepy than different antihistamines.

It is used for:

  • short-term sleep issues (insomnia) – together with when a cough or chilly, or itching, is protecting you awake at night time
  • allergy symptoms, together with hay fever and hives (urticaria)
  • feeling and being sick (vomiting) – resulting from morning illness, journey illness or vertigo
  • cough and chilly signs, corresponding to coughing and a runny nostril

You should purchase promethazine from pharmacies, the place it is usually bought as Avomine, Phenergan or Sominex. Promethazine can also be obtainable on prescription.

You may also purchase promethazine blended with different medicines, corresponding to paracetamol, dextromethorphan, pholcodine or pseudoephedrine, to deal with coughs and colds or ache.

In style model names embrace Day & Night time Nurse and Night time Nurse. It comes as tablets, capsules and a liquid that you simply swallow.

2. Key info

  • Keep away from consuming alcohol whereas taking promethazine. Alcohol will increase the dangers of unwanted side effects.
  • That can assist you sleep, you may often take promethazine 20 minutes earlier than you go to mattress. It usually takes What’s half-hour to work.
  • For stopping journey illness, you possibly can often take promethazine the night time earlier than an extended journey or 1 to 2 hours earlier than a brief journey.
  • Widespread unwanted side effects embrace feeling sleepy, complications, nightmares and feeling dizzy, stressed or confused.
  • Promethazine is thought by the model names Avomine, Phenergan and Sominex.
  • When promethazine is blended with different medicines, it is also identified by the model names Day & Night time Nurse, Fedril and Night time Nurse.

3. Who can and can’t take promethazine

Promethazine will be taken by most adults and kids aged 2 years and above.

Promethazine will not be appropriate for some individuals. Inform your physician or pharmacist if you happen to:

  • have had an allergic response to promethazine or another medicines prior to now
  • have a watch downside known as main angle closure glaucoma
  • have issues peeing or emptying your bladder
  • have epilepsy or another well being downside that causes matches
  • have an intolerance to, or can’t take up, some sugars, corresponding to lactose or sorbitol
  • are resulting from have an allergy take a look at. Promethazine can have an effect on your outcomes, so chances are you’ll have to cease taking it a couple of days earlier than your take a look at. Ask the clinic the place you’re resulting from have your allergy take a look at.
  • are unable to have any alcohol. Some liquid promethazine merchandise comprise a really small quantity of alcohol, so test the elements and the packaging rigorously.
  • are attempting to get pregnant. Promethazine can have an effect on house being pregnant exams. For those who assume you are pregnant, communicate to your physician to allow them to organize a blood take a look at as a substitute.

4. How and when to take it

For those who or your youngster have been prescribed promethazine, comply with your physician’s directions What’s how and when to take it.

Solely take promethazine whenever you want it – for instance, if you happen to’re unable to sleep since you’re worrying What’s one thing or your chilly signs are protecting you awake.


When you’ve got purchased promethazine or any medication containing promethazine from a pharmacy or grocery store, comply with the directions that include it, or ask a pharmacist for recommendation.

Dosage and energy

Promethazine is available in 10mg, 20mg and 25mg tablets and a liquid that you simply swallow.

For those who’re taking liquid promethazine, comply with the directions that include the medication for the way a lot to take.

For those who’re taking promethazine tablets, your dose is determined by why you take it:

  • short-term insomnia – you may often take 20 to 50mg at night time
  • hay fever – you may often take 10mg twice a day to 20mg 3 instances a day
  • hives – you may often take 10mg twice a day to 20mg 3 instances a day
  • stopping journey illness – 25mg taken 1 to 2 hours earlier than a brief journey or 25mg the night time earlier than an extended journey
  • treating journey illness – take 25mg as quickly as potential and 25mg the identical night, adopted by 25mg the next night (if you happen to want it)
  • morning illness and vertigo – the dose can differ from 25mg a day to 25mg 4 instances a day

Promethazine comes blended with different elements for cough and chilly signs – the same old dose is determined by the kind of medication you take.

Examine the directions on the packaging rigorously, or ask your pharmacist or physician if you happen to’re not sure. Doses are decrease for kids. Your physician will use your kid’s age to work out the proper dose.

Find out how to take it

  • You possibly can take promethazine tablets, capsules and liquid with or with out meals.
  • At all times take your promethazine tablets or capsules with a drink of water. Swallow them complete. Don’t chew them.
  • Liquid medicines containing promethazine include a plastic syringe or spoon that will help you measure out the proper dose.
  • For those who shouldn’t have a syringe or spoon, ask your pharmacist for one. Don’t use a kitchen teaspoon as you’ll not get the correct amount.

What if I neglect my medication?

  • For journey illness, take it as quickly as you bear in mind.
  • For the rest, skip the missed dose and take your subsequent dose on the regular time.
  • By no means take 2 doses on the identical time. By no means take an additional dose to make up for a forgotten one.
  • For those who neglect doses usually, it could assist to set an alarm to remind you. You may additionally ask your pharmacist for recommendation on different methods that will help you bear in mind to take your medication.

What if I take an excessive amount of?

An excessive amount of promethazine will be harmful. For those who take an excessive amount of, chances are you’ll:

  • really feel very sleepy
  • have a really quick, uneven or pounding heartbeat (palpitations)
  • have respiration issues

In critical circumstances, you possibly can grow to be unconscious or have matches and might have emergency remedy in hospital.

In case your youngster takes an excessive amount of promethazine, they could additionally:

  • transfer unsteadily or stumble
  • have uncontrolled actions, particularly of their palms or toes
  • see or hear issues that aren’t there (hallucinations)
  • have an uneven heartbeat

Pressing recommendation: Name your physician right away if:

  • you’re taking an excessive amount of promethazine
  • If you could go to A&E don’t drive your self – get another person to drive you or name for an ambulance.
  • Take the promethazine packet or leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medication, with you.

5. Negative effects

Widespread unwanted side effects

Like all medicines, promethazine may cause unwanted side effects, though not everybody will get them.

Speak to your pharmacist or physician if these unwanted side effects hassle you or don’t go away:

  • feeling drained through the daytime
  • nightmares
  • feeling dizzy or unsteady in your toes, or having problem concentrating
  • complications

Promethazine can generally make your pores and skin extra delicate to daylight. Hold out of direct or sturdy daylight and comply with solar security recommendation.

For those who’re over 65, you are extra more likely to expertise unwanted side effects corresponding to:

  • feeling confused
  • dry mouth
  • blurred imaginative and prescient
  • problem peeing

Youngsters usually tend to expertise unwanted side effects corresponding to feeling stressed or excited.

Critical unwanted side effects

Name your physician right away when you’ve got:

  • yellowing of the pores and skin or whites of the eyes – these will be indicators of liver issues
  • bruising or bleeding that is greater than regular
  • muscle stiffness or shaking, or uncommon face or tongue actions

Critical allergic response

In uncommon circumstances, it is potential to have a critical allergic response (anaphylaxis) to promethazine.

Speedy motion required: Name 999 or go to A&E if:

  • you get a pores and skin rash that will embrace itchy, pink, swollen, blistered or peeling pores and skin
  • you are wheezing
  • you get tightness within the chest or throat
  • you might have hassle respiration or speaking
  • your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat begin swelling

You may be having a critical allergic response and might have speedy remedy in hospital.

These aren’t all of the unwanted side effects of promethazine. For a full listing, see the leaflet inside your medication packet.

6. How to deal with unwanted side effects

What to do What’s:

  • feeling sleepy through the daytime – this often wears off 12 hours after a dose. Don’t drive or use instruments or equipment if you happen to’re feeling this manner.
  • nightmares – communicate to your pharmacist or physician if these don’t go away or are troubling you
  • feeling dizzy or unsteady in your toes, or having problem concentrating – cease what you are doing and sit or lie down till you are feeling higher. If the sensation doesn’t go away or is troubling you, don’t take any extra medication and communicate to a pharmacist or your physician.
  • complications – ensure you relaxation and drink loads of fluids. Speak to your physician if the complications last more than per week or are extreme.

7. Being pregnant and breastfeeding

  • Your physician might need to prescribe promethazine for morning illness when different remedies haven’t labored.
  • Pregnant ladies have taken promethazine with no dangerous results to the mom or child. However for security it is best to take it for the shortest potential time.
  • For extra info What’s how promethazine can have an effect on you and your child throughout being pregnant, learn the leaflet What’s the finest use of medicines in being pregnant (BUMPS).

Promethazine and breastfeeding

  • Promethazine passes into breast milk in small quantities. Speak to your physician, as different medicines is perhaps higher when you’re breastfeeding.
  • It is often protected to take comparable antihistamines like loratadine or cetirizine when you’re breastfeeding.
  • For those who want a drowsy antihistamine that will help you sleep, your physician might suggest chlorphenamine.
  • However communicate to your physician earlier than taking any antihistamine in case your child was untimely, had a low start weight, or has well being issues.

Non-urgent recommendation: Inform your physician if you happen to’re:

  • making an attempt to get pregnant
  • pregnant
  • breastfeeding

8. Cautions with different medicines

Some medicines and promethazine intrude with one another and improve the possibility of getting unwanted side effects.

Inform your pharmacist or physician if you happen to’re taking:

  • a kind of antidepressant known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, corresponding to phenelzine
  • any medication that makes you drowsy, offers you a dry mouth, or makes it troublesome so that you can pee. Taking promethazine would possibly make these unwanted side effects worse.

For those who’re taking a cough or chilly treatment or a painkiller containing promethazine, test rigorously what the opposite elements are.

For instance, promethazine usually comes blended with paracetamol. For those who take 2 medicines that each comprise paracetamol, there is a threat of overdose. Ask your pharmacist for recommendation earlier than you’re taking this medication along with another painkillers or medicines.

Mixing promethazine with natural cures and dietary supplements

There is perhaps an issue taking some natural cures and dietary supplements alongside promethazine, particularly ones that trigger unwanted side effects corresponding to sleepiness, a dry mouth or making it troublesome to pee.

Ask your pharmacist for recommendation.


  • Inform your physician or pharmacist if you happen to’re taking another medicines, together with natural medicines, nutritional vitamins or dietary supplements.
  • Don’t take 2 antihistamines collectively except you might have been suggested to by your physician.

9. Widespread questions

  1. How does promethazine work?

    Promethazine is a medication known as an antihistamine. It is classed as a drowsy (sedating) antihistamine. Once you come into contact with one thing you are allergic to, corresponding to pollen or animal hair, your physique produces a chemical known as histamine. This may trigger signs corresponding to a runny nostril or pores and skin rashes.

    Promethazine blocks the results of histamine in your mind and this reduces signs. It enters the mind in giant portions and this may make you are feeling drowsy. Promethazine additionally blocks the results of a chemical known as dopamine, and this stops you feeling sick.

  2. How is it totally different from different cough and chilly cures?

    Promethazine blocks the results of a pure chemical known as acetylcholine. This will help dry up a cough or runny nostril, however can even trigger unwanted side effects corresponding to a dry mouth and dry nostril.

    Some cough and chilly cures declare to suppress your cough or cease you mentioning phlegm. Though some individuals discover them useful, they are not often really helpful. It’s because there’s little proof that they are any simpler than easy house cures they usually’re not appropriate for everybody.

  3. How lengthy does it take to work?

    Promethazine will begin to make you are feeling sleepy round 20 minutes after you’re taking it and may match for as much as 12 hours. For those who’re taking it for a cough or chilly, allergy symptoms or nausea, your signs ought to begin to enhance inside 20 minutes. The drugs ought to work for round 4 to six hours.

  4. How lengthy can I take it for?

    You must solely take promethazine for a short while, except your physician says it is OK so that you can take it for longer. Communicate to your pharmacist or physician earlier than taking promethazine for longer than the medication leaflet recommends. Ask them for recommendation if you happen to’re not sure how lengthy you need to take it for.

  5. Is promethazine addictive?

    It is unlikely that you’re going to get hooked on promethazine. However it’s finest that you simply solely take it for a really brief time, except your physician tells you to take it for longer. Not so much is thought What’s taking promethazine for a very long time, so there’s extra likelihood of getting unwanted side effects.

    When you’ve got purchased a medication containing promethazine, don’t take it for longer than really helpful on the packet with out chatting with your pharmacist or physician first. When you’ve got taken promethazine for a very long time and immediately cease taking it, it is potential you would possibly really feel dizzy, sweaty or sick, have a racing coronary heart and have hassle sleeping.

    Coming off promethazine slowly will help stop this. Communicate to your physician when you’ve got taken promethazine for a very long time and need to cease taking it.

  6. What is the distinction between promethazine and different antihistamines?

    Promethazine is called a drowsy (sedating) antihistamine because it makes you sleepy. Non-drowsy antihistamines are much less more likely to have this impact. These embrace cetirizine, fexofenadine and loratadine. Most individuals want to take a non-drowsy antihistamine because it’s much less more likely to intrude with their on a regular basis routine.

    You would possibly select to take a drowsy antihistamine, nevertheless, if you happen to’re having issues falling asleep, or if signs like itching or coughing are protecting you awake. There may be not sufficient info obtainable to say whether or not one antihistamine is best than one other for treating allergy symptoms.

    Chances are you’ll have to attempt a couple of totally different medicines to search out what works finest for you. Ask your pharmacist or physician for recommendation if you happen to’re not sure.

  7. Can I take multiple antihistamine at a time?

    You possibly can take 2 totally different antihistamines at a time. When you’ve got a extreme itchy pores and skin rash, your physician might suggest 2 totally different antihistamines collectively for a couple of days.

    A non-drowsy antihistamine (corresponding to cetirizine, fexofenadine or loratadine through the day, and a drowsy antihistamine at night time if itching is making it troublesome to sleep.

    Don’t take one other drowsy antihistamine along with promethazine. It will make you very drained and sleepy. Different drowsy antihistamines embrace chlorphenamine (Piriton) and diphenhydramine (Nytol Authentic).

  8. Will it assist me sleep?

    Sure. For those who take it for insomnia or take it at night time time, promethazine will aid you sleep. For those who take it through the day for different circumstances, corresponding to allergy symptoms, it would trigger daytime sleepiness, too.

  9. Can I take it with painkillers?

    Sure, you possibly can take promethazine along with painkillers, corresponding to paracetamol or ibuprofen. For those who take promethazine with painkillers that comprise codeine (corresponding to co-codamol or different prescription painkillers), chances are you’ll really feel very drained and sleepy.

    Don’t drive, trip a motorbike or function equipment or instruments if this occurs to you. It is vital to test the packaging or label of your medication rigorously. It’s because some promethazine merchandise already comprise a painkiller.

    Don’t take further painkillers if that is so, as there is a threat of overdose. Communicate to your pharmacist if you happen to’re undecided whether or not a medication already incorporates a painkiller.

  10. Can I drive or trip a motorbike with it?

    Don’t drive a automotive or trip a motorbike if promethazine makes you sleepy through the daytime, offers you blurred imaginative and prescient or makes you are feeling dizzy, clumsy or unable to pay attention or make choices.

    This can be extra probably whenever you first begin taking promethazine, however might occur at any time (for instance, when beginning one other medication).

    It is an offence to drive a automotive in case your capacity to drive safely is affected. It is your duty to resolve if it is protected to drive. For those who’re in any doubt, don’t drive. GOV.UK has extra info on the legislation on medicine and driving. Speak to your physician or pharmacist if you happen to’re not sure whether or not it is protected so that you can drive whereas taking promethazine.

  11. Will it have an effect on my fertility?

    There is no agency proof to recommend that taking promethazine will scale back fertility in both males or ladies. However communicate to a pharmacist or your physician earlier than taking it if you happen to’re making an attempt to get pregnant.

  12. Will it have an effect on my contraception?

    Promethazine doesn’t have an effect on any kind of contraception, together with the mixed capsule and emergency contraception.

  13. Can I drink alcohol with it?

    Don’t drink alcohol when you’re taking promethazine. Alcohol and promethazine collectively could make you sleep very deeply. You will be unable to breathe correctly and will have problem waking up.

  14. Is there any meals or drink I have to keep away from?

    You possibly can eat usually whereas taking promethazine. However keep away from alcohol and drinks that comprise caffeine, like espresso, cola, or power drinks. Caffeine has the other impact to promethazine in your physique and stops it working.

  15. Is it harmful to take with leisure medicine?

    Sure, it is harmful to take promethazine with leisure medicine. It’s because it could actually sluggish or cease your coronary heart and lungs. Mixing promethazine and codeine in giant quantities slows down the central nervous system (mind and spinal wire), which may sluggish respiration and coronary heart charge.

    It is much more harmful when taken with alcohol or different medicine and has brought about individuals to die.

  16. Can life-style modifications assist me sleep higher?

    Promethazine will solely aid you sleep when you’re taking it, so there are a variety of issues you are able to do as a substitute to assist your self have night time’s sleep:
    -set common instances for going to mattress and waking up
    -chill out earlier than bedtime – attempt taking a heat bathtub or listening to calming music
    -use thick curtains or blinds, a watch masks and earplugs to cease you being woken up by gentle and noise
    -keep away from caffeine, cigarettes or vapes, alcohol, heavy meals and train for a couple of hours earlier than mattress time
    -don’t watch TV or use telephones, tablets or computer systems earlier than going to mattress
    -don’t nap through the day
    -make an inventory of your worries and any concepts for learn how to remedy them earlier than you go to mattress – this will help you neglect What’s them till the morning

  17. Can life-style modifications assist with hayfever and different allergy symptoms?

    When you’ve got hay fever, it’s going to assist if you don’t spend an excessive amount of time outdoors if the pollen depend is excessive.

    Ideas for whenever you’re outdoors:
    -don’t reduce grass or stroll on grass
    -put on wraparound sun shades to cease pollen stepping into your eyes
    -put Vaseline round your nostrils to assist entice pollen
    -bathe and alter your garments after you might have been outdoors to scrub off pollen

    Ideas for whenever you’re inside:
    -maintain home windows and doorways shut as a lot as potential
    -vacuum frequently and dirt with a humid material
    -don’t maintain recent flowers in the home
    -don’t smoke or be round smoke because it makes hay fever signs worse
    One of the best ways to stop any type of allergic response is to keep away from the substance that you simply’re allergic to, if you happen to can.
    There are some sensible steps you possibly can comply with to assist stop allergy symptoms.

Associated circumstances

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Hay fever
  • Hives
  • Insomnia

Helpful assets

  • Promethazine: boards
  • Motion Towards Allergy: charity
  • Allergy UK: charity
  • Insomnia: movies of actual tales
  • Itchy Sneezy Wheezy: web site for fogeys
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