We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Promethazine?

By B. Chisholm
Updated Feb 03, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Promethazine is a first generation antihistamine. It can be used to treat symptoms of allergies, motion sickness and insomnia and is sometimes used as an anti-emetic. It is available in oral, injectable and rectal preparations. In some countries a prescription from a doctor is required, while in others it is available as an over-the-counter preparation.

The symptoms of allergies include runny nose, sneezing, streaming eyes and itching due to a skin reaction. This is caused mainly by the release of histamine in response to allergens such as pollen, animal hair, medication or food to which the patient is allergic. Promethazine works to negate these effects by blocking the histamine receptors. It is a potent H1 receptor antagonist, and this is its main mechanism of action.

In severe cases of allergy, the chest may close up due to increased bronchial secretions. This is a medical emergency and requires urgent medical attention. Promethazine may be used in this acute state at the hospital, as part of treatment. Patients with known allergies should wear a bracelet that states their allergies, and should keep an antihistamine like promethazine with them at all times.

Promethazine can cause drowsiness, so driving or working with heavy machinery while taking it should be avoided. This effect is used therapeutically in some cases to treat insomnia and as an adjunctive sedative and anxiolytic agent before surgery. Due to its sedative effects, it should not be taken in combination with other central nervous system (CNS) drugs or alcohol.

It also has anti-emetic properties and may be used to treat motion sickness. As with any drug, the use of promethazine for any of these indications should be discussed with a medical practitioner. They will take into consideration the patient's medical history, concomitant medicines and other factors, such as pregnancy, desired pregnancy, or lactation.

Promethazine should not be used in children under two years old and should be used with caution in children over two years old, and only under medical supervision. Care should be taken when administering combination products such as cold and flu preparations, as some may contain promethazine as a constituent. There have been reports of respiratory depression and even death, possibly due to promethazine use in small children.

The dose and duration of therapy is determined by the indication. Some chronic allergy sufferers require long-term antihistamine throughout the allergy season. In the case of pre-operative sedation, a single dose may be used. For motion sickness, the drug should be taken only while traveling. The correct dosage and duration can be determined by the medical practitioner.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.