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Promethazine: A Multi-Use Antihistamine

Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-AdamReviewed on 30.10.2023 | 3 minutes read
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Promethazine is an antihistamine used alone to treat allergies, travel sickness or short-term insomnia or in combination with other medicines to treat night-time symptoms of cold and flu (such as Night nurse). It is also known by its brand names, Phenergan, Avomine, and Sominex, which are licensed for different uses. It is available as a 10mg, 25 mg tablet or oral solution. It can also be used for morning sickness if prescribed by your doctor. Read the information on the box or ask your pharmacist if you are unsure.

Doctor’s advice

Who is promethazine for?

Promethazine can be used to treat a range of conditions. Most commonly, it is used for the prevention of travel sickness (Avomine®) and short-term treatment of insomnia (Sominex®). It can be used in children aged five and above for treating travel sickness. However, it should not be used in children under 16 for treating insomnia. It is also found in cold and flu products, such as Night nurse®, to relieve runny noses and post-nasal drip and aid sleep. Night nurse is only licensed for ages 16 and over. nasal drip and to aid sleep. Night nurse is only licensed for ages 16 and over.

How does it work?

Promethazine is an antihistamine that relieves allergic reactions by acting on histamine receptors in the brain. It can cause drowsiness, and it also has additional anti-sickness effects. It is also long-acting. Its range of effects means that it can be used to treat a variety of conditions. For example, a dose should be taken the evening before a morning journey to treat travel sickness.

Read the box or information leaflet to ensure you take the correct dose for your condition. It is also long-acting, for example, to treat travel sickness, a dose should be taken the evening before a morning journey. Read the box or information leaflet to ensure you are taking the right dose for your condition.

Should anybody not take promethazine?

  • It should only be used short-term to treat symptoms as needed and for no longer than seven days.
  • Promethazine should also be avoided if you take monoamine oxidase inhibitors or have done so in the past 14 days.
  • You should also avoid promethazine if you are on medications that can cause drowsiness.
  • Do not drink alcohol when taking promethazine.
  • Do not drink alcohol when taking promethazine.

Are there any side effects?

Promethazine can cause long-lasting drowsiness. If you take it at night for insomnia, you may still feel dizzy or sleepy in the morning. You can reduce this by taking your night-time dose a few hours before bedtime.

Promethazine may also cause dizziness, headache, dry mouth, blurred vision and disorientation.

If you experience any bothersome side effects or are unsure about taking promethazine, speak to your pharmacist or doctor.

Promethazine can cause long-lasting drowsiness, if you are taking it at night for insomnia, you may still feel groggy or sleepy in the morning due to this.

You can reduce this by taking your night-time dose a few hours before your bedtime. Promethazine may also cause, dizziness, headache, dry mouth, blurred vision and disorientation.

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Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed by Mohommed Essop-Adam
Reviewed on 30.10.2023
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