Prochlorperazine is an effective anti-emetic (a drug treatment of nausea and vomitting). It is frequently used in the treatment of vertigo associated with multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy and radition treatment. It is also prescribed as a mild anti-psychotic.
Prochlorperazine is sold under the brand names Compazine, Stemetil.
It can be administered orally, intramuscularly, intravenously, and rectally.
Taken orally in doses of 5-10 mg, it is effective against nausea and vomitting. As an anti-psychotic, doses are in the 10-40 mg range.
It belongs to a family of drugs called phenothiazines which act as dopaminergic antagonists.
The principle side-effects of prochlorperazine are dystonias (muscle cramps), akathisias (involuntary muscle quiverings and shakes) and sedation. Rarely, it causes neuroleptic malignant syndrome (a condition of muscle rigidity, catatonia, fever, sweating, incontinence, stupor and unstable blood pressure), akinesias (temporary paralysis) and dyskinesias (inability to control movement).
Rapid intravenous administration of prochlorperazine may cause hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure) but this can be mitigated against by delivering the doses gradually over a longer period (around 30 minutes).
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