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What is Compazine® (prochlorperazine) used for?

Compazine® is an anti-psychotic medicine in a group of drugs called phenothiazines. It works by changing the actions of chemicals in your brain.

Compazine® oral (taken by mouth) is used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. It is also used to treat anxiety, and to control severe nausea and vomiting.

Compazine® may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

How should I take Compazine® (prochlorperazine)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

If you take Compazine® long-term, you may need frequent medical tests.

If you need to have an x-ray or CT scan of your spinal column using a dye that is injected into a vein, you may need to temporarily stop taking Compazine®. Be sure the doctor knows ahead of time that you are taking this medication.

Do not stop using Compazine® suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using Compazine®.

How do I store Compazine® (prochlorperazine)?

Compazine® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Compazine® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Compazine® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Compazine® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Compazine® (prochlorperazine)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Compazine® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

You should not use Compazine® if you are allergic to it, or if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or narcotic medications.

Compazine® is not approved for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. Compazine® may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions.

Long-term use of Compazine® can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. The longer you take Compazine®, the more likely you are to develop this movement disorder. The risk of this side effect is higher in women and older adults.

Do not give this medication to a child or teenager with a fever, flu symptoms, or an infectious disease such as chickenpox, measles, stomach flu, or an infection of the central nervous system.

To make sure Compazine® is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • Bladder obstruction or other urination problems
  • A blockage in your intestines
  • Severe asthma or other breathing problem
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart disease, high blood pressure
  • Past or present breast cancer
  • Liver or kidney disease
  • Adrenal gland tumor (pheochromocytoma)
  • Seizures, or a history of brain tumor
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • If you have ever had a serious side effect while using prochlorperazine or another phenothiazine
  • If you also take certain other medications–lithium, propranolol, a diuretic or “water pill,” a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin), or seizure medication

Tell your doctor if you will be exposed to extreme heat or cold, or to insecticide poisons while you are taking Compazine®.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Compazine® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Compazine®. Compazine® is pregnancy risk category N, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Compazine® (prochlorperazine)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking Compazine® and call your doctor at once if you have any of these signs of a serious movement disorder:

  • Tremors or shaking in your arms or legs
  • Uncontrolled muscle movements in your face (chewing, lip smacking, frowning, tongue movement, blinking or eye movement)
  • any new or unusual muscle movements you cannot control.

Also call your doctor at once if you have:

  • A light-headed feeling, like you might pass out
  • Little or no urinating
  • Feeling restless, jittery, or agitated
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, slow breathing
  • Decreased white blood cells–sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, mouth sores, trouble swallowing
  • Lupus-like syndrome–joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, chest pain, vomiting, unusual thoughts or behavior, and patchy skin color
  • Severe nervous system reaction–very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out

Common side effects may include:

  • Headache, dizziness, drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth, stuffy nose
  • Constipation
  • Mild itching or rash
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)

Side effects such as painful or difficult urination, constipation, and confusion may be more likely in older adults.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with Compazine® (prochlorperazine)?

Compazine® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Compazine® (prochlorperazine)?

Compazine® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Compazine® (prochlorperazine)?

Compazine® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Compazine® (prochlorperazine).

What is the dose of Compazine® (prochlorperazine) for an adult?

To Control Severe Nausea and Vomiting

Adjust dosage to the response of the individual. Begin with the lowest recommended dosage.

Oral Dosage – Tablets: Usually one 5 mg or 10 mg tablet 3 or 4 times daily. Daily dosages above 40 mg should be used only in resistant cases.

In Adult Psychiatric Disorders

Adjust dosage to the response of the individual and according to the severity of the condition. Begin with the lowest recommended dose. Although response ordinarily is seen within a day or 2, longer treatment is usually required before maximal improvement is seen.

Oral Dosage

  • Non-Psychotic Anxiety – Usual dosage is 5 mg 3 or 4 times daily. Do not administer in doses of more than 20 mg per day or for longer than 12 weeks.
  • Psychotic Disorders including Schizophrenia – In relatively mild conditions, as seen in private psychiatric practice or in outpatient clinics, dosage is 5 or 10 mg 3 or 4 times daily.
  • In moderate to severe conditions, for hospitalized or adequately supervised patients, usual starting dosage is 10 mg 3 or 4 times daily. Increase dosage gradually until symptoms are controlled or side effects become bothersome. When dosage is increased by small increments every 2 or 3 days, side effects either do not occur or are easily controlled. Some patients respond satisfactorily on 50 to 75 mg daily.
  • In more severe disturbances, optimum dosage is usually 100 to 150 mg daily.

What is the dose of Compazine® (prochlorperazine) for a child?

Do not use in pediatric surgery.

Children seem more prone to develop extrapyramidal reactions, even on moderate doses. Therefore, use lowest effective dosage. Tell parents not to exceed prescribed dosage, since the possibility of adverse reactions increases as dosage rises.

Occasionally the patient may react to the drug with signs of restlessness and excitement; if this occurs, do not administer additional doses. Take particular precaution in administering the drug to children with acute illnesses or dehydration.

Severe Nausea and Vomiting in Children

Compazine® (prochlorperazine maleate tablets USP) should not be used in pediatric patients under 20 pounds in weight or 2 years of age. It should not be used in conditions for which children’s dosages have not been established. Dosage and frequency of administration should be adjusted according to the severity of the symptoms and the response of the patient. The duration of activity following intramuscular administration may last up to 12 hours. Subsequent doses may be given by the same route if necessary.

In Children With Schizophrenia

Oral Dosage

  • For children 2 to 12 years, starting dosage is 2.5 mg 2 or 3 times daily. Do not give more than 10 mg the first day. Then increase dosage according to patient’s response.
  • For ages 2 to 5, total daily dosage usually does not exceed 20 mg.
  • For ages 6 to 12, total daily dosage usually does not exceed 25 mg.

How is Compazine® (prochlorperazine) available?

Compazine® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet, film coated: prochlorperazine maleate 5mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Compazine®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

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