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Pronounced: KOMP-ah-zeen
Generic name: Prochlorperazine

Why is this drug prescribed: Compazine is used to control severe nausea and vomiting. It is also used to treat symptoms of the mental disorder schizophrenia, and is occasionally prescribed for anxiety.

Most important fact about this drug: Compazine may cause tardive dyskinesia--involuntary muscle spasms and twitches in the face and body. This condition may be permanent. It appears to be most common among the elderly, especially women. Ask your doctor for information about this possible risk.

How should you take this medication: Never take more Compazine than prescribed. It can increase the risk of serious side effects. If you are using the suppository form of Compazine and find it is too soft to insert, you can chill it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or run cold water over it before removing the wrapper. To insert a suppository, first remove the wrapper and moisten the suppository with cold water. Then lie down on your side and use a finger to push the suppository well up into the rectum. --If you miss a dose... Take the forgotten dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never try to "catch up" by doubling the dose. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature. Protect from heat and light.

What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Compazine. Side effects may include: Abnormal muscle rigidity, abnormal secretion of milk, abnormal sugar in urine, abnormalities of posture and movement, agitation, anemia, appetite changes, asthma, blurred vision, breast development in males, chewing movements, constipation, convulsions, difficulty swallowing, discolored skin tone, dizziness, drooling, drowsiness, dry mouth, ejaculation problems, exaggerated reflexes, fever, fluid retention, head arched backward, headache, heart attack, heels bent back on legs, high or low blood sugar, hives, impotence, inability to urinate, increased psychotic symptoms, increased weight, infection, insomnia, intestinal obstruction, involuntary movements of arms, hands, legs, and feet, involuntary movements of face, tongue, and jaw, irregular movements, jerky movements, jitteriness, light sensitivity, low blood pressure, mask-like face, menstrual irregularities, narrowed or dilated pupils, nasal congestion, nausea, pain in the shoulder and neck area, painful muscle spasm, parkinsonism-like symptoms, persistent, painful erections, pill-rolling motion, protruding tongue, puckering of the mouth, puffing of the cheeks, rigid arms, feet, head, and muscles, rotation of eyeballs or state of fixed gaze, shock, shuffling gait, skin peeling, rash and inflammation, sore throat, mouth, and gums, spasms in back, feet and ankles, jaw, and neck, swelling and itching skin, swelling in throat, tremors, yellowed eyes and skin

Why should this drug not be prescribed: Do not take Compazine if you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to prochlorperazine or other phenothiazine drugs such as Thorazine, Prolixin, Triavil, Mellaril, or Stelazine.

Special warnings about this medication: Never take large amounts of alcohol, barbiturates, or narcotics when taking Compazine. Serious problems can result. If you suddenly stop taking Compazine, you may experience a change in appetite, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and tremors. Follow your doctor's instructions closely when discontinuing this drug. Make sure the doctor knows if you are being treated for a brain tumor, intestinal blockage, heart disease, glaucoma, or an abnormal blood condition such as leukemia, or if you are exposed to extreme heat or pesticides. This drug may impair your ability to drive a car or operate potentially dangerous machinery. Do not participate in any activities that require full alertness if you are unsure about your ability. While taking Compazine, try to stay out of the sun. Use sun block and wear protective clothing. Your eyes may become more sensitive to sunlight, too, so keep sunglasses handy. Compazine interferes with your ability to shed extra heat. Be cautious in hot weather. Compazine may cause false-positive pregnancy tests.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Compazine is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Compazine with the following: Antiseizure drugs such as Dilantin and Tegretol Anticoagulants such as Coumadin Guanethidine (Ismelin) Lithium (Lithobid, Eskalith) Narcotic painkillers such as Demerol and Tylenol with Codeine Other central nervous system depressants such as Xanax, Valium, Seconal, Halcion Propranolol (Inderal) Thiazide diuretics such as Dyazide

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: Compazine is not usually recommended for pregnant women. However, your doctor may prescribe it for severe nausea and vomiting if the potential benefits of the drug outweigh the potential risks. Compazine appears in breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. If this drug is essential to your health, your doctor may recommend that you stop breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage: ADULTS: To Control Severe Nausea and Vomiting Tablets: The usual dosage is one 5-milligram or 10-milligram tablet 3 or 4 times a day. "Spansule" Capsules: The usual starting dose is one 15-milligram capsule on getting out of bed or one 10-milligram capsule every 12 hours. The usual rectal dosage (suppository) is 25 milligrams, taken 2 times a day. For Non-psychotic Anxiety Tablets: The usual dose is 5 milligrams, taken 3 or 4 times a day. "Spansule" capsule: The usual starting dose is one 15-milligram capsule on getting up or one 10-milligram capsule every 12 hours. Treatment should not continue for longer than 12 weeks, and daily doses should not exceed 20 milligrams. Relatively Mild Schizophrenia The usual dose is 5 or 10 milligrams, taken 3 or 4 times daily. Moderate to Severe Schizophrenia Dosages usually start at 10 milligrams, taken 3 or 4 times a day. If needed, dosage may be gradually increased; 50 to 75 milligrams daily has been helpful for some people. More Severe Schizophrenia Dosages may range from 100 to 150 milligrams per day. CHILDREN: Children under 2 years of age or weighing less than 20 pounds should not be given Compazine. If a child becomes restless or excited after taking Compazine, do not give the child another dose. For Severe Nausea and Vomiting An oral or rectal dose of Compazine is usually not needed for more than 1 day. Children 20 to 29 Pounds The usual dose is 2-1/2 milligrams 1 or 2 times daily. Total daily amount should not exceed 7.5 milligrams. Children 30 to 39 Pounds The usual dose is 2-1/2 milligrams 2 or 3 times daily. Total daily amount should not exceed 10 milligrams. Children 40 to 85 Pounds The usual dose is 2-1/2 milligrams 3 times daily, or 5 milligrams 2 times daily. Total daily amount should not exceed 15 milligrams. For Psychotic Disorders Children 2 to 5 Years Old The starting oral or rectal dose is 2-1/2 milligrams 2 or 3 times daily. Do not exceed 10 milligrams the first day and 20 milligrams thereafter. Children 6 to 12 Years Old The starting oral or rectal dose is 2-1/2 milligrams 2 or 3 times daily. Do not exceed 10 milligrams the first day and 25 milligrams thereafter. OLDER ADULTS: In general, older people take lower dosages of Compazine. Because they may develop low blood pressure while taking the drug, the doctor should monitor them closely. Older people (especially women) may be more susceptible to tardive dyskinesia--a possibly permanent condition. Tardive dyskinesia causes involuntary muscle spasms and twitches in the face and body. Consult your doctor for more information about these potential risks.

Overdosage: An overdose of Compazine can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical help immediately. Symptoms of Compazine overdose may include: Agitation, coma convulsions, dry mouth, extreme sleepiness, fever, intestinal blockage, irregular heart rate, restlessness

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