prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro)

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GENERIC NAME: prochlorperazine

BRAND NAME: Compazine, Compro

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Prochlorperazine is an antiemetic (to control nausea and vomiting) and first generation antipsychotic agent. Prochlorperazine is one of the older first-generation piperazine phenothiazine antipsychotic medications. Examples of other phenothiazines include:

Although, the exact mechanism of phenothiazine antipsychotics is unknown, scientists believe that they may work by blocking the action of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter (chemical) that nerves use to communicate with one another. Phenothiazine antipsychotics are used when patients do not respond to other antipsychotics.

The antiemetic benefits of prochlorperazine are due to dopamine blockade in the chemoreceptor trigger zone of the brain. Additionally, prochlorperazine has moderate effects on other neurotransmitters and receptors. Blockade of certain receptors called alpha-adrenergic receptors causes drowsiness, muscle relaxation, and adverse cardiovascular effects such as low blood pressure, reflex tachycardia, and changes in heart rhythm.

Prochlorperazine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1956.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Prochlorperazine is used for the management of nausea and vomiting. It is also used for the management of schizophrenia, anxiety, and non-psychotic anxiety.

SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects associated with prochlorperazine treatment include:

The following also have been reported are movement disorders (extrapyramidal symptoms) including:

  • Motor restlessness
  • Dystonias
  • Pseudo-parkinsonism
  • Tardive dyskinesia

Additionally, cardiac (heart) and liver abnormalities have occurred in some patients.

Children are prone to develop extrapyramidal reactions more than adults.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/23/2015

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