prochlorperazine (Compazine, Compro)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

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:

  • fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin)
  • chlorpromazine (Promapar, Thorazine)
  • fluphenazine (Permitil, Prolixin)
  • perphenazine, trifluoperazine (Stelazine)
  • thioridazine (Mellaril)

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/22/2014



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pill Finder Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill identifier tool on RxList.


Back to Medications Index