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Side Effects & Adverse Reactions
Promethazine hydrochloride should not be used in pediatric patients less than 2 years of Age because of the potential for fatal respiratory depression.
Postmarketing cases of respiratory depression, including fatalities, have been reported with use of promethazine hydrochloride in pediatric patients less than 2 years of age. A wide range of weight-based doses of promethazine hydrochloride have results in respiratory depression in these patients.
Caution should be exercised when administering promethazine hydrochloride to pediatric patients 2 years of age and older. It is recommended that the lowest effective dose of promethazine hydrochloride be used in pediatric patients 2 years of age and older and concomitant administration of other drugs with respiratory depressant effects be avoided.
Promethazine Hydrochloride and Phenylephrine Hydrochloride Oral Solution contains sodium metabisulfite, a sulfite that may cause allergic-type reactions including anaphylactic symptoms and life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes in certain susceptible people. The overall prevalence of sulfite sensitivity in the general population is unknown and probably low. Sulfite sensitivity is seen more frequently in asthmatic than in nonasthmatic people.
CNS Depression- Promethazine may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks, such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery. The impairment may be amplified by concomitant use of other central nervous-system depressants such as alcohol, sedatives/hypnotics (including barbiturates), narcotics, narcotic analgesics, general anesthetics, tricyclic antidepressants, and tranquilizers; therefore such agents should either be eliminated or given in reduced dosage in the presence of promethazine HCl (see PRECAUTIONS-Information for Patients and Drug Interactions).
Promethazine may lead to potentially fatal respiratory depression.
Use of Promethazine in patients with compromised respiratory function (e.g., COPD, sleep apnea) should be avoided.
Lower Seizure Threshold - Promethazine may lower seizure threshold. It should be used with caution in persons with seizure disorders or in persons who are using concomitant medications, such as narcotics or local anesthetics, which may also affect seizure threshold.
Bone-Marrow Depression - Promethazine should be used with caution in patients with bone-marrow depression. Leukopenia and agranulocytosis have been reported, usually when promethazine HCl has been used in association with other known marrow-toxic agents.
A potentially fatal symptom complex sometimes referred to as Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS) has been reported in association with promethazine HCl alone or in combination with antipsychotic drugs. Clinical manifestations of NMS are hyperpyrexia, muscle rigidity, altered mental status and evidence of autonomic instability (irregular pulse or blood pressure, tachycardia, diaphoresis and cardiac dysrhythmias).
The diagnostic evaluation of patients with this syndrome is complicated. In arriving at a diagnosis, it is important to identify cases where the clinical presentation includes both serious medical illness (e.g. pneumonia, systemic infection, etc.) and untreated or inadequately treated extrapyramidal signs and symptoms (EPS). Other important considerations in the differential diagnosis include central anticholinergic toxicity, heat stroke, drug fever and primary central nervous system (CNS) pathology.
The management of NMS should include 1) immediate discontinuation of promethazine HCl, antipsychotic drugs, if any, and other drugs not essential to concurrent therapy, 2) intensive symptomatic treatment and medical monitoring, and 3) treatment of any concomitant serious medical problems for which specific treatments are available. There is no general agreement about specific pharmacological treatment regimens for uncomplicated NMS.
Since recurrences of NMS have been reported with phenothiazines, the reintroduction of promethazine HCl should be carefully considered.
Promethazine products are contraindicated for use in pediatric patients less than two years of age.
Caution should be exercised when administering promethazine products to pediatric patients 2 years of age and older because of the potential for fatal respiratory depression. Respiratory depression and apnea, sometime associated with death, are strongly associated with promethazine products and are not directly related to individualized weight-based dosing, which might otherwise permit safe administration. Concomitant administration of promethazine products with other respiratory depressants has an association with respiratory depression, and sometimes death, in pediatric patients.
Antiemetics are not recommended for treatment of uncomplicated vomiting in pediatric patients, and their use should be limited to prolonged vomiting of known etiology. The extrapyramidal symptoms which can occur secondary to promethazine hydrochloride administration may be confused with the CNS signs of undiagnosed primary disease, e.g., encephalopathy or Reye’s syndrome. The use of promethazine products should be avoided in pediatric patients whose signs and symptoms may suggest Reye’s syndrome or other hepatic diseases.
Excessively large dosages of antihistamines, including promethazine hydrochloride, in pediatric patients may cause sudden death (see OVERDOSAGE). Hallucinations and convulsions have occurred with therapeutic doses and overdoses of promethazine hydrochloride in pediatric patients. In pediatric patients who are acutely ill associated with dehydration there is an increased susceptibility to dystonias with the use of promethazine HCl.
Administration of promethazine has been associated with reported cholestatic jaundice.
Because phenylephrine is an adrenergic agent, it should be given with caution to patients with thyroid diseases, diabetes mellitus, and heart disease or those receiving tricyclic antidepressants.
Men with symptomatic, benign prostatic hypertrophy can experience urinary retention when given oral nasal decongestants.
Phenylephrine can cause a decrease in cardiac output, and extreme caution should be used when administering the drug parenterally or orally to patients with arteriosclerosis, to elderly individuals, and/or to patients with initially poor cerebral or coronary circulation.
Phenylephrine should be used with caution in patients taking diet preparations, such as amphetamines or phenylpropanolamine, because synergistic adrenergic effects could result in serious hypertensive response and possible stroke.
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FDA Labeling Changes
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Promethazine hydrochloride and phenylephrine hydrochloride oral solution, USP is indicated for the temporary relief of upper respiratory symptoms, including nasal congestion, associated with allergy or the common cold.
There is currently no drug history available for this drug.
Each 5 mL (one teaspoonful), for oral administration contains: Promethazine hydrochloride, USP 6.25 mg; phenylephrine hydrochloride, USP 5 mg. Alcohol 7%.
Inactive Ingredients: alcohol, ascorbic acid, caramel color, citric acid, edetate disodium, glycerin, methylparaben, natural & artificial citrus flavor, purified water, saccharin sodium, sodium benzoate, sodium citrate, sodium metabisulfite and sucrose.
Promethazine hydrochloride, USP, a phenothiazine derivative, is chemically designated as (±)-10-[2-(Dimethylamino)propyl] phenothiazine monohydrochloride.
Promethazine hydrochloride, USP occurs as a white to faint yellow, practically odorless, crystalline powder which slowly oxidizes and turns blue on prolonged exposure to air. It is soluble in water and freely soluble in alcohol. It has a molecular weight of 320.88, a molecular formula of C17H20N2S•HCl and the following structural formula:
Phenylephrine hydrochloride, USP is a sympathomimetic amine salt which is chemically designated as (-)-m-Hydroxy-α-[(methylamino)methyl]benzyl alcohol hydrochloride. It occurs as white or nearly white crystals, having a bitter taste. It is freely soluble in water and alcohol. Phenylephrine hydrochloride, USP is subject to oxidation and must be protected from light and air. It has a molecular weight of 203.67, a molecular formula of C9H13NO2•HCl, and the following structural formula: