Stemetil is one of the popular brands of Prochlorperazine Maleate drug available. Others are Buccastem, Volimin, Ametil, Prochlorperazine, Prochlozine, Bukatel, Nausetil, Antinaus, Novamin, Acuvert, Vometil, Vergon and few more.
Prochlorperazine belongs to a group of medications called phenothiazines.
Stemetil comes in the form of tablets, syrup, mouth dissolving tablets, injectables, and suppositories.
5mg. These medicines are also available in 12.5 mg and 25 mg in the form of ampules and suppositories.
How Stemetil Works?
The drug prochlorperazine blocks the dopamine (D2) receptors in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that helps exchange neuro-signals among the brain cells. It controls moods and the behavior.
The drug, prochlorperazine checks these dopamine receptors in that area of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting. Vomiting reflex is triggered by the vomiting center of the brain when it receives neural messages from the gut and the Chemoreceptor Trigger Zone of the brain.
The CTZ sends the signals to the vomiting center to trigger the vomiting reflex. The signal transmission happens through dopamine. Stemetil or similar medicines block the dopamine receptors in the CTZ and the gut and halts the signal transmission to the vomiting center. Thus, the medication acts on reducing nauseating sensation and vomiting.
The blocking of the dopamine receptors also reduces hyper-anxiety and related psychotic disorders as the drug curbs the over-active dopamine in the brain.
Stemetil or similar drugs with prochlorperazine as the active ingredient is a popular antipsychotic and antiemetic drug.
Uses of Stemetil
Stemetil or the prochlorperazine drugs are primarily used to treat
- Severe anxiety
- Uneasiness caused by migraine headaches
- Symptoms of Labyrinthitis and Meniere’s disease.
- Post-chemotherapy nausea
- Motion sickness
The medicine helps in alleviating symptoms of vestibular disorders such as vertigo, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, the sudden disorientation of time and space etc.
Administration or Dosage of Stemetil
Prochlorperazine is taken twice or thrice per day, generally or otherwise used as recommended by the doctor depending on the severity of your situation.
The doctors prescribe Stemetil and similar medicines for a short duration of nausea, vomiting, vertigo and other balance disorders.
For more extended relief, vestibular rehabilitation training is the most effective for vertigo patients along with the medication course. A lower dose is used to treat vertigo and nausea resulting from vestibular disorders and for a short duration. Stemetil and substitute medicines provide symptomatic relief when the symptoms are acute, but a thorough diagnosis and appropriate treatment must be carried out to remedy the illness permanently.
When you are on this medicine, alcohol should be avoided.
Antacids may interfere with prochlorperazine and reduce the efficacy of the drug. It is beneficial to consult the doctor on what medicines interact adversely with Stemetil.
Intramuscular drug administration helps a great deal when nausea and vomiting are severe, the drug action starts within 5-10 minutes and lasts for 3-4 hours. Using mouth dissolving tablets takes little longer to show relief but lasts for about 6 hours.
For this, you can keep the soluble prochlorperazine tablet between the upper lip and the gum.
Side-effects of Stemetil / Prochlorperazine
- The medicine may cause the skin to become photosensitive, especially to UV rays in some people. Hence, wear a good sun-protection lotion when venturing out into the sun.
- Stemetil affects blood sugar levels. Have regular checkups if you are a diabetic.
- The drug may cause a sedative effect. Hence you may feel inattentive, blurred vision, sleepy, reduced attention span to things. It is short-lived, however, and these effects disappear once the medication is stopped. Alcohol increases the intensity of these reactions. So, it is safe to stay away from machinery, driving, or any such activity that requires vigilance.
- Sometimes you may have a headache or head-heaviness. You may ask the doctor for a painkiller if the pain is severe.
- Dry mouth is another side effect of prochlorperazine. The decline in the number of white blood cells (neutrophils) in the blood.
- Reactions like sudden and involuntary muscle movement, fidgety, or shakiness require immediate medical attention, so consult the doctor as soon as you feel any of these indications. Usually, dosage adjustments help address such symptoms.
- Your body may feel hot or cold suddenly because the drug affects the regulation of body temperature. This side-effect is noticeable in older adults. Keep yourself adequately hydrated and aptly clothed to avoid suffering either of them too severely.
- Finding it hard to fall asleep without any apparent reason, disturbed sleep, sudden weight loss, stuffy nose, increased heartbeats, menstrual problems, difficulty in passing urine; are some of the less common side effects of prochlorperazine. Seek medical advice instantly if you experience any of these symptoms.
- Stemetil is not administered to breastfeeding women as medicine affects the lactation hormones and produces excess milk. It may sometimes result in breast enlargement.
- Neuroleptic Malignment Syndrome– Nerve or muscle clutching or stiffness, excess sweating, irregular or fast heartbeats, variation in blood pressure, high temperature are indications of the Neuroleptic Malignment Syndrome. It is rare that Stemetil shows such severe side-effect but if you do experience any of this symptom, get medical help immediately.
- High doses of prochlorperazine for longer duration may increase the risk of formation of blood clots in the blood vessels (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism). These conditions may cause critical medical conditions such as sudden breathlessness, sharp pain or redness accompanying swelling in a leg, experiencing severe pain when coughing or coughing up blood. Get the medical help quickly if any of the symptoms show-up while you are on prochlorperazine medication.
Avoid taking these medicines when you are on Stemetil or substitute medication because when combined with prochlorperazine these medicines cause severe drowsiness and sedation.
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Sleeping pills
- Strong opioid painkillers
Storage and Precaution
- Store the medicine in cold and dry place, away from direct heat and moisture.
- Never overdose. If you mistakenly overdose go to the doctor immediately.
- Keep the medicine away from children.
- Do not take medicine which has crossed the expiry date.
- Do not use tampered or torn packs of medicine.
Let your doctor clear all your doubts regarding the Stemetil administration and side-effects
Prochlorperazine is available in the market over the counter as a generic drug without a brand name. However, it is advisable that you talk to the pharmacist explaining your condition and current medication, to rule out any undesired side-effects.
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