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What should I know about promethazine before taking it?

Promethazine may cause breathing difficulties and possible death in children younger than two years of age. The medication should not be given to a child who is younger than two years of age, and caution should be used when giving the medication to a child of any age. A person who has asthma or emphysema should not take promethazine. A doctor may alter doses for individuals who have or have ever had seizures, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease, sleep apnea, glaucoma, stomach ulcer or bone marrow suppression. Because promethazine may cause drowsiness and dizziness, it is important to determine how you react to the medication before driving or performing any other potentially unsafe tasks while taking the medication.

Promethazine causes increased sensitivity to sunlight. An individual taking the medication should avoid sunlight, sun lamps or tanning beds, and should use SPF products and protective clothing to protect skin from exposure to sunlight.

The FDA has categorized promethazine as a pregnancy Category C medication, meaning the effects of promethazine on a fetus are not known. It is also unknown whether the medication may affect a baby, if the mother is taking promethazine while breastfeeding. A woman who is breastfeeding, pregnant or planning to become pregnant should talk to her doctor about how promethazine may affect her baby.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.