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I was told that Promethazine is an antihistamine. I have…

Customer Question
I was told that Promethazine...
I was told that Promethazine is an antihistamine.
I have previously used Promethazine for nausea and vomiting
and used Diphenhydramine HCI for allergy reactions.
I have had several problems with Diphenhydramine formulations
since my old Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) medicine was discontinued.
Can Phenergan be used when you are having an allergic reaction
and will it be as helpful as the Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is?
I was told that it can be used for allergies.
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 27 minutes by:
1/19/2017
Doctor: Dr. D. Love, Doctor replied 1 year ago
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19,749
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Hello from JustAnswer.

Yes, promethazine is an antihistamine and yes, it can be used for allergies. There are many different antihistamines, and different antihistamines work better for different people, so it is impossible to say that it will be as helpful as diphenhydramine for a specific individual. But for a population, it is as helpful as diphenhydramine.

However, it is a bit more complicated. The promethazine is in a class of drugs called phenothiazines. There are many other phenothiazines on the market, and many are used as antipsychotics. The promethazine has only weak antipsychotic properties, so is typically not used for that indication, but it also shares a risk with the other phenothiazine antipsychotics in that it can cause various side effects that affect the nervous system control and coordination of muscle activity. These side effects are primarily seen with chronic use of a phenothiazine, so is not a significant concern when promethazine is used for short term relief of nausea. Even with chronic use, the risk from promethazine is low compared to other phenothiazines, but the risk is not zero, so many doctors are hesitant to use promethazine for chronic daily use unless other options have not worked.

So, if your allergies only cause intermittent symptoms and the promethazine would only be used intermittently, it would be fine to use it for relief of the allergies. But if your allergies are causing daily or almost daily symptoms, I and most doctors would usually prefer to try other antihistamines before considering chronic daily use of promethazine.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.

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