Resources Medication Resource Centre Stemetil (prochlorperazine)

Stemetil (prochlorperazine)

Stemetil (prochlorperazine)
Brand name: Stemetil®
Active ingredient name: Prochlorperazine
Type of drug: Typical antipsychotic
Form: Oral tablets, injection, suppositories
Brand name available in Canada from: Not available in Canada
Generic: Yes: Apo-Prochlorazine (Apotex Inc.); Nu-Prochlor Tab (Nu-Pharm Inc.); PMS-Prochlorperazine Inj, PMS-Prochlorperazine Tab, PMS-Prochlorperazine Suppository (Pharmascience Inc.); Prochlorperazine Mesylate Inj, Sandoz Prochlorperazine (Sandoz Canada Inc.)
Listed on Ontario formulary: Yes

What is Stemetil used for?
Stemetil can be used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses. However, it is more commonly used to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and radiation. It is indicated in adults and children over 2 years of age.
How much Stemetil should I take?
Prochlorperazine is available as 5 and 10 mg tablets. The injection is available in a 5 mg/mL concentration. It is also available as 10 mg suppositories.
In higher doses Stemetil is used to treat schizophrenia. In lower doses, it is used to treat and prevent nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and radiation.
Your doctor will determine the right dose and form that best meets your needs.
What are the common side effects seen with Stemetil
Side effects of Stemetil may include:

  • Abnormal movements (extrapyramidal symptoms)
  • Changes in monthly menstrual cycle (amenorrhea)
  • Decreased sexual interest and/or function
  • Swelling of breasts and milk production in males and females
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Excitement and bizarre dreams
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache
  • Weight changes
  • Blurred vision

What are rare but potentially serious adverse effects with Stematil?

  • Decrease in white blood cell count (agranulocytosis)
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
  • Sudden cardiac death (heart attack)
  • Torsades de pointes (serious heart arrhythmia)

Elderly individuals with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic medication are at an increased risk of death compared to individuals not receiving antipsychotics.  Most deaths appear to be either cardiovascular or infectious.  Stemetil is not approved for the treatment of dementia-related psychosis.  Some individuals with dementia may however be treated with this medication. Discuss the potential risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor for this indication.
What medications interact with Stemetil?
Tell all your doctors, pharmacists, and dentist that you are taking Stemetil. You should also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications, including those obtained without a prescription and herbal and vitamin products

The following types of medications may interact with Stemetil:

  • Certain medications for  allergies (e.g., Benadryl [diphenhydramine])
  • Certain medications for sleep (e.g., lorazepam, zopiclone)
  • Certain medications for pain (e.g., fentanyl)
  • Antiparkinson medications

Avoid drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs while taking Stemetil.