You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking prochlorperazine if you have:
- Breathing problems, including infections, asthma, or emphysema
- An enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH)
- Difficulty passing urine
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Compazine and Pregnancy)
- Are breastfeeding (see Compazine and Breastfeeding)
- Drink alcohol regularly (see Alcohol and Compazine).
You should also make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Prochlorperazine for more information on this topic, including information on who should not take this drug.)
Prochlorperazine belongs to a group of medications called phenothiazines. When used to treat schizophrenia, it is known as a typical (or first-generation) antipsychotic medication. It is not entirely known exactly how prochlorperazine works. However, it is known that the drug blocks or lessens the effects of dopamine, a chemical in the brain. Dopamine may be elevated in people with schizophrenia or anxiety. Prochlorperazine is not a cure for schizophrenia or anxiety; it only helps to control symptoms of these conditions (see Symptoms of Schizophrenia or Anxiety Symptoms).
Since dopamine can activate the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting, prochlorperazine can treat severe nausea and vomiting by lessening the effects of dopamine in the brain.