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Phenergan and Children

Phenergan (promethazine) is approved for use in children over two years old. However, there are potential risks to be aware of when giving Phenergan to children. For example, the lowest effective dosage should be used, and children should not take it with any other medications that can cause breathing problems, such as opiates.

Can Children Take Phenergan?

Phenergan® (promethazine hydrochloride) is a prescription medication commonly used to treat nausea and vomiting, although it is approved for other uses as well. There are several warnings concerning the potential risks of using Phenergan in children.

Phenergan and Children Under Two

Phenergan is specifically contraindicated for children under two years old. This means that the manufacturer of the drug, as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), believe that it should never be used in this age range. There have been reports of breathing difficulty (sometimes fatal) due to Phenergan use in children under the age of two.

Phenergan and Older Children

Although Phenergan is approved for use in children over two years old, it should be used only in certain circumstances and always with caution. The lowest effective dosage should be used, and children should not take this medicine with any other drugs that can cause breathing difficulty, such as opiates or barbiturates.
In addition, nausea medications like Phenergan should not be used to treat short-term vomiting or vomiting of unknown cause in children or adolescents. It should be used only for prolonged vomiting due to clearly established causes for this age group. Children with Reye's syndrome or liver disease should not take Phenergan.

Giving Children Phenergan

Phenergan can be a safe and effective medication when used with caution in children of the appropriate age. Your child's healthcare provider should carefully calculate the Phenergan dosage based on your child's weight.
It is also important that you watch for any warning signs of potential problems in your child. In particular, watch for slow or irregular breathing, unusual body movements, or odd behavioral changes.
Do not give your child more Phenergan than prescribed or more often than prescribed. If your child vomits immediately after taking the drug by mouth or has a bowel movement after taking it as a rectal suppository, contact your healthcare provider for further instructions.
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