Stemetil: Uses, side effects, warnings

Stemetil is a typical category of antipsychotic drug. This is a class of drugs used in the management of various abnormal conditions of the mind, which results in the inability to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

Uses of Stemetil

Stemetil is primarily used in the treatment of different kinds of diseases ranging from: vomiting, severe nausea, severe anxiety, depression, dizziness, migraine, vertigo, schizophrenia.

It is a Prescription Only Medicine(POM), which means that stemstil can only be dispensed or administered by a pharmacist based on doctor’s prescription.

Composition of Stemetil

The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient is Prochlorperazine Maleate, with other ingredients including; lactose, maize starch, aerosol (E551), and magnesium stearate.

Stemetil exists in tablet, syrup, mouth dissolvable tablets, suppositories, and injectable form. The tablets are pale cream-colored circular tablets, contained in blistered packs containing 28-84 tablets. It has a drug strength of 5mg, although sometimes exists in 12.5mg and 25mg.

How Stemetil Works?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter found in the brain, that controls mood and behaviour. Stemetil affects the part of the brain which controls nausea and vomiting. For instance, the vomiting reflex is triggered by the vomiting center of the brain when it receives neural-signal from the gut and the chemoreceptor trigger zone of the brain.

This zone sends signals to the vomiting reflex. The whole process happens through dopamine.
 Stemetil blocks the dopamine receptors in the brain, checks and controls chemical imbalance in the brain, allowing it to function correctly. The blocking of dopamine receptors stops the vomiting sensation, reduces severe anxiety and related psychotic disorders.

Mode of Administration of Stemetil

Generally, this medication is taken twice or thrice a day, or as recommended by a specialised medical doctor, depending on how chronic the situation might be. It may be administered via the mouth, rectum, intravenous injection(IV), or intramuscular injection(IM).

For Adults: in the case of nausea and vomiting, the usual recommended dose is 1-2 tablets, 2 or 3 times daily, or one 25mg suppository of 1ml (12.5mg) of the injection.The recommended dose for dizziness is 1-2 tablets, 3 or 4 times daily.

For Children: A tablet, 2 or 3 times a day is recommended for nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

Intramuscular drug administration is most effective when nausea and vomiting are severe. The administered drug kicks off 5-10 minutes after it has been administered, and would prevail for 3-4 hours. Meanwhile, tablets take longer, about 6 hours, to manifest.

Patients should, however, stick to the doses, as recommended by their doctors to prevent an under-dose of the drug, making it less or ineffective, or an overdose which can lead to any of the severe conditions like: Coma, Low blood pressure, Fast heartbeat, decreased in body temperature, difficulty in breathing, blue skin, Drowsiness and Convulsion.

Possible Side Effects of Taking stemetil

Stemetil like most medicines has side effects, and this can either be minor or severe. 

Minor side effects that can be experienced includes: Dry mouth, constipation, unbalanced walking movements, drowsiness , restlessness , rigid posture , blurred vision , low blood pressure and Uncontrollable twitching.

Severe or uncommon side effects may include: Swelling of hands, face, ankles or any other part of the body like: Skin rash, difficulty in urinating, Insomnia, seizures , brownish deposits in the eyes, difficulty in breathing, unusual muscle spasm, chest pain, abnormal production of breast milk in both male and female, loss of menstrual period, breast enlargement in men.

At the notice of any of these side effects, it is advised to consult with your doctor so he knows if you are to continue with the medication or not, as some of the side effects may be as a result of an allergy to the drug’s composition.

Warning and Restriction

Patients with the following health conditions may not be allowed to use Stemetil:  Respiratory problems, liver, kidney, or prostate disease, cardiac disease, Jaundice , epilepsy , glaucoma and Pregnancy.

Any blood disorder patients are advised to provide their doctors with information if they are suffering from any of the conditions listed.

Meanwhile, some drugs cannot be combined together with Stemetil. Such drugs include: Tricyclic antidepressants, sleeping pills, barbiturates , antihistamines and strong opioids.

These medicine are not recommended for children below the age of 2 years, or under 10kg in weight, as it is likely to cause facial disfiguration and unusual body movements.

While on this medication, alcohol should be avoided, as it will add to the drowsy effect that comes with the drug. Do not drive or engage severe mental activity after taking this medicine as one may still be feeling drowsy accompanied with body weakness. Aways keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

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