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Promethazine is a drug that is most commonly used to treat vomiting and nausea, but may be prescribed for several other medical issues. As with most drug overdoses, a Promethazine overdose typically occurs when more than the prescribed amount of the drug is ingested. Usually, a significantly higher amount may need to be taken for symptoms of an overdose to occur, though it is highly recommended to seek medical assistance if any overdose is expected. Typical overdose signs include lowered blood pressure and breathing, muscle twitching and convulsing, dilated pupils, unconsciousness, and potentially sudden death.
Some of the more common signs of a Promethazine overdose include a lowering of blood pressure, shallow breathing and rapid heartbeat. WWhile fatigue and loss of consciousness may be a sign of an overdose in some people, hyperactivity is a common symptom in younger patients and the elderly. Dry mouth and flushed skin may be other signs of overdose. Someone who has overdosed on this drug may also experience nightmares.
Serious Promethazine overdose signs include twitching muscles, convulsion or even seizures. It is common for a person to also become delirious and have hallucinations as well as general disorientations. The pupils may dilate, gastrointestinal issues may occur, and in some rare cases the person may fall unconscious. This may sometimes lead to a coma. In rare occasions, sudden death within the first 24 hours of overdose has been reported.
There are several courses of action for treating Promethazine overdose. In most cases, charcoal is administered to absorb any of the Promethazine that is still in the digestive system. A series of intravenous (IV) fluids may also be given depending on the severity of the overdose. If respiratory issues are present, controlled or assisted respiratory treatment may be recommended. Vital signs may also be monitored, and other drugs may be given to help with the various overdose side effects.
Generally, the precise method of treatment for Promethazine overdose usually depends on the patient’s age, the amount of Promethazine taken, how long ago the drug was taken, and the severity of the overdose. The treatments are normally more supportive, and in many cases, close monitoring and time may be the primary treatment necessary. It is believed that if the patient receives treatment and survives the initial 24-hour period after overdose, full recovery is very likely, and death is a rare result in overdose of this drug.