April 1958

Promethazine Suppositories for Management of Nausea and Vomiting in Children

Author Affiliations

Pediatrics Service, U. S. Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Md.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;95(4):397-400. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060050401008

Vomiting is a frequent and distressing complication of many illnesses common to childhood, and it is a particularly serious problem in infants. Loss of gastrointestinal fluids from severe and unrelieved emesis may cause dehydration and disturbance of electrolyte balance.1

The very nature of the disorder itself renders therapy difficult. Although sedation tends to discourage the inclination to vomit, the barbiturates have not proved especially effective for this purpose.2 The vehicles—alcoholic suspensions and sweet syrups—used for many oral antinauseant agents may of themselves provoke or intensify emesis. The advantages of the rectal route are therefore obvious. A few trials of rectal medication with various antinauseant agents have been reported,2-4 but no description of the management of vomiting with promethazine (Phenergan, Wyeth Laboratories, Inc.) in suppository form has thus far appeared.

Promethazine (10-[2-dimethylaminopropyl] phenothiazine hydrochloride) is primarily an antihistamine (Figure) which was introduced for treatment of all

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