Compazine (Prochlorperazine) Side Effects

Compazine (prochlorperazine) is an antiemetic drug that may be used to treat nausea and vomiting. This drug is no longer sold under the trade name Compazine, but the name has become so well-known that many people still use it to refer to this drug. It is now sold under the generic names Compro and Procomp. It is not as commonly prescribed as it used to be because many gastroenterologists are now using newer anti-nausea medications. 

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Stomach upset can be a side effect of many different medical conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and migraines, Compazine may also be prescribed to patients with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment, as nausea and vomiting are potential side effects of anti-cancer drugs. 

Compazine is also known as a typical antipsychotic drug. In higher doses than those used for the treatment of nausea, it may be used to treat the symptoms of some mental disorders, though this is no longer common. Some of the psychiatric conditions that Compazine may treat include schizophrenia and anxiety. 

Side Effects

Compazine is also associated with certain side effects. One of the most concerning side effects of Compazine is the development of a muscle disorder known as Tardive dyskinesia, which can occur after long-term use. Compazine may also affect the pressure in the eye, and people who have glaucoma should always tell their healthcare provider before taking Compazine. This drug also carries a black box warning about using it in elderly patients who are experiencing psychosis and dementia; it is not approved for use in those patients because of a risk of death.

Common Side Effects

Check with your healthcare provider if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

  • Mild constipation
  • Decreased sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dryness of mouth
  • Nasal congestion

Less Frequent or Rare Side Effects

Check with your healthcare provider if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

  • Menstrual irregularity
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Photosensitivity
  • Swelling, pain or milk secretion in breasts
  • Weight gain

Side Effects to Report to a Healthcare Provider


  • Blurred vision
  • Change in color vision
  • Fainting
  • Loss of balance
  • Night blindness
  • Restlessness
  • Stiffness in legs and arms
  • Trembling and shaking of hands and fingers

Less frequent or rare:

  • Abdominal or stomach pains
  • Aching muscles and joints
  • Agitation or excitement
  • Chest pains
    • Difficulty in:
      sleeping or bizarre dreams
    • urinating
  • Dark urine
  • Fever and chills
  • Hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Hot, dry skin or lack of sweating
  • Rash or severely itchy skin
  • Mild confusion
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Prolonged, painful, inappropriate erection
  • Redness of hands
  • Shivering
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Severe constipation
  • Skin or eye discoloration (tan, yellow, or blue-gray)
  • Sore throat and fever
  • Sores in mouth
  • Sunburn (severe)
    • Unusual:
      Bleeding or bruising
    • Tiredness or weakness
    • Muscle weakness
    • Pain in joints

Side Effects to Report to a Healthcare Provider Immediately

More common:

  • Difficulty in breathing, speaking, or swallowing
  • Inability to move eyes
  • Increased blinking or eyelid spasms
  • Lip smacking or puckering
  • Muscle spasms of face, neck, body, arms, or legs causing unusual postures or unusual facial expressions
  • Puffing of cheeks
  • Rapid or worm-like movements of tongue
  • Sticking out of tongue
  • Twitching
  • Uncontrolled movement or twisting of mouth, neck, arms, legs, or trunk


  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Recurrent fainting

Less Common or Rare

The following are signs of neuroleptic malignant syndrome and should be checked out immediately.

  • Confusion (severe) or coma
  • Difficulty in speaking or swallowing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Drooling
  • Fever
  • Irregular (high or low) blood pressure
  • Increased sweating
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Severe muscle stiffness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Severe trembling or shaking

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare provider. This information is meant only as a guideline; always consult a healthcare provider or pharmacist for complete information about prescription medications.

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3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Din L, Preuss CV. Prochlorperazine. In: StatPearls [Internet]. 2019 Jan-. 

  2. Patel KR, Cherian J, Gohil K, Atkinson D. Schizophrenia: overview and treatment optionsP T. 2014;39(9):638–645.

  3. Vasan S, Padhy RK. Tardive Dyskinesia. In: StatPearls [Internet]. 2019 Jan-. 

Additional Reading
  • DailyMed. "COMPAZINE- prochlorperazine suppository." National Institutes of Health. Aug 2013.

  • PDR. "Prochlorperazine Edisylate." 2015.