A phenothiazine with actions similar to chlorpromazine but with less antipsychotic activity. It is primarily used in short-term treatment of disturbed behavior and as an antiemetic. Promazine is not approved for use in the United States.
Used as an adjunct for short term treatment of moderate and severe psychomotor agitation. Also used to treat agitation or restlessness in the elderly.
Promazine belongs to a group of medications known as the phenothiazine antipsychotics. It acts by blocking a variety of receptors in the brain, particularly dopamine receptors. Dopamine is involved in transmitting signals between brain cells. When there is an excess amount of dopamine in the brain it causes over-stimulation of dopamine receptors. These receptors normally act to modify behaviour and over-stimulation may result in psychotic illness. Promazine hydrochloride blocks these receptors and stops them becoming over-stimulated, thereby helping to control psychotic illness. Promazine has weak extrapyramidal and autonomic side effects which lead to its use in the elderly, for restless or psychotic patients. Its anti-psychotic effect is also weaker and it is not useful in general psychiatry.
Mechanism of action
Promazine is an antagonist at types 1, 2, and 4 dopamine receptors, 5-HT receptor types 2A and 2C, muscarinic receptors 1 through 5, alpha(1)-receptors, and histamine H1-receptors. Promazine's antipsychotic effect is due to antagonism at dopamine and serotonin type 2 receptors, with greater activity at serotonin 5-HT2 receptors than at dopamine type-2 receptors. This may explain the lack of extrapyramidal effects. Promazine does not appear to block dopamine within the tubero-infundibular tract, explaining the lower incidence of hyperprolactinemia than with typical antipsychotic agents or risperidone. Antagonism at muscarinic receptors, H1-receptors, and alpha(1)-receptors also occurs with promazine.
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