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Author Topic: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?  (Read 19998 times)

Offline Anna001

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When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« on: Jan 03 2011, 03:44 PM »
Hi All,

I'm new to this forum so a big hello to everyone!
I was diagnosed with MD about a year ago and suffered my third serious vertigo attack the other day (new years eve); I felt the dizzy symptoms getting much worse than usual so I took a prochlorperazine 5mg pill about 20 or so minutes before it got a lot worse and I had to vomit. I assumed the pill hadn't worked and had come back up again so I took another but unfortunately I was sick again almost straight away. Even a tiny sip of water comes straight back up so it's impossible to take anything until the vertigo subsides about 6 or 7 hours later. I was wondering how long it takes before the pill is supposed to take effect? And does it usually prevent the nausea once it does? If not does anyone know of anything stronger than prochlorperazine?!? I'm dreading going back to work tomorrow as I have a 2 hour commute on a train, and my ultimate fear is having an attack on public transport..
Any advice would be appreciated! 

barbara

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 03 2011, 03:57 PM »
Hi Anna,
Welcome to the group. We are a friendly bunch so hope you find us useful.
There is a form of stemetil, prochloroperazine, called Buccastem. This is a small tablet you place under your upper lip. The drug is absorbed through the mucous membrane and therefore not lost if you throw up. It won't stop the attack happening but can reduce the nausea.

Barbara .

Offline Christina

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 03 2011, 05:07 PM »
Hi Anna and welcome

Barbara is right, buccastem is the way to go when an attack strikes.  It won't get vomited back, but you will need to ask your GP to prescribe this form of stemetil.  Taking cinnarizine (Stugeron) the travel sickness tablet available over the counter is also regularly prescribed for vertigo, nausea and dizziness.  You might like to try this for a few days to see if it calms it all down again and may give you more confidence when travelling, - it will make you drowsy though, much like stemetil.

Chris x
not waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain ...

Offline Jane G

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 03 2011, 05:20 PM »
Hi Anna

Buccastem I find do take the edge of the nausea but as Barbara says cannot stop an attack.  I have found that focusing my eyes on the ceiling on one sport is really helpful in stopping the nausea.  Also trying to keep calm also helps although I know its much easier said than done
Be Positive, It Helps!!

Offline shell

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 04 2011, 06:38 PM »
i find travel bands helpful, they work by a small button on a wrist band pressing on your nausea and vomiting pressure point. most chemists, asda sainsburies, and ebay sell them

Offline ashess

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 04 2011, 09:36 PM »
Hi Jane G.
I was getting full spins on and off for several months last year (2010) and was on Betahistine and Prochlorperazine initially I was told to take 2 Proch. three times a day but after about three months told to stop taking them unless experiencing a spin.  This resulted in my being sick everytime I had a spin.
  A GP who I had not seen before but who I was informed had an interest in ENT put me onto a single tablet dose of Buchastem to be placed between the upper lip and gum.  This wasn't very helpful and when I next saw her she told me to take the Buchastem 2 at a time as soon as I think I might be going to spin.  If after doing this I still feel a spin is going to start I get to bed in a darkened room ASAP and lay perfectly still .  I would love to say that I've not had a full spin since changing to this doseage and method BUT around seven times out of ten I have escaped the sickness and the severe spinning.
Prochlorperazine for me has proved to be a NO-NO but Buchastem has helped me a lot even if it hasn't cured me of the MD.  Some people are put off by the taste Buchastem leaves in the mouth but I think the exchange for being sick for several hours is well worth it.  Being a regular reader of this forum I know that what works for one doesn't work for another.
Please excuse the ramblings of an OAP.
Ashess





barbara

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 04 2011, 10:15 PM »
Hi Ashes and Jane,
Prochlorperazine goes under the name of stemetil and Buccastem.  There are dangers in taking prochlorperazine long term as it can give Parkingson type symptoms including the shakes. It is better used as a medication to ease the symptoms of an ensuing spin to reduce the nausea. It is safe to take it short term for an acute attack and is better used as buccastem as you do not lose it if you throw up. Having said that I was at one stage given a double dose of oral stemetil for nearly 18months by a consultant I eventually kicked into touch. I didn't know much about MD or it's meds at that stage or I certainly wouldn't have taken that dose for that long. Fortunately it doesn't seem to have done any long term damage touch wood. Betahistine or Serc as it is generally know can be used as a preventative to try to ward off the spins but prochlorperazine cannot stop attacks it is just used to ease the sickness caused by the spin. It is quite acceptable to use one or two buccastem as required.
Hope that helps.

Barbara

Offline Anna001

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 05 2011, 11:52 AM »
Thanks for all the helpful feedback. I will definitely try Buccastem the next time I get an attack and see if that helps. I am also taking betahistine 8mg 3 times a day, so hopefully that will ward off any nasty spins - has anyone taken betahistine at the same time as stemetil/ buccastem? Are there any dangers?

barbara

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 05 2011, 12:01 PM »
Hi Anna,
There are no problems in taking Serc (betahistine) and Buccastem (prochlorperazine) together as they are very different in nature and the way they work.
Barbara x

Offline Tara

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 05 2011, 05:44 PM »
Hi Anna,
I took Serc and Buccastem for most of last year and at one point, was reliant on Buccastem to get me through a day without the vomiting so they are fine to take together.
Hope you feel better soon,
Tara

Offline malone

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 07 2011, 02:43 PM »
Hi Anna

I totally feel for you as I have a 2-hour trip each way to work on train and tube and it's not the best, but I don't want to put you off! 

I take something slightly different for the nausea, Metoclopramide, but it's a tablet so would be brought back up again unfortunately.  I also take Betahistine which I find sometimes helps briefly alleviate the pressure and blocking in the ears.

As for the nausea travel bands, I tried them for a couple of months last year but I didn't find they did anything at all, but as someone else has said on here, it does seem to be that different things work for different people.

If it's your first day back to travelling and work after an attack, I would say make sure you've taken your medication before you travel and make sure you've got your meds with you and a bottle of water and maybe a plastic bag (in case you need to be sick) and a mobile phone if you have anyone you can call to come and help you if you get ill.  All of that is really just to try to relax you and make you feel as prepared as possible in case an attack does happen.  Take it slowly.  I wouldn't recommend looking out of the train window or reading a paper (unless you can read without it making you feel sick then it may be a good distraction during the journey), but instead try to look ahead (or if you can, shut your eyes, although I find I get vertigo sometimes if I shut my eyes on the train) and if you feel really dizzy, try to stare at a specific point in front of you, as someone has suggested.  I do that when travelling and at home if I start to feel really dizzy and sick... anything to prevent a spin from happening.  If you suffer with visual vertigo maybe wear sunglasses to dampen a bit the overload of visual input.  If you suffer with hyperacusis or hearing distortions, maybe try wearing some ear plugs to dampen the sounds slightly.  Also, if you start to feel dizzy, try doing deep slow breathing as that will help calm you down and prevent you from panicking which can make your dizziness even worse (that was a tip from my audiologist).  Also sit near the toilets on the train so if you start to feel ill, you can easily get up and go and sit in there for some privacy (but maybe don't lock the door!) Others on here who still work and commute may have more and better suggestions.  These are just some of the silly things I do to try and help alleviate the symptoms a bit.  Also make sure your employers know what you have and that you may need somewhere quiet to go and lie down for a bit when you get into work to "recover" from the travelling, although saying that, that doesn't always work as the travelling can make you feel ill all day and lying down for a bit doesn't always help either, but don't let that put you off!

A lot of it is trial and error and finding what works for you, but sometimes there will be nothing that will work and you will just have to stay at home until it has subsided enough for you to try travelling again, because as my GP told me, your safety is the main concern and if you aren't in control of your balance etc then it's not worth risking yourself or making it all worse and last longer and if you return to travelling to soon, it may just set it all off again.

Anyway, I wish you well Anna and I hope the journey into work isn't too bad for you.

Good luck and take care

M x

Offline bhavv

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 11 2011, 04:53 PM »
I was prescribed buccastem first, but it wouldnt work for me. It would melt under my gum and stay there and wouldnt absorb, and it tastes far too nasty. I had to change to stemetil and it works well because I dont vomit. I take it when I get attacks that make me feel like I'm going to collapse and pass out, and have also started getting MAV attacks which have been lasting for 3-4 days and Stemetil is ideal to take when I get those. Betahistine and Paracetamol were both useless, but stemetil helps to significantly reduce the symptoms to the point that I dont need to go to bed, but I remain feeling rather drowsy and dizzy and have to stay in a chair.

Offline zigs

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 12 2011, 12:32 AM »
Hi, just as a footnote, Buccastem can be bought over the counter as a migraine remedy. I didn't know this until a friendly pharmacist told me, nasty taste but far quicker acting than Stemitil taken by the traditional route, and certainly an essential carry around when you have MD. No contra- indications when taken alongside serc, but very handy when the nausea strikes suddenly. x

Offline bhavv

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Re: When to take prochlorperazine (stemetil)?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 13 2011, 02:15 PM »
Buccastem doesnt absorb for me, and I could never stand the taste and had to spit it out when it started melting.

I think its because I dont drink enough water and it cant absorb as I'm too dehydrated most of the time.