Buccastem M buccal tablets contain the active ingredient prochlorperazine, which is a type of medicine called a phenothiazine. Prochlorperazine has two quite different uses. In higher doses it is used in the treatment of psychiatric illnesses. In lower doses it is used in the management of nausea and vomiting.
The Buccastem M brand of prochlorperazine can be bought from pharmacies. It contains a low dose of prochlorperazine to treat nausea and vomiting associated with migraine. The prochlorperazine works by blocking dopamine receptors in an area of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting.
Vomiting is controlled by an area of the brain called the vomiting centre. The vomiting centre is responsible for causing feelings of sickness (nausea) and for the vomiting reflex. It is activated when it receives nerve messages from another area of the brain called the chemoreceptor trigger zone (CTZ) and when it receives nerve messages from the gut.
Prochlorperazine controls nausea and vomiting by blocking dopamine receptors found in the CTZ. This stops the CTZ from sending the messages to the vomiting centre that would otherwise cause nausea and vomiting.
- f you have been supplied the 3 mg buccal tablets (Buccastem® brand) - the tablets are designed to stick to the inside of your mouth and to dissolve there. Place the tablet in your mouth, high up between your top gum and upper lip. Leave it in place - the tablet will dissolve slowly over the next hour or so.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a missed dose.
- Buccastem M buccal tablets should not be swallowed like normal tablets.
- The tablet should be placed high up along the top gum, under the upper lip on either side of your mouth. The tablet will soften and stick to your gum, taking between one and two hours to dissolve completely. The medicine is absorbed into your bloodstream through the rich supply of blood vessels in this area.
- If you wear dentures, the tablet may be placed in any comfortable position between your lip and gum.
- Don't move the tablet about the mouth with your tongue as this will cause it to dissolve more quickly.
- Don't eat while the tablet is in your mouth.
- The usual dose of Buccastem M tablets is one or two tablets twice a day. Do not exceed this dose.
- Do not take this medicine for longer than two days. If your symptoms persist after this time consult a doctor.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
- Dry mouth.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- A drop in blood pressure that occurs when going from lying down to sitting or standing, which results in dizziness and lightheadedness (postural hypotension).
- Irritation to the gum or mouth where the tablet has been placed.
- Skin rashes.
- High temperature combined with falling levels of consciousness, paleness, sweating and a fast heart beat (neuroleptic malignant syndrome). This is rare but requires stopping the medicine and immediate medical treatment - see warning section above.
- Blood clots in the veins especially in the legs (symptoms include swelling, pain and redness in the leg), which may travel through blood vessels to the lungs causing chest pain and difficulty in breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms seek medical advice immediately.
- Keep your regular doctor's appointments so your progress can be checked. If you are taking prochlorperazine for a long-term condition, you may need to have some blood tests from time to time.
- If you have been given prochlorperazine to relieve nausea, dizziness or agitation, it will be given to you for a short time until your symptoms have eased. If you have been prescribed prochlorperazine for schizophrenia, treatment is usually long-term. Keep taking prochlorperazine until your doctor tells you otherwise, as your doctor may want you to reduce your dose gradually if a change in your treatment becomes necessary.
- Prochlorperazine may cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Use a sunscreen that protects against UVA light and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, especially in strong sunlight or until you know how your skin reacts. Do not use sunbeds.
- If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking. This is important because prochlorperazine may interfere with any anaesthetic you receive.
- If you buy or take any 'over-the-counter' medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with prochlorperazine. Antacid remedies should not be taken at the same time, as they reduce the amount of prochlorperazine absorbed by your body.
- If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor for advice about drinking while you are on prochlorperazine. Alcohol will increase the chance that you experience side-effects and is unlikely to be recommended for you.
- If you have diabetes check your blood glucose levels regularly, as prochlorperazine may affect the levels of sugar in your blood.
- You should only take this medicine if you have previously been diagnosed by a doctor as suffering from migraines.
- This medicine may cause drowsiness. If affected do not drive or operate machinery.
- Avoid drinking alcohol because it can make drowsiness worse.
- This medicine can occasionally cause your blood pressure to drop when you move from a lying down or sitting position to sitting or standing. This may make you feel dizzy or unsteady. To avoid this try getting up slowly. If you do feel dizzy, sit or lie down until the symptoms pass.
- This medicine may make your skin more sensitive to sunlight than it usually is, so you should avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight or sunlamps until you know how your skin reacts.
- This medicine may rarely cause a decrease in the normal amounts of white blood cells in the blood. For this reason, you should consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms while taking this medicine, as they may indicate a problem with your blood cells: unexplained sore throat, mouth ulcers, infections, high temperature (fever) or general illness.
- Stop taking this medicine and consult your doctor immediately if you experience the following symptoms, as they may be caused by a rare but serious side effect of this type of medicine, called the neuroleptic malignant syndrome: high temperature (fever), pale complexion, sweating, muscle stiffness, fast heartbeat and decreased consciousness.
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