Promethazine is a generic prescription drug that’s used for allergic reactions, nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, and sedation. Promethazine’s cost may depend on factors such as your dosage, whether you have health insurance, and the pharmacy you use.
Promethazine is used in adults and some children to:
- treat certain allergic reactions, including:
- certain blood transfusion reactions
- anaphylaxis after emergency medications have been given
- treat and prevent motion sickness
- treat and prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery and anesthesia
- provide sedation
- help manage pain during and after procedures when given with meperidine or other pain medications
Promethazine comes in several forms. These include:
- a solution that can be given as an intramuscular injection (an injection into your muscle) or as an intravenous (IV) injection (an injection into your vein)
- a suppository that you insert into your rectum
- three forms that you swallow: a tablet, liquid solution, or syrup
The drug is also available as the brand-name drug Promethegan.
For more details on promethazine, see this in-depth article.
The price you pay for promethazine can vary. Your cost may depend on your treatment plan, your health insurance coverage (if you have it), and the pharmacy you use. If you receive promethazine by injection, you may have additional costs for a doctor or nurse to give it to you.
To find out how much you’ll pay for promethazine, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Note: If you have insurance, you may need to get prior authorization before your insurance provider will cover promethazine. This means your insurer and your doctor will discuss promethazine in regard to your treatment. Then the insurance company will determine whether the drug is covered. If promethazine requires prior authorization and you don’t receive it before you start treatment, you could pay the full cost of the drug.
Be sure to ask your insurance company whether promethazine requires prior authorization.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about promethazine and cost.
Does the 25-mg strength of promethazine cost less than the drug’s other strengths?
Promethazine’s cost may depend on the strength. If you have health insurance, your provider may cover certain strengths of promethazine but not others.
To find out the cost difference between different strengths of promethazine, talk with your pharmacist or insurance provider.
Is there a cost difference between promethazine suppositories and the drug’s other forms?
Different forms of promethazine may have different costs. For example, the 25-milligram (mg) suppository and 25-mg tablet may vary in price.
To find out the cost difference between promethazine suppositories and other forms, talk with your pharmacist or insurance provider.
Promethazine is a generic drug. This means it’s an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. A generic is considered to be just as safe and effective as the original drug, but it usually costs less.
Promethazine comes in a brand-name version called Promethegan. To find out how the costs of Promethegan and promethazine compare, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
If you’ve been prescribed promethazine and you’re interested in using Promethegan instead, talk with your doctor. They may prefer that you take one version instead of the other. In addition, you’ll need to check with your insurance provider. This is because it may only cover one drug or the other.
Why is there such a cost difference between brand-name drugs and generics?
Years of research and testing are needed to ensure that brand-name drugs are safe and effective. This testing can make the drugs expensive. The drugmaker of a brand-name drug can sell the drug for up to 20 years. After that, other drugmakers can create generic versions. This competition in the market can lead to lower costs for generics. And because generics have the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, they don’t need to be studied again. This can also lead to lower generic costs.
If you take promethazine long term, you may be able to lower your costs in the following ways:
Look into getting a 90-day supply of your medication. You may be able to get a 90-day supply of promethazine if approved by your insurance company. This could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost of promethazine. If you’re interested in getting a 90-day supply of this drug, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider.
Use a mail-order pharmacy to get your medication. Using a mail-order pharmacy might help lower your cost for promethazine. Plus, you could get your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order drugs. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug through mail order. If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.
If you need help covering the cost of promethazine or understanding your insurance, check out these resources:
On these sites, you can find insurance information, details on drug assistance programs, and links to savings cards and other services.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you still have questions about the cost of promethazine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to give you a better idea of what you’ll pay for this drug. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you’d pay for promethazine.
Examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor or insurance provider include:
- What is the cost difference between taking a full 12.5-mg tablet and taking half a 25-mg tablet?
- Are there over-the-counter alternatives for promethazine for motion sickness that cost less?
- What are my options if I can’t afford promethazine?
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.