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Procyclidine parenteral


Injection containing procyclidine hydrochloride

Drugs List

  • procyclidine 10mg/2ml injection
  • Therapeutic Indications


    Acute dystonias
    Extrapyramidal symptoms - drug induced
    Parkinson's disease

    Unlicensed Uses

    Dystonias in children


    Dose is dependent on individual patient response.


    Parkinson's disease
    Initial dose: 2.5mg three times per day. Increase by 2.5mg to 5mg per day at intervals of two or three days as required.
    Maintenance dose: 15mg to 30mg per day.
    Maximum dose: 60mg daily.

    An additional dose at bedtime may be used.

    In general younger patients or those with post encephalitic parkinsonism may require higher doses than older patients and those with arteriosclerotic parkinsonism.

    Neuroleptic-induced extrapyramidal symptoms
    Initial dose: 2.5mg three times per day. Increase by 2.5mg daily until symptoms are controlled.
    Maintenance dose: 10mg to 30mg per day.

    Withdraw after three to four months and assess patient. If necessary, re-introduce to control symptoms. Periodic withdrawal is recommended.

    Procyclidine may be given intramuscularly in doses of 5mg to 10mg, repeated after 20 minutes if necessary, up to a maximum of 20mg.

    In acute torsion dystonia and paroxysmal dyskinesias, doses of 5mg to 10mg procyclidine intravenously are frequently effective within 5 to 10 minutes. Occasionally, patients may need more than 10mg procyclidine, and may require up to half an hour to control symptoms.


    (See Dosage; Adult).
    Dosage reduction may be required in the elderly since they are more susceptible than younger adults to the anticholinergic effects.


    Acute dystonia (unlicensed)
    Dose is usually effective in 5 to 10 minutes but may need 30 minutes for control of symptoms.

    Children aged 10 to 18 years
    5mg to 10mg by intramuscular or intravenous injection. Occasionally more than 10mg may be required.

    Children aged 2 to 10 years
    2mg to 5mg by intramuscular or intravenous injection as a single dose.

    Children aged 1 month to 1 year
    0.5mg to 2mg by intramuscular or intravenous injection as a single dose.

    Additional Dosage Information

    Procyclidine may be combined with levodopa or amantadine in patients who are inadequately controlled on a single agent.

    Pharmacokinetic studies have indicated that the mean plasma elimination half life of procyclidine is sufficient to allow twice daily administration if more convenient.


    Gastrointestinal obstruction
    Myasthenia gravis
    Narrow angle glaucoma
    Untreated urinary retention

    Precautions and Warnings

    Children under 18 years
    Predisposition to gastrointestinal obstruction
    Predisposition to glaucoma
    Benign prostatic hyperplasia
    Cardiovascular disorder
    Glucose-galactose malabsorption syndrome
    Hepatic impairment
    Hereditary fructose intolerance
    Lactose intolerance
    Psychiatric disorder
    Renal impairment
    Tardive dyskinesia

    Advise ability to drive/operate machinery may be affected by side effects
    Not all presentations are licensed for all indications
    Oral liquid contains hydroxybenzoate: caution in hypersensitivity
    Oral solution with maltitol unsuitable in hereditary fructose intolerance
    Some formulations contain lactose
    Potential for drug abuse
    Consider discontinuation if signs of tardive dyskinesia occur
    May cause activation of latent psychosis
    Avoid abrupt withdrawal
    Withdraw after 3-4 months to observe whether symptoms recur
    Reduce dose in elderly

    Elderly patients, especially those on high doses of anticholinergics may be more susceptible to the adverse events associated with such therapy. Specifically, the elderly patient may be particularly vulnerable to central nervous system disturbances such as confusion, impairment of cognitive function and memory, disorientation and hallucinations. These effects are usually reversible on reduction or discontinuation of anticholinergic therapy.

    The benefit/risk of use should be evaluated before prescribing in patients with existing angle-closure (narrow angle) glaucoma or those considered to be predisposed to glaucoma.

    In a proportion of patients undergoing neuroleptic treatment, tardive dyskinesias will occur. While anticholinergic agents do not cause this syndrome, when given in combination with neuroleptics they may exacerbate the symptoms of tardive dyskinesia or reduce the threshold at which these symptoms appear in predisposed patients. In such individuals subsequent adjustment of neuroleptic therapy or reduction in anticholinergic treatment should be considered.

    Patients with mental disorders occasionally experience a precipitation of a psychotic episode when procyclidine is administered for the treatment of the extrapyramidal side effects of neuroleptics.

    Do not withdraw abruptly as rebound parkinsonian symptoms may occur.

    Pregnancy and Lactation


    Use procyclidine with caution in pregnancy.

    The safety of procyclidine has not been established in pregnancy. However, extensive clinical use has not given any evidence that it in any way compromises the normal course of pregnancy. Nevertheless, as with all drugs, use should be considered only when the expected benefit of treatment for the mother outweighs any possible risk to the developing foetus.

    The use of all medication in pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible; particularly in the first trimester. Non-drug treatments should also be considered. When essential, a medication with the best safety record over time should be chosen, employing the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Polypharmacy should be avoided. Teratogens taken in the pre-embryonic period, often quoted as lasting until 14 to 17 days post-conception, are believed to have an all-or-nothing effect. Where drugs have a short half-life, and when the date of conception is certain, this may allow women to be reassured where drug exposure has occurred within this time frame. Further advice may be available from the UK National Teratology Information Service (NTIS) and through ToxBase, available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).


    Use procyclidine with caution in breastfeeding.

    Highly limited information is available on the passage of procyclidine into human breast milk.

    Neonates, infants born prematurely, those with low birth weight, those with an unstable gastrointestinal function or who have serious illnesses may require special consideration. For any infant, if a drug is prescribed to the nursing mother, it should be at the lowest practical dose and for the shortest time. When drug administration is unavoidable and breastfeeding is to continue, minimisation of exposure of the infant to the drug may sometimes be achieved by timing the maternal doses to just after a feeding episode. Infants exposed to drugs via breast milk should be monitored for unusual signs or symptoms. Interactions between the drug received by the infant from the mother's milk and medication prescribed for the infant should also be considered, for example, when the drug given to the infant may prevent metabolism of the drug received via breast milk.
    Specialist advice is available from the UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service at

    Side Effects

    Blurred vision
    Cognitive impairment
    Dry mouth
    Glaucoma (closed angle)
    Impaired memory
    Psychotic symptoms
    Urinary retention


    It is strongly recommended that the UK National Poisons Information Service be consulted on cases of suspected or actual overdose where there is doubt over the degree of risk or about appropriate management.

    The following number will direct the caller to the relevant local centre (0844) 892 0111

    Information may be obtained if you have access to ToxBase the primary clinical toxicology database of the National Poisons Information Service. This is available via password on the internet ( ) or if this is unavailable at the backup site ( ).

    Further Information

    Last Full Review Date: December 2014

    Reference Sources

    Drugs During Pregnancy and Lactation: Treatment Options and Risk Assessment, 2nd edition (2007) ed. Schaefer, C., Peters, P. and Miller, R. Elsevier, London.

    Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risk, 9th edition (2011) ed. Briggs, G., Freeman, R. and Yaffe, S. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: Kemadrin injection. The Wellcome Foundation. Revised November 1998.

    Summary of Product Characteristics: procyclidine injection. Auden Mckenzie (Pharma Division) Ltd. Revised May 2011.

    NICE Evidence Services Available at: Last accessed: 13 September 2017

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