Buccastem is a brand name of a medicine called prochlorperazine maleate. It is available as a 3mg tablet, on prescription and also from pharmacies (as "Buccastem-M", for the relief of nausea and sickness associated with migraines). Prochlorperazine works by blocking the nausea "trigger zone" in the brain and is therefore effective for nausea and vomiting of any cause, including nausea associated with travellers' diarrhoea.
Buccastem is also sometimes prescribed for vertigo, and nausea and sickness associated with migraines. It can cause drowsiness in some people and so should be used with caution if you are intending to drive or perform other skilled tasks.
How do I use Buccastem?
Buccastem tablets are "buccal tablets", which means that instead of being swallowed like a normal tablet, they should be dissolved in the mouth. They should not be swallowed whole or chewed. The tablet is placed high up along your top gum, under the upper lip either side of your mouth. The tablet will soften and stick to the gum, and will dissolve completely after a few hours. It should not be moved around with the tongue during this time, as this may make it less effective. Most people do not notice the presence of the tablet after a few minutes. If you wear dentures, the tablet can be placed anywhere that's comfortable between your lip and gum. The leaflet included in the pack gives more details about how to do this.
Because Buccastem is effective at calming the symptoms of nausea and vomiting whatever the underlying cause, If you find that your symptoms are persistent then you should seek further medical advice, because the Buccastem may be masking a different underlying condition.
Buccastem is best when used after meals. The usual dose is one or two tablets twice a day. It is not recommended to be used by children under 12 years of age.
There are some situations where Buccastem should be used with caution or would not be recommended, for example in patients who have liver problems, certain blood problems (dyscrasias), epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, prostate enlargement, or narrow angle glaucoma.
Tell the doctor if you are taking any other medicines, either from your doctor or purchased from a pharmacy. Buccastem may not be suitable or may need to be used with caution if you are taking some medicines such as central nervous system depressants, or a group of blood pressure medicines called "alpha blockers".
What are the side effects of Buccastem?
Like all medicines, Buccastem can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Side effects that may occur include drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, agitation, mild skin reactions, and local irritation to the gum and mouth where the tablet is placed. Rarely, other reported side effects have included jaundice, and blood disorders (dyscrasias).
For a full list of potential side effects and other important information, please read the patient leaflet provided in the pack before starting any course of treatment. The leaflet can also be viewed online here.