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Dentistry/Can dentists prescibe Promethazine?


Is it within the scope of a dentistry practice to prescribed promethazine with a hydrocodone script to aid against nausia with patients that complain of that and who have been prescribed that in the past?

My new dentist told me it is NOT within the scope of dentistry to prescribe promethazine. He further insinuated he disrespects dentists who do. He did not explain his reasons, and I would like to know why a dentist would feel this way. (He instead went on to prescribe me Vicodin, which as you know ALSO has hydrocodone in it, but with no phenargan prescription, and it made me ill.)

1) In your experience, what is the general feeling in the dental industry when it comes to prescribing promethazine with pain killers?
2) Is anything taught against or for this in dental training, or anything written about it journals recently that turns dentists from it?
3) In general, why in your opinion would a dentist refuse to prescribe it yet others do prescribe it?


Dear Mel,

It is within the scope of dentistry to prescribe promethazine.  I have no idea why any dentist or doctor of any kind would resent another health professional who is doing his best to help a patient (and succeeding).

1. I have never had to prescribe promethazine with pain killers.  But if it were necessary, I would.

2. In my dental training, during oral surgery rotation, promethazine was used routinely in the IV cocktails used to sedate or anesthetize patients.  This reduced the possibility of nausea and vomiting as the patient recovered.  Obviously, it was recommended by our oral surgery staff due to its several benefits.

3. The only reason I can think of is that your dentist did not know much about promethazine, or thought, mistakenly, that it was an addicting medication.  It certainly is not dangerous, it has been around a long time, and it is still widely used.


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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