Gluteal abscess and bacteremia following promethazine injection in a marine

Scott Snyder, Andrew Letizia, Joshua Hartzell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Intramuscular injection is routinely used and rarely leads to adverse events such as abscess or tissue necrosis. Intramuscular promethazine has been documented to cause these problems. We discuss the case of a previously healthy 19-year-old U.S. Marine, who was diagnosed with methicillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia and abscess formation after receiving intramuscular promethazine for vomiting. After confirmation of abscess formation via magnetic resonance imaging, he underwent percutaneous drainage. He improved and was treated with 6 weeks of cefazolin. This case demonstrates an unusual and severe adverse reaction associated with intramuscular promethazine administration. Additionally, this case highlights the importance of proper antiseptic technique before promethazine administration and calls into question the utility and safety of intramuscular promethazine when oral dissolving antiemetic medications are available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e732-e734
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


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