Domperidone

Sounds like 'dome-PER-i-done'

Easy-to-read medicine information about domperidone – what it is, how to take domperidone safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Medicine to treat nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting (being sick)
  • Belongs to a group of medicines known as anti-emetics
  • Motilium®
  • Prokinex®

What is domperidone?

  • Domperidone is used to treat nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting (being sick).
  • It may also be used to treat symptoms of indigestion or dyspepsia
  • Domperidone works by increasing the movement of food through the stomach and the digestive tract more quickly and in this way improves the feeling of bloating, or fullness and indigestion.
  • It also works by blocking the action of a chemical messenger in the brain which causes the feeling of nausea and vomiting.

Dose

  • The usual dose of domperidone is 10 milligrams up to three times a day.
  • Always take your domperidone exactly as your doctor has told you.
  • The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much domperidone to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take domperidone

  • Take domperidone about 15 to 30 minutes before meals.
  • If you take domperidone after a meal, it will still work, but it may take longer to have an effect.
  • If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember that day.
  • But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, domperidone can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Dry mouth
  • This is quite common when you first start taking domperidone.
  • Sip water to moisten the mouth.
  • Read more about how to care for dry mouth
  • Feeling sleepy, drowsy, or tired
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Headache
  • Feeling anxious
  • Diarrhoea (runny stools)
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome.
  • Allergic reaction including any skin rashes, itching, blisters, peeling skin, swelling of the face, lips, mouth or have problems breathing
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine.
  • Breast tenderness in women,
  • Irregular periods
  • Breast enlargement in men
  • Tell your doctor
  • Shaking (tremor)
  • Muscle spasms or muscle cramps
  • Restlessness


  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine.

Interactions

Domperidone may interact with a number of important medications so check with your doctor or pharmacist. 

  • Domperidone has been linked to a heart rhythm problem known as QT interval prolongation so do not take with potent CYP3A4 inhibitors and with other medicines that prolong the QTc interval.
  • If you are over 60 years old or have cardiac problems, the risk of problems is higher so you may not be able to take domperidone.

What else do I need to know? - Medsafe update Dec 2014

  • For most people, taking domperidone is safe. However, if you have heart problems or are taking other medicines, you should first check with your healthcare professional that this medicine is appropriate.
  • Use the lowest dose that works for you and stop as soon as you can.
  • If you experience any symptoms such as dizziness, fainting or heart palpitations while you are taking domperidone, you should stop taking this medicine and seek medical attention. These symptoms may be due to an abnormal heart rhythm caused by domperidone.
  • Medsafe cannot give advice about an individual’s medical condition.
  • If you have any concerns about a medicine you are taking Medsafe encourages you to talk to your healthcare professional.

Learn more

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets:

Motilium
Prokinex 

References

  1. Domperidone (Motilium, Prokinex) – conclusion of review of benefits and risks of harm. Trans-Tasman Early Warning System - Alert Communication, Medsafe NZ, December 2014
Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist, NZ.