Pronunciation: dom-PAIR-eh-doan

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What is it

Domperidone is an anti-emetic that helps relieve the feelings of nausea and vomiting. It also helps move the food quickly through the digestive system, making it easier for one to overcome nausea.

Brand names with manufacturer

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Motilium, Motillium, Motinorm Costi, Nomit and Molax

Type: OTC/prescription/schedule

Prescription drug



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  • Domperidone is used to move food faster through the food pipe, esophagus, stomach and the intestines. This means the food cannot stay in the same place for too long, thus, reducing the feeling of being full, even before the food is over on the plate.
  • The drug is a dopamine agonist and belongs to the group of drugs called the anti-emetics. The drug helps one overcome the feelings of nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting (being sick).
  • Domperidone is prescribed to people with gastroparesis, a condition where the emptying of the stomach is delayed, when there is no mechanical gastric outlet obstruction. This causes nausea, vomiting, fullness after eating, abdominal pain, bloating, etc. Such patients are given Domperidone to increase the rate of gastric emptying to reduce the symptoms.
  • Parkinson’s disease can cause poor gastrointestinal function, nausea and vomiting in the patient. These symptoms appear as a side effect of the drugs they are given. Domperidone helps these patients get relief from these symptoms by blocking dopamine receptors. This does not worsen the symptoms of Parkinson’s as the drug does not cross the blood-brain barrier.
  • Adults and children with functional dyspepsia are also prescribed Domperidone.

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Domperidone acts as an anti-dopaminergic agent. When dopamine is released by the hypothalamus, it stops release of hormone prolactin from the pituitary gland. Prolactin helps in the stimulation of lactation and lack of it puts an end to the production of breast milk. Domperidone, however, not used in the US for this or any other use. This is because there is a lack of evidence related to the effects and safety of the drug on the infant.

What should I know before taking this drug

How to take it

Before taking the drug, read the printed information on the leaflet inside the pack given by the manufacturer. Take the drug as advised by your doctor. Domperidone is available in the form of tablets, orally disintegrating tablets, suppositories and suspension.

Take the tablet half an hour before the meal. You can have Domperidone after a meal, but the drug will take time to have an effect on the symptoms. The dissolvable tablets can be placed on the tongue and allowed to melt, before swallowing.

Domperidone is prescribed for a no more than 7 days.

Adverse reactions/side effects

Domperidone can cause some of the following side-effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Fainting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling sleepy or weak
  • Headache, diarrhea
  • Swelling or tender breasts
  • Growth of breasts in men
  • Changes in menstruation cycle
  • Unusual production of breast milk
  • Itchy skin/rash
  • Sudden cardiac arrest
  • When not to take the medicine

Patients are advised not to take the medicine, if:

  • One has bowel obstruction, gastrointestinal hemorrhage or bowel perforation
  • Liver disease
  • Use of triazole antifungal medications like ketoconazole, fluconazole
  • Use of antibiotics like erythromycin
  • Amiodarone
  • Pregnancy or planning to be pregnant
  • Suffer from heart problems
  • Suffer from a tumor of the pituitary gland (prolactinoma)
  • Have an allergic reaction to Domperidone or lactose



The neurological side effects in children due to Domperidone are very rare. The effect of drugs on newborns is unknown. Thus, it is not recommended to nursing mothers or pregnant women.

Old people

The drug is not recommended for patients who are 60 years and above. It can lead to sudden cardiac death due to increase in heart rate.

Pregnant women

There is limited data available related to the effects of Domperidone in pregnant women. Thus, use of Domperidone in pregnancy is carried out only when there is justified anticipated therapeutic benefit for the mother.

Lactating women

The drug is excreted in breast milk and its effect on the newborn is not yet clear. Thus, breastfeeding mothers are not recommended Domperidone.


The effects of Domperidone are negligible on the patient’s ability to drive or operate machines.

What should I do if

I miss dose(s)

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is time for the next dose, skip the one missed. Never take a double dose.

I take an overdose

Call your doctor immediately, if you overdose on the medicine.

What to discuss with the doctor/pharmacist

Drug interactions

The drug can interact with itraconazole and ketoconazole. Thus, avoid Domperidone in case you use anti-fungal medications. Avoid the drug is you use macrolide antibiotics. Inform your doctor if you take:

  • Opioid analgesics
  • Ritonavir
  • Antimuscarinics
  • Amantadine
  • Bromocriptine or cabergoline

Do not take the medication with grapefruit juice.

Dosage form


Domperidone needs to be swallowed whole with a glass of water. Adults and adolescents need to take 1 to 2 tablets about 3 to 4 times a day before meals. Never take more than 8 tablets within 24 hours.

Children who weigh less than 35 kg should not be given this medicine. Usually, children are given 0.25 to 0.5 mg/kg body weight, 3 to 4 times a day before meals.


Store the tablets in the original package, in a cool and dry place. Keep out of reach of children ALWAYS

Written by: team

Date last updated: June 08, 2015

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