How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Domperidone belongs to the group of medications called dopamine antagonists. It is used to treat slowed movement in the gastrointestinal tract associated with diabetes and gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining). For these people, domperidone improves symptoms of nausea, vomiting, bloating, and feeling of fullness.
Domperidone is also used to prevent stomach problems such as nausea and vomiting associated with certain medications used to treat Parkinson's disease. It works to improve symptoms by helping the stomach to empty more quickly and to reduce nausea.
This medication may be available under multiple brand names and/or in several different forms. Any specific brand name of this medication may not be available in all of the forms or approved for all of the conditions discussed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed in these drug information articles. If you have not discussed this with your doctor or are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Each white, plain-coated, round, biconvex tablet, engraved with "rph D51" on one side and plain on the other, contains domperidone maleate 12.72 mg (equivalent to domperidone 10 mg). Nonmedicinal ingredients: cornstarch, croscarmelose sodium, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polydextrose, polyethylene glycol, povidone, sodium docusate 85%-sodium benzoate 15%, titanium dioxide, and triacetin.
How should I use this medication?
The usual adult dose of domperidone is 10 mg, taken 15 to 30 minutes before meals. The maximum recommended dose is a total of 30 mg daily for the shortest possible duration of treatment. Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Do not dispose of medications in wastewater (e.g. down the sink or in the toilet) or in household garbage. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medications that are no longer needed or have expired.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take domperidone if you:
- are allergic to domperidone or any ingredients of the medication
- are taking the medication ketoconazole
- are taking medications which cause QT prolongation
- have bleeding in the stomach or intestines
- have a blockage in the stomach or intestines
- have breaks in the lining of the stomach or intestines
- have a prolactinoma (a tumour of the pituitary gland)
- have uncorrected levels of potassium, magnesium, or calcium in your blood
- have cardiac disease (e.g., heart failure)
- have QT prolongation (a type of irregular heartbeat)
- have moderate or severe liver impairment
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent.
The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
- breast pain
- dry mouth
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- breast milk flowing from the nipple
- fast, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
- menstrual irregularities
- swelling of the breast (males)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- dizziness or fainting
- irregular heart beat
- signs of an allergic reaction (such as difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the face or throat)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
HEALTH CANADA ADVISORY
[January 20, 2015]
Health Canada has issued new restrictions concerning the use of domperidone. To read the full Health Canada Advisory, visit Health Canada's web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.
Heart rhythm problems and cardiac arrest: Recent studies have shown that the risk of serious abnormal heart rhythms or cardiac arrest (sudden death) may be higher in people who take more than 30 mg of domperidone per day, or in people who are over 60 years of age. If you have a heart condition with abnormal electrical activity of your heart (e.g., QT prolongation), heart failure, or low blood levels of magnesium or potassium, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
This is especially important if you are taking other medications that can change the electrical activity of the heart. Certain medications (e.g., sotalol, quinidine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, droperidol, pimozide, moxifloxacin, mefloquine, pentamidine, arsenic trioxide, ondansetron, probucol, tacrolimus) can increase the risk of a type of abnormal heart rhythm called QT prolongation, and should not be used in combination with domperidone if possible. You are more at risk for this type of abnormal heart rhythm and its complications if you:
- are female
- are older than 65 years of age
- have a family history of sudden cardiac death
- have a history of heart disease or abnormal heart rhythms
- have a slow heart rate
- have congenital prolongation of the QT interval
- have diabetes
- have had a stroke
- have low potassium, magnesium, or calcium levels
- have nutritional deficiencies
Hormone levels: This medication may increase prolactin, a hormone in the body. If you have a history of breast cancer, ask your doctor about the benefits and risks associated with using this medication, since some breast cancers are thought to be prolactin-dependent.
Kidney function: Reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may suggest a lower dose or that you take this medication only once or twice a day.
Liver function: Liver disease or reduced liver function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking domperidone, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
Seniors: People over the age of 60 appear to be more likely to experience heart problems including heart attack with the use of domperidone. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this medication.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between domperidone and any of the following:
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.