|Type of medicine||Anti-emetic|
|Used for||Nausea and vomiting
|Available as||Tablets, orodispersible (melt-in-the-mouth) tablets, liquid medicine, and suppositories|
Domperidone is used to relieve feelings of sickness (nausea) or being sick (vomiting). Feeling sick can be a common symptom, but it may be due to a number of different causes. You will only be prescribed an anti-emetic like domperidone if the cause of your sickness is known.
Domperidone works by helping to move the food in your stomach through your digestive system more quickly. This helps to stop you from feeling sick, especially where this is caused by digestive disorders such as reflux.
Some preparations of domperidone can be bought from pharmacies, without a prescription. It can be purchased to treat sickness, providing this does not last for more than two days, and you can also buy it to relieve digestive symptoms such as indigestion, and feeling full or bloated after meals. You should not use domperidone which you buy over-the-counter for more than two days for sickness, or for more than two weeks for other digestive symptoms, without seeing a doctor.
Before taking or using domperidone
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking domperidone it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have problems with your liver or kidneys.
- If you have problems with your heart or if you have been told you have an irregular heart rhythm.
- If you know you have any problems with your digestive system, such as a blockage or any internal bleeding.
- If you have a tumour on your pituitary gland known as a prolactinoma.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine.
How to take or use domperidone
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the specific brand of domperidone you have been given, and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it.
- Take domperidone exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. You will be told how much to take and when to take it. Your dose will also be on the label of the pack. Do not take more than four doses in any 24-hour period.
- Try to take domperidone at the same times each day. This will help you to remember to take your doses.
- If you do forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember (unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose). Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
- If you have bought domperidone from a pharmacy, you will have been given tablets which dissolve in your mouth, called Motilium® Instants. Place the tablet on your tongue and allow it to melt before you swallow.
- If you are taking tablets or liquid medicine prescribed by your doctor, swallow your doses with a drink of water. Take your doses about half an hour before meals. If you take domperidone after a meal, it will still work, but it may take longer to have an effect.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. If you need to take domperidone for more than a month, your doctor will want to check on your progress.
- If you have bought domperidone from a pharmacy, do not take it for more than two days to relieve sickness. If you still feel sick after this time, make an appointment to see your doctor. If you are taking it to relieve stomach discomfort after eating, you should not use it for more than two weeks, without checking with a doctor.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with domperidone.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.
Can domperidone cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if you experience any of the following side-effects.
|Rare side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 1,000 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Breast swelling or tenderness, menstrual changes, leakage of breast milk||Let your doctor know about any of these|
Important: if you faint or feel that your heartbeats are fast, speak with your doctor straightaway.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store domperidone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Motilium® Instants,; Manufacturer's PIL, Motilium® Instants, McNeil Products Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated March 2010.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Domperidone 10 mg Film-coated Tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Domperidone 10 mg Film-coated Tablets, Winthrop Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated January 2009.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Domperidone 1 mg/ml Suspension; Manufacturer's PIL, Domperidone 1 mg/ml Suspension, Winthrop Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated September 2008.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Adrian Bonsall