Domperidone for sickness - Motilium

Domperidone helps to prevent you from feeling or being sick. It is recommended for short-term use only.

Domperidone may be associated with an increased risk of heart rhythm disorder, particularly in older people. If you faint or feel that your heart is beating quickly, you must speak with your doctor as soon as possible.

Type of medicine Anti-emetic
Used for Nausea and vomiting
Also called Motilium®
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 recommended 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.

Some preparations of domperidone can be bought from a pharmacy, without a prescription.

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.
  • Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about domperidone and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take domperidone exactly as your doctor or pharmacist tells you to. The dose for adults and young people over 16 years is 10 mg (one tablet) up to three times a day. Do not take more than three doses in any 24-hour period. If it has been prescribed for a child, the dose will be printed on the label of the pack to remind you what the doctor said.
  • 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.
  • Domperidone should be taken for a short period of time only. If it has been prescribed by a doctor, your treatment will last no longer than seven days. If you have bought it from a pharmacy, you should not take domperidone for more than two days. If you still feel sick after this time, make an appointment to see your doctor so that the cause of your sickness can be investigated.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with domperidone. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following become troublesome.

Domperidone side-effects What can I do if I experience this?
Dry mouth Try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free sweets
Fainting, palpitations (a feeling of fast heartbeats) Speak with a doctor straightaway
Feeling anxious, feeling sleepy or weak, headaches, diarrhoea If troublesome, speak with a doctor or pharmacist for advice
Breast swelling or tenderness, menstrual changes, unusual production of breast milk, itchy skin rash Let your doctor know about any of these

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are suitable to take with your other medicines.

If you are due to have an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Never keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

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.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Adrian Bonsall
Last Checked:
28/05/2014
Document ID:
3285 (v26)
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