Domperidone: What It’s For, Dosage & Side Effects

Clinical review: Flávia Costa
June 2022
  1. Uses
  2. Dosage
  3. Side effects
  4. Contraindications

Domperidone is a medication with antiemetic action that stimulates stomach and intestinal flow. It is prescribed for the treatment of conditions related to delayed gastric emptying, like indigestion or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), or nausea and vomiting related to cancer treatments. 

This medication can be found in 10 mg pills or in oral suspensions of 1 mg/mL or 5 mg/mL in its generic domperidone name, or under the brand name Motilium. 

Domperidone can be used by adults or children over 12 as prescribed by a doctor. 

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What it is for

Domperidone is prescribed for the treatment of digestive problems associated with delayed gastric emptying, like: 

Domperidone is also indicated for cases of nausea of vomiting caused by gastric or intestinal flow problems, cancer treatment, infections, food poisoning or to treat side effects of certain Parkinson’s medications, like levodopa or bromocriptine. 

How to take it

Domperidone should be taken via the oral route, 15 to 30 minutes prior to meals, or if necessary, prior to lying down. 

The normal recommended dose for adults and adolescents over 35 kg (77 lb) is 10 mg, three times per day, without exceeding the max dose of 40 mg per day. 

For children and adolescents, dosing should be calculated by the pediatrician in accordance with the child’s age and weight. 

This medication should be taken only as directed by a doctor. Treatment for nausea and vomiting should not last for longer than 1 week. Treatment for other conditions with domperidone can last for up to 4 weeks.

Possible side effects 

The most common side effects that can occur during domperidone treatment are depression, anxiety, decreased libido, headache, drowsiness, agitations, diarrhea, acne, itching, increased breast sensitivity, increase milk production, lack of period, breast pain and muscular weakness.

Although these are more rare, domperidone can also cause serious cardiac arrhythmias, agitation, nervousness, convulsions or serious allergic reactions that require immediate medical attention. Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms, you should discontinue treatment immediately and proceed to the closest hospitals, especially if you have other symptoms like difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pain, swollen throat, or a swollen mouth, tongue or face. 

Who should not use it

Domperidone should not be used for breastfeeding or for children under 12 who weight less than 35 kg. It is also contraindicated for people with an allergy to domperidone or to any of the components in the formula. Additionally, use should be avoided by those with a history of bleeding, obstruction of gastrointestinal perforation.

This medication should be avoided during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and should only be used as prescribed. 

In addition, domperidone should not be used by people with a history of a pituitary tumor, severe stomach pain, persistent dark stools, or liver disease. People who take medications for infections, metabolism or altered cardiac rhythms (like itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voricontazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin, telitromycin, amiodarone, ritonavir or saquinavir) should also not use this medication. 

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Written and updated by Daisy Oliveira - Registered Nurse on June of 2022. Clinical review by Flávia Costa - Pharmacist, on June of 2022.


  • SONG, B. G.; et al. Risk of domperidone induced severe ventricular arrhythmia. Sci Rep. 10. 1; 12158, 2020
  • DRUGS AND LACTATION DATABASE (LACTMED) [INTERNET]. BETHESDA (MD): NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE (US). Domperidone. 2021. Available on: <>. Access in 10 Sep 2021
Show more references
  • PHAN, H.; et al. The dual role of domperidone in gastroparesis and lactation. Int J Pharm Compd. 18. 3; 203-7, 2014
Clinical review:
Flávia Costa
Graduated in Pharmacy at Centro Universitário Newton Paiva, Brazil, in 2003. Master in Biomedical Sciences at UBI, Portugal.