Updated 11 February 2013


Domperidone is prescribed to treat nausea and vomiting that results from many causes, including chemotherapy and various digestive disorders.


Domperidone is the active ingredient of Motilium and Vomidon.

General information

Domperidone is prescribed to treat nausea and vomiting that results from many causes, including chemotherapy and various digestive disorders. It is also effective in relieving digestive symptoms such as acid reflux, indigestion and heartburn.

This medication enhances the speed at which the stomach is emptied. This is of particular use in migraine, as domperidone enhances the absorption and efficacy of painkillers (non-opioid). It is therefore often found in migraine-cocktails that pharmacists make up.

Domperidone does not cause the drowsiness experienced with many other medications used for the treatment of nausea.

How does domperidone work?

Domperidone lowers the effect of dopamine in the chemo-emetic trigger zone, thereby preventing messages from being sent to the vomiting centre of the brain. The result is a reduction in nausea and vomiting. It also speeds the passage of food through the stomach into the intestine, which physically helps to prevent vomiting.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 2

Available as: domperidone is available as tablets and as suspension

What does it do ? domperidone treats nausea, vomiting and reflux

Overdose risk: medium

Dependence risk: low

Is Domperidone available as a generic? yes

Is Domperidone available on prescription only ? no

User information

Onset of effect: within 60 minutes

Duration of action: up to 6 hours

Dietary advice: medication should best be taken 15 - 30 minutes before a meal

Stopping this medicine: this medication can be safely stopped when no longer needed

Prolonged use: prolonged use is not recommended - it should preferably not be prescribed for longer than 12 weeks

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have liver or kidney disease
  • you have a thyroid disorder
  • you have gastric bleeding/obstruction/perforation
  • you have a tumour that increase prolactin levels in your body
  • you are taking any other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: this medication is safe use.

Infants and children: this medication is safe for use in children at the recommended dose.

The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: no special precautions need to be taken.

Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication.

Possible side effects

Side effect


Consult your doctor



Only if severe

In all cases

abdominal cramps






skin rash/ itch



breast enlargement (reversible)



milk secretion from breasts (reversible)







Drug interactions


increased risk of domperidone adverse effects

macrolide antibiotics

increased risk of domperidone adverse effects

bromocriptine, cabergoline

domperidone may reduce the efficacy of these drugs

opioid painkillers

slows gastric emptying speed


enhance the effect of paracetamol

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have liver or kidney disease, you have a thyroid disorder, you have gastric bleeding/obstruction/perforation, or if you have a tumour that increases prolactin levels in your body.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 30 - 80mg/day in 3 - 4 divided doses

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.


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