Domperidone: no longer available without prescription

People now need to have a medical assessment before taking domperidone to determine if it is suitable for them due to the risk of cardiac side effects.

Article date: September 2014

Domperidone is a dopamine antagonist with antiemetic properties. It should no longer be sold to anyone without a prescription. It is associated with a small increased risk of serious cardiac side effects (eg, QTc prolongation, torsade de pointes, serious ventricular arrhythmia, and sudden cardiac death). Therefore people need to have a medical assessment before taking domperidone to determine if it is suitable for them.

Advice for healthcare professionals

  • Domperidone must not be sold without prescription
  • A recall has been issued for non-prescription domperidone (Motilium 10 and Motilium instants)
  • Take into account the updated prescription advice before prescribing domperidone (see Drug Safety Update article from May 2014)

Advice to give to patients

  • If you have recently bought domperidone without a prescription and you wish to continue taking it, speak to your doctor or pharmacist at your next routine visit. There is no problem if you wish to stop and a healthcare professional can advise on suitable alternatives for nausea and vomiting.
  • If you have been prescribed domperidone, there is no need to stop taking it. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist at your next routine visit if you have any heart problems or other concerns about the treatment.
  • Talk to a doctor straight away if you experience dizziness; fainting; chest pain; or a rapid, fluttering, or pounding heartbeat while taking domperidone.

Figure: A recall has been issued for non-prescription domperidone (Motilium 10 and Motilium instants)

Further information

Further information to give to patients

Drug alertissued on 3 September 2014

MHRA press release issued on 3 September 2014 

Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) assessment report

Article citation: Drug Safety Update volume 8 issue 2, September 2014: S1

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