Cardiac safety concerns for domperidone, an antiemetic and prokinetic, and galactogogue medicine

Sheila A Doggrell, Jules C Hancox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Domperidone is a dopamine D2-receptor antagonist developed as an antiemetic and prokinetic agent. Oral domperidone is not approved in the United States, but it is used in many countries to treat nausea and vomiting, gastroparesis and as a galactogogue (to promote lactation). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued a warning about the cardiac safety of domperidone.

AREAS COVERED: The authors undertook a review of the cardiac safety of oral domperidone.

EXPERT OPINION: The data from preclinical studies are unambiguous in identifying domperidone as able to produce marked hERG channel inhibition and action potential prolongation at clinically relevant concentrations. The compound's propensity to augment instability of action potential duration and action potential triangulation are also indicative of proarrhythmic potential. Domperidone should not be administered to subjects with pre-existing QT prolongation/LQTS, subjects receiving drugs that inhibit CYP3A4, subjects with electrolyte abnormalities or with other risk factors for QT-prolongation. With these provisos, it is possible that domperidone may be used as a galactogogue without direct risk to healthy breast feeding women, but more safety information should be sought in this situation. Also, more safety information is required regarding risk to breast feeding infants before domperidone is routinely used in gastroparesis or gastroesphageal reflux in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-8
Number of pages8
JournalExpert opinion on drug safety
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antiemetics
  • Domperidone
  • Female
  • Galactogogues
  • Heart Diseases
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration

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