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Domperidone and Weight Gain

Domperidone is the generic name for the more popular brand name Motilium. Domperidone/Motilium is no longer dispensed in the U.S. but is widely available in Canada. Many U.S. doctors who believe in the drug's effects will give their patients a prescription for domperidone that can be filled by Canadian pharmacies through a U.S. outlet or online. 

Domperidone increases the contractions of the stomach and intestines. It is most often prescribed to treat nausea and vomiting. Domperidone is often given to patients with Parkinson's disease as it works well to relieve the nausea and vomiting caused by some of the drugs that treat Parkinson's. At one time, domperidone was prescribed for underweight babies but the medication has not been given directly to babies for quite some time as it was deemed too dangerous. Later, it was discovered that domperidone increases the available milk supply to breast-feeding mothers so again it could be used for underweight babies by giving the medication to the mother. Today, doctors recommend against the use of domperidone in babies and breast-feeding mothers as small amounts are passed on to the infant through breast milk and studies of potential side effects on babies are as yet inconclusive.

Because domperidone was once used for underweight babies, it is mistakenly believed to cause weight gain in adults. Domperidone causes a rise in prolactin levels by blocking D2 receptors. Prolactin is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland and in female, is responsible for stimulating milk production. Some nutritionists link high prolactin levels with weight gain but this link is not supported by most doctors, and neither is there substantial research to back up this claim. Domperidone and high prolactin levels is typically regarded as an excuse for weight gain that would have taken place without the medication or without high prolactin levels and any weight gain that does occur is nothing that a sensible diet can't take care of. 

Weight gain is not listed as an official side effect of domperidone either by the manufacturer or independent drug researchers and encyclopedias. The most common side effects of domperidone disappear once the body has become used to the medication after several days. These are: headache, dry mouth, dizziness, flushing, and nervousness. Other reported side effects include: insomnia, stomach cramps, leg cramps, hot flashes, increased or irregular heartbeat, nipple discharge, hives, breast tenderness, and menstrual irregularities. Any side effects should be immediately reported to a doctor.


Although excessive weight gain is not a side effect of domperidone, logically since the drug can reduce nausea and vomiting it can be assumed that it may create some beneficial weight gain.  Individuals who suffer from nausea and vomiting or gastroparesis may experience some negative weight loss.  Reversing this trend can allow these individuals to get back to a healthy weight.


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