Domperidone in Breastfeeding Mothers

Grandmas can help with breastfeeding too
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Domperidone (Motilium) is a medication that is used to decrease nausea and vomiting and to increase the time it takes for food to travel through the stomach. It was noted that when used, there was an increase in breast milk, from the prolactin released due to the consumption of the medication. This was noticed as a side effect and the drug was not intended for this use. Domperidone reportedly does not cross the blood brain barrier.

While this or any other galactogogue should not be your first thought when trying to increase the milk supply of a mother, it may come in handy in some cases. This is particularly true when you have a preterm or sick infant and mother who has a compromised supply of breast milk.

Before using a galactogogue you should try:

  • Seeing a lactation consultant to correct any problems
  • Use massage of the breast while feeding or pumping
  • Pump after feeding to increase the supply without medications
  • Been checked for other issues like thyroid disease or mismanagement

There are side effects that some mothers will exhibit when taking this medication. That can include:

  • headaches
  • abdominal cramps
  • dry mouth

These side effects may be dose related and will usually stop when the medication is discontinued.

Domperidone is not a quick fix. It can take a number of days of steady usage before a noticeable difference is found in the milk supply.

The problem with Domperidone is controversial.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues a warning about the sale of Domperidone in the United States and removing approval. You will not be able to obtain a prescription for this medication in the USA easily, though some practitioners will still prescribe it and mothers can find it through some compounding pharmacies.

They also issued a warning for mothers against using it for increasing milk supply. Detractors say this is politics based on bad science, that assuming a mother does not have bowel obstructions or cardiac issues, this medication has been safely used all over the world for this issue.


Campbell-Yeo, M. L., Allen, A. C., Joseph, K. S., Ledwidge, J. M., Caddell, K., Allen, V. M., & Dooley, K. C. (2010). Effect of Domperidone on the Composition of Preterm Human Breast Milk. Pediatrics, 125(1), e107-e114. doi:10.1542/peds.2008-3441.

Domperidone – How to Obtain. Food and Drug Administration. Last Accessed 9/1/15.

FDA Warns Against Women Using Unapproved Drug, Domperidone, to Increase Milk Production. FDA. 6/7/04. Last Accessed 9/1/2015.

Paul, C, Zénut, M, et al. Use of Domperidone as a Galactagogue Drug: A Systematic Review of the Benefit-Risk Ratio. J Hum Lact  February 2015  31:  57-63, first published on December 4, 2014  doi:10.1177/0890334414561265

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