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Medications containing domperidone

Medications containing domperidone

Domperidone-containing medicines have been authorised nationally in individual Member States of the EU for the treatment of nausea and vomiting of various causes but also for the management of symptoms such as bloating, discomfort and heartburn.
The review of domperidone was carried out at the request of the Belgian medicines authority over concerns about the medicine’s effects on the heart. The injectable form of domperidone was withdrawn in 1985 because of such side effects. Serious effects on the heart with domperidone, including prolongation of the QT interval (an alteration of the electrical activity of the heart) and arrhythmias (unstable heartbeats), have previously been evaluated by the EMA and the product information updated with relevant warnings. However, cases of heart problems in patients using the medicine continued to be reported, and the PRAC was therefore asked to examine whether the benefits still outweighed the risks for these medicines in their approved uses and forms, and whether their marketing authorisations should be maintained or changed across the EU.
The CMDh confirmed by majority the PRAC recommendation that domperidone-containing medicines should remain available and may continue to be used in the EU for the management of the symptoms of nausea and vomiting, but that the recommended dose should be reduced to 10 mg up to three times daily by mouth for adults and adolescents weighing 35 kg or more. These patients may also be given the medicine as suppositories of 30 mg twice daily. Products licensed in children and adolescents weighing less than 35 kg should be given by mouth at a dose of 0.25 mg per kg bodyweight up to three times daily. Measuring devices will be included with liquid formulations to allow accurate dosing by bodyweight. The medicine should not normally be used for longer than one week.
Domperidone will no longer be authorised to treat other conditions such as bloating or heartburn. It must not be given to patients with moderate or severe impairment of liver function, or in those who have existing abnormalities of electrical activity in the heart or heart rhythm, or who are at increased risk of such effects. In addition, it should not be used with other medicines that have similar effects on the heart or reduce the breakdown of domperidone in the body (thus increasing the risk of side effects). The product information has been amended appropriately. Products supplying a dose of 20 mg by mouth, and suppositories of 10 or 60 mg are no longer recommended for use and should be withdrawn, as should combination products with cinnarizine (an antihistamine) where available.
Although the scope of the review did not cover use outside the licensed indications (off-label use) the principles behind these recommendations should be considered whenever domperidone is used.


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