THE drug domperidone should not be used by people who have serious underlying heart conditions according to updated advice by the MHRA.
The agency further advises that domperidone should only be used in the relief of symptoms of nausea and vomiting and at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible duration. Adults should take no more than three 10mg tablets per day. The drug should no longer be used to treat other conditions such as heartburn, bloating or relief of stomach discomfort.
This new advice follows a European Medicines Agency’s review on the safety and effectiveness of domperidone. The review found that people who take the drug may have a small increased risk of serious cardiac adverse reactions related to the use of the drug.
Dr Sarah Branch, Deputy Director of the MHRA’s Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines Division, said: "This review looked at the available information in depth. It concluded that the benefits outweigh the risks of using domperidone when used to treat nausea and vomiting but that there should be restrictions on its use. It should no longer be used for symptoms of abdominal discomfort such as heartburn and feelings of fullness."
Dr Branch added there is no need for patients using domperidone to stop taking their medicine but they should speak to a doctor or pharmacist if they have an underlying heart condition or any questions.