Domperidone: Mechanism of action and clinical use

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Domperidone, a dopamine antagonist agent widely used in 58 countries for the treatment of symptoms of gastroparesis, is expected to become available in the United States in mid-1998. A gastrokinetic agent, domperidone promotes gastric emptying of both liquids and solids and has antiemetic effects as well. Domperidone does not readily cross the blood-brain barrier and acts at the chemoreceptor trigger zone outside the brain. This lowers the potential for central nervous system side effects such as headache and dizziness and extrapyramidal side effects such as dystonia and tardive dyskinesia. Such side effects may occur with some other prokinetic agents. A few studies have demonstrated potential long-term benefits with domperidone. This article reviews the mechanism of action and therapeutic uses of domperidone and summarizes these aspects of other prokinetic agents and alternative therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-197
Number of pages7
JournalHospital Pharmacy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


  • Domperidone
  • Dopamine antagonists
  • Gastroparesis

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