Domperidone, sold under the brand name Motilium, is a prescription medicine generally used for nausea and vomiting. However, in lactating mothers it is also used off-label to aid breastmilk production. It is used in cases of low supply and when extra breastfeeding or expressing are not enough to increase milk supply.
Domperidone belongs to a class of drugs known as dopamine antagonists, and it primarily works by blocking the dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that inhibits the release of prolactin, a hormone responsible for milk production. By blocking dopamine receptors, domperidone increases prolactin levels, thereby promoting lactation.
The use of domperidone in breastfeeding mothers with low milk supply has gained popularity due to its potential to enhance milk production. It is often prescribed when other non-pharmacological methods, such as frequent breastfeeding, proper latch, and adequate hydration, have failed to improve milk supply.
Clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of domperidone in increasing milk production. It has been shown to enhance prolactin levels and significantly improve milk supply in lactating mothers. However, the exact mechanisms by which domperidone stimulates milk production are not fully understood. It is believed to work by increasing the release of prolactin from the pituitary gland and by stimulating the suckling reflex in infants.
When prescribed for lactation support, domperidone is typically taken orally as tablets or suspension. The dosage and duration of treatment vary depending on individual needs, and it is important to follow the healthcare provider’s instructions. Domperidone is usually started at a low dose (1x 10mg tablet) and gradually increased as necessary, commonly to 30mg (3x 10mg tablets) per day. The treatment duration may vary, but it is often recommended to continue the medication until the desired milk supply is achieved, and then it can be gradually tapered off.
It is important to note that domperidone should only be used under medical supervision, as it is associated with certain risks and side effects. The most common side effects include headache, dizziness, dry mouth, and gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea or constipation. In rare cases, it may cause serious cardiac arrhythmias, especially in individuals with underlying heart conditions or those taking other medications that can interact with domperidone. Therefore, it is important to discuss any existing medical conditions or medications with a healthcare professional before starting domperidone.