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Domperidone is an antidopaminergic used to reduce the nausea and vomiting associated with medications taken for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. It is also used for the relief of gastroparesis. The antiemetic blocks the activity of dopamine in the central nervous system, and increases the peristaltic movements of the stomach and intestines. It used to be prescribed to encourage lactation in breast feeding mothers, but due to concerns about the domperidone side effects to the mother and the baby, most physicians no longer prescribe the medication for that purpose.
Many patients taking domperidone do not notice any side effects severe enough to warrant stopping the medicine. The most common side effect reported was flushing of the face and chest. The body takes about seven days to adjust to the medication, and a follow-up doctor appointment is to be expected the week after beginning to take domperidone.
Though it is not likely to occur, one of the domperidone side effects is an allergic reaction to the medication. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat. The patient may have difficulty breathing if an allergic reaction has occurred. It can also manifest as tachycardia, a fast heartbeat, or an irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations. A person exhibiting any of these symptoms needs prompt medical attention.
A domperidone side effect that can be disturbing to the person experiencing it is intermittent lactation; both men and women have reported it. A man also may notice that his breast tissue swells while taking domperidone. Most often, people have reported headaches, dry mouth, and hot flashes during the time they are taking the medication. Women taking domperidone have noticed menstruation irregularities and pain in the breast tissue. These domperidone side effects generally subside after the medication has been discontinued.
Some domperidone side effects occur rarely, such as constipation and difficulty urinating, or having pain when urinating. A person may notice that the frequency he has the urge to urinate changes. Changes in appetite and heartburn have been reported by some patients as well. Fatigue, an overall feeling of weakness, and leg cramps also are sometimes noticed by patients on domperidone. These symptoms usually disappear when the medicine has been stopped.
An overdose while taking domperidone is not very common. The most likely side effects of an overdose are dizziness and fainting. Difficulty with balance or muscle coordination may also indicate an overdose has occurred. If a person taking domperidone starts slurring his words or seems disoriented or confused, a physician needs to be notified for the evaluation of his symptoms.
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