Domperidone for Increasing Breast Milk Supply: Understanding its Uses and Risks

Introduction: Domperidone For Increasing Breast Milk Supply

Domperidone is a medication primarily known for its use in managing nausea and vomiting. However, Domperidone is also used for for increasing breast milk supply for lactating mothers. This article aims to provide information on how domperidone works, when it is appropriate to use, the usual dosage, treatment duration and potential side effects.

Inadequate breast milk supply often leads to early discontinuation of breastfeeding for many women. This concern, often prompts healthcare providers to explore the use of galactagogues as a solution. Substances believed to promote or increase breast milk production are known as galactagogues. One commonly mentioned galactagogue is domperidone, a dopamine receptor antagonist.

How does it work?

Domperidone works by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that normally inhibits the release of prolactin, a hormone responsible for milk production. By blocking dopamine, domperidone helps increase prolactin levels, leading to enhanced lactation and improved breast milk supply.

While the precise duration for its treatment response remains unclear, research indicates that domperidone induces an initial increase in prolactin levels within 60 minutes of administration, with peak concentrations occurring approximately 4 to 5 days after use. These peak levels can surge up to 800% higher than baseline levels, suggesting its potential effectiveness in increasing breast milk supply.

When is it appropriate to use domperidone?

Domperidone should only be considered for increasing breast milk supply when other conventional methods, such as frequent nursing, proper latch, and pumping, have not yielded satisfactory results. Lactation consultants and healthcare providers may suggest domperidone in cases where insufficient milk production poses a challenge to successful breastfeeding.

What is the usual dosage?

To enhance breast milk supply, the usual dosage of domperidone is typically between 10mg to 20mg, taken orally three times daily, with at least an 8-hour gap between doses. Your healthcare provider may start with an initial dose of 10mg and gradually adjust it up to 20mg based on your specific needs and response to the treatment. It is crucial to strictly adhere to your doctor’s instructions to ensure safe and effective use of the medication, as individual requirements can vary.

How long does it take to work?

The time it takes for domperidone to increase breast milk supply can vary from person to person. Some women may notice an improvement within a few days, while for others, it might take up to two weeks. Patience and consistency with the prescribed dosage are vital during this process.

How long is the treatment for?

The duration of domperidone treatment for increasing breast milk supply depends on the response of each individual. Typically, healthcare providers prescribe the medication for a few weeks and closely monitor progress. If the desired increase in milk supply occurs, they may gradually reduce and eventually discontinue the dosage.

When should domperidone not be used?

Not everyone is suitable for Domperidone, and caution is necessary when using it. Individuals with a history of cardiac conditions or abnormal heart rhythms should avoid it or undergo close monitoring. Additionally, those with severe liver impairment should not take this medication, as it may worsen their condition.

What are the side effects?

As with any medication, domperidone may cause side effects. Common side effects include headache, dizziness, dry mouth, and abdominal cramps. In some cases, it may also lead to an increase in the levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood. It is crucial to promptly inform a healthcare provider if any adverse reactions occur.

Domperidone in breastmilk?

The transfer of domperidone into breast milk is minimal. According to DaSilva, the average milk concentrations ranged from 1.2 micrograms/L to 2.6 micrograms/L in babies whose mothers had taken domperidone 10mg three times a day for 5 days. Researchers observed no adverse events in mothers or children. Extensive first-pass metabolism can account for the low transfer of the drug into breast milk. The mean relative infant dose was 0.01% at a daily 30 mg dose and 0.009% at 60 mg (14). Hale (17) also supports this, citing a relative infant dose range of 0.01% to 0.04%, which is well below the significant threshold of 10%.

Disclaimer and Conclusion:

This article provides information for informational purposes only; it should not substitute professional medical advice. If you are considering using domperidone to increase breast milk supply, it is essential to consult a qualified healthcare provider or a lactation consultant. They can evaluate your specific situation and recommend the appropriate treatment plan, considering potential risks and benefits. Each person’s health is unique, so it’s vital to seek personalized medical advice before deciding on medication.

If your doctor suggests domperidone to increase breast milk supply, it is essential to be open and forthcoming about any supplements, herbal remedies, or home remedies you may be taking during your medical consultations. These details are vital for your doctor to ensure the safe and effective use of domperidone, as certain substances may interact with the medication or lead to potential side effects.

When considering prescribing domperidone for lactation support, doctors must thoroughly evaluate patients’ medical history to ensure safety and effectiveness.. During consultations, kindly inquire about any supplements, herbal remedies, or home remedies they may be using. Some of the substances may have certain interactions with domperidone could impact its effectiveness or lead to adverse reactions. Emphasize this holistic approach for informed, personalized decisions, ensuring safe and effective use of domperidone as a valuable lactation aid.