Efficacy of domperidone in infants and children with gastroesophageal reflux

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1992 May;14(4):400-5. doi: 10.1097/00005176-199205000-00005.


This study sought to define the therapeutic efficacy of domperidone in infants and children with gastroesophageal reflux. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed in seventeen children (ages 5 months to 11.3 years) with moderate to severe gastroesophageal reflux who had not responded to standard nonpharmacological therapy. Subjective and objective measures (weight gain, esophageal pH probe study, radionuclide gastric emptying scan) of gastroesophageal reflux were evaluated. Therapy with domperidone for 4 weeks was effective only in reducing the total number of reflux episodes in the two-hour postprandial period (p less than 0.01); however, it did not result in symptomatic improvement or significant improvement in other measures of gastroesophageal reflux or gastric emptying. After therapy for 8 weeks symptomatic improvement was reported in some patients who had denied improvement after 4 weeks of therapy, suggesting that more than 4 weeks of therapy may be required for some patients to obtain a clinical response. Mild self-limited diarrhea was reported by six patients (four domperidone, two placebo). We conclude that domperidone is tolerated by most infants and children with gastroesophageal reflux; however, 4 weeks of therapy was only minimally effective in producing objective improvement of gastroesophageal reflux and did not result in symptomatic improvement. Further studies of longer duration are needed to resolve the question raised by this study: that domperidone may be beneficial for patients with gastroesophageal reflux when given for more than four weeks.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diarrhea / chemically induced
  • Domperidone / adverse effects
  • Domperidone / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neutropenia / chemically induced
  • Prolactin / blood
  • Weight Gain


  • Domperidone
  • Prolactin