Factors associated with domperidone use as a galactogogue at an Australian tertiary teaching hospital

J Hum Lact. 2015 May;31(2):249-53. doi: 10.1177/0890334414557175. Epub 2014 Oct 29.


Background: Insufficient milk supply is 1 of the most commonly reported reasons for discontinuation of infant breastfeeding. Although domperidone is often used to improve milk supply, knowledge of factors associated with the use of domperidone in clinical practice is scarce.

Objective: This study aimed to examine factors associated with the use of domperidone as a galactogogue at the Women's and Children's Hospital (WCH), Adelaide.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted, involving women who delivered live-born singletons (N = 21 914) at the WCH between January 2004 and December 2008. Women dispensed domperidone were identified using WCH pharmacy dispensing records. Maternal and infant clinical data were obtained from the WCH Perinatal Statistics Collection. Relationships between maternal/infant demographic and clinical variables and the use of domperidone were examined through univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.

Results: Key factors associated with an increased likelihood of women receiving domperidone were increasing maternal age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.06), maternal obesity (aOR = 1.41; 95% CI, 1.16-1.77), primiparity (aOR = 1.94; 95% CI, 1.63-2.30), delivery by cesarean section (aOR = 1.31; 95% CI, 1.10-1.55), preterm birth (aOR = 3.54; 95% CI, 2.79-4.50), and neonatal hospitalization (aOR = 2.51; 95% CI, 2.01-3.14). In addition, statistically significant trends were observed between increasing socioeconomic status and year of delivery and an increased likelihood of women receiving domperidone (all Ps < .004).

Conclusion: These findings are of clinical importance as they not only reinforce previous findings regarding risk factors for women experiencing lactation difficulties but also highlight the need for improved research regarding the rational and efficacious use of domperidone to improve breastfeeding outcomes.

Keywords: breastfeeding; breastfeeding difficulties; domperidone; epidemiology; galactogogue; observational study.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Birth Weight
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Domperidone / administration & dosage*
  • Dopamine Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Galactogogues / administration & dosage*
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Milk, Human / metabolism*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Galactogogues
  • Domperidone