Effects of Metoclopramide on Feeding Intolerance among Preterm Neonates; A Randomized Controlled Trial

Iran J Pediatr. 2014 Oct;24(5):630-6. Epub 2014 Oct 28.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of metoclopramide in the treatment of feeding intolerance in preterm neonates less than 36 weeks of gestational age.

Methods: A randomized, controlled, masked cross-over study. A block of 4 randomizations was used. The "drug group" received intravenous metoclopramide before feeding and placebo group received placebo at the same time. The time to full enteral feeding and suspected adverse effects of metoclopramide, length of hospital stay or incidence of NEC or septicemia were the main outcome measures.

Findings: Mean (standard deviation) of weight and Apgar score among metoclopramide and placebo groups were 1638.3±321 gr, 8.9±1.4 and 1593.3±318.8 gr, 8.8±1.3 respectively. Times to full feeding were significantly shorter in the metoclopramide group than in the control group (12.9±5.6 vs 17.0±6.3; P<0.0001) and also the numbers of withheld feedings were significantly lower (P<0.0001). According to the regression analysis, lower weight and placebo group were significantly related to increasing of lavage frequency, number of vomits, start time of feeding, number of feeding cessations and decreased feeding completion time (P<0.0001).No adverse effects of this treatment modality were observed in the two groups.

Conclusion: Intravenous metoclopramide may be considered as an attempt in facilitating and treatment of feeding intolerance in preterm neonates.

Keywords: Feeding Intolerance; Meal Frequency; Prematures; Vomiting.