Human Milk Expression After Domperidone Treatment in Postpartum Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

J Hum Lact. 2019 Aug;35(3):501-509. doi: 10.1177/0890334418812069. Epub 2018 Nov 27.


Background: Insufficient milk production is among the most cited reasons by mothers for discontinuing breastfeeding. Medications that can increase milk production, such as domperidone, an off-label galactagogue, are often prescribed. Domperidone is controversial as it is not approved for any purpose in the United States and is approved only for gastrokinetic purposes in Canada and other countries.

Research aim: The aim was to update the existing literature on the efficacy of domperidone as a galactagogue compared to placebo when given to mothers with insufficient human milk production. The primary outcome is the change in expressed human milk volume per day from baseline.

Methods: The authors independently searched the literature from inception to May 2018. The search included any randomized controlled trials examining the efficacy of domperidone increasing mothers' expressed human milk, measured via a human milk pump. Both authors independently assessed quality and risk of bias and extracted relevant data. Meta-analysis on expressed human milk volume per day was performed.

Results: Seven studies met the inclusion criteria for review; two were excluded from the meta-analysis due to quality grading and insufficient reporting of the outcome of interest. Five studies (N = 239) were combined in the meta-analysis. The effect size showed an increase in the mean difference of expressed human milk volume in mothers given domperidone, 93.97 mL per day (95% CI [71.12, 116.83 mL]; random effect, T2 0.00, I2 0%).

Conclusion: This meta-analysis reports a significant improvement in expressed human milk volume per day with the use of domperidone in mothers experiencing insufficient human milk production.

Keywords: breastfeeding; galactogogues; human milk expression; lactation; milk ejection.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Domperidone / pharmacology*
  • Dopamine Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Milk, Human / drug effects*
  • Postnatal Care*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Domperidone