Risk of Pregnancy Termination and Congenital Anomalies After Domperidone Exposure: A Study in the EFEMERIS Database

Drug Saf. 2021 Jul;44(7):787-796. doi: 10.1007/s40264-021-01077-9. Epub 2021 May 10.


Introduction: Domperidone is widely used during pregnancy, although the risks associated with pregnant women have not been adequately evaluated.

Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the rate of pregnancy outcomes and congenital anomalies between pregnant women exposed and unexposed to domperidone during pregnancy.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study comparing pregnant women exposed and unexposed to domperidone during pregnancy. We used the EFEMERIS database containing the prescriptions and dispensing of drugs to pregnant women in Haute-Garonne, who had a pregnancy outcome between July 2004 and December 2017. We compared pregnant women who were exposed to domperidone at least once during pregnancy to unexposed pregnant women. Logistic regression and Cox proportional risk models were applied.

Results: Overall, 13,964 pregnancies (10.3% of pregnancies) were given domperidone. A reduction in the number of pregnant women exposed to domperidone (2004: 17.1% to 2017: 1.2%) was noted. More than 75% of pregnancies were exposed to domperidone in the first trimester of pregnancy. The rate of natural pregnancy termination in pregnant women exposed to domperidone was lower than that in unexposed pregnant women (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.78 [0.71-0.87]). The malformation rate in fetuses/newborns exposed in utero (first trimester) to domperidone is comparable to that of unexposed fetuses/newborns (adjusted odd ratio = 0.89 [0.77-1.03]).

Conclusions: This is the first comparative study to enrol a large number of pregnant women exposed to domperidone. Data regarding the malformation rate following exposure to domperidone during the first trimester of pregnancy are reassuring. Women exposed to domperidone during pregnancy have a decreased risk for natural pregnancy termination, probably owing to an indication bias.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced* / epidemiology
  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced* / etiology
  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Domperidone / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Domperidone