Independent journal calls for domperidone to be removed from market after medication linked to premature deaths

Patients taking drug sold under the brand name Motilium and used to treat nausea and vomiting 'would be better off either taking a placebo'

Prescrire (Prescribe), an independent journal, is calling for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to remove domperidone from the market, claiming its effectiveness is "too modest to justify the exposure to premature deaths."

Domperidone, sold under the brand name Motilium, and which can be found in pharmacies in the UK, is used to treat nausea and vomiting. The medication has been linked to cardiac rhythm issues. In 2004, the French Transparency Commission (Commission de la transparence française) noted it was of "modest effectiveness" as a treatment.

Patients taking domperidone would be better off either taking a placebo or turning to proton pump inhibitors such as Omeprazole in cases involving acid reflux, according to the the publication.

Prescrire is described as a "registered organism for the continuous training and evaluation of professional practices" on its website. The monthly publication which was set up in 1981 and which "aims to bring clear information to health professionals and, through them, patients about medicines and diagnostics and therapeutics strategies."

It cites Dutch and Canadian studies which found links between cardiac rhythm issues and antipsychotic drugs, a group which domperidone is linked to - in fact Prescrire refers to it as a "hidden" antipsychotic. Sudden deaths caused by cardiac problems are "1.6 to 3.7 times more frequent in the case of exposure to domperidone."

According to the publication's hypothesis, the number of sudden deaths connected to domperidone could have been between 25 and 120 in 2012 in France.

In 2011, the risk of sudden death was flagged up by the French Medicines Agency (Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament et des Produits de Santé, ANSM) and the primary firm who market the product in France. the ANSM also warned against the unauthorised use of Motilium to ease breastfeeding.

According to the periodical, which used medical insurance data, approximately seven per cent of adults, which translates to about three million people, received a prescription for the medicine in France in 2012. It is estimated that 23 million people in France received at least one prescription for domperidone between 2003 and 2013.

Prescrire, which blacklisted the domperidone back in January, published on 19 February a paper calling for domperidone to be taken off the market completely.

In March 2013, a review of all domperidone-containing medicines was launched by the EMA at the request of Belgium. The Belgian Medicines Agency raised concerns over the safety of the medicine for patients with heart problems. Domperidone-containing medicines could be purchased over-the-counter in Belgium until the end of 2013, when a new law came into action, making it available only with a prescription.

The EMA has started a full review on the effects of domperidone, evaluating its benefit-to-risk ratio. The conclusion to the review is expected to be published in March of this year.

More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
peopleSwimmer also charged with crossing double land lines and excessive speeding
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

    Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

    £90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

    1st Line Service Desk Analyst

    £27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

    Day In a Page

    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
    This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

    Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

    Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
    We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

    Inside the E15 'occupation'

    We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
    Witches: A history of misogyny

    Witches: A history of misogyny

    The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
    Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
    'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style