An alert has gone out on one of the world's most popular heartburn (reflux) drugs after it was associated with 57 deaths from heart problems and hundreds of reports of serious side effects. The drug, Motilium (domperidone), is even regularly prescribed to babies to treat severe reflux
Doctors are being told to restrict the drug only to patients who are experiencing vomiting and nausea. It shouldn't be prescribed for cases of heartburn or a feeling of fullness, the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has stated this week.
The MHRA is acting after it was notified by the European Medicine Agency, which had confirmed at least 342 reports of serious side effects and 57 deaths from heart problems in patients who were taking the drug.
The MHRA say the drug should be used only at the lowest dose and for no longer than a week, and then only to treat vomiting. People with an existing heart condition should be especially cautious, it warns.
The injectable form of the drug was withdrawn nearly 30 years ago because of serious side effects.
(Source: Daily Telegraph, April 26, 2014)