Stopping high doses of domperidone, drug used for breastfeeding, can cause withdrawal, Health Canada warns – CBC

Some women report extreme anxiety, panic attacks, when coming off the medication

Sep 28, 2023

A Health Canada review has found there is a risk of psychiatric withdrawal effects when women using the drug domperidone to stimulate breast milk production suddenly stop taking it.

Health Canada will update the product monograph, or scientific description of a drug’s properties “to note that cases of psychiatric withdrawal events have been reported,” the regulator said in a statement posted on its Drug and Health Product Portal. It has also issued updated guidance to doctors and other health care providers informing them of the risk.

Domperidone is a gastrointestinal medication approved in Canada to speed up digestion at a recommended maximum dose of 30 mg per day. A CBC investigation in December 2022 found it is regularly prescribed at doses several times higher than that to help women produce breast milk, a purpose for which it has never been authorized in Canada.

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