Effect of chronic oral domperidone therapy on gastrointestinal symptoms and gastric emptying in patients with parkinson's disease



This study investigated whether domperidone could improve gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease who were receiving levodopa therapy. A total of 11 patients were studied. Following a baseline gastric emptying test, patients were treated with a starting dose of domperidone 20 mg p.o. q.i.d. A follow-up gastric emptying test was repeated at least 4 months after starting domperidone therapy. At the beginning and at each 3-month follow-up visit, symptoms of nausea, vomiting, anorexia, abdominal bloating, heartburn, regurgitation, dysphagia, and constipation were evaluated and scored on a scale of 0–3. The overall mean follow-up period was 3 years. Compared with their baseline evaluation, patients experienced a significant improvement in all symptoms (p < 0.05) except dysphagia and constipation. Gastric emptying of an isotope-labeled solid meal was significantly faster, with a baseline result of 60.2 ± 6.4% retention of isotope 2 h after the meal compared with 37.0 ± 2.2% retention during domperidone therapy (p < 0.05). Patients' global assessment of Parkinson's disease remained stable or improved. Serum prolactin was elevated in all patients after domperidone therapy (p < 0.05). Domperidone therapy significantly reduces upper gastrointestinal symptoms and accelerates gastric emptying of a solid meal, but does not interfere with response to antiparkinsonism treatment.