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METOCLOPRAMIDE - a patient's guide


The medicine is used to ease vomiting and nausea. This article outlines the drug's uses and side effects.




USE: Anti-nausea/anti-emetic

This medicine is used for the relief of nausea and vomiting particularly associated with stomach problems and treatment with certain medicines (e.g. cytotoxics, opoid analgesics). It can also be useful in post-operative surgery, diagnostic procedures and migraine.

Metoclopramide works by 1) raising the threshold of the chemoreceptor trigger zone which causes vomiting; 2) enhances the motility of the stomach and gastric emptying; and 3) decreases the sensitivity of certain nerves to the vomiting centre.


  • Gastrointestinal (stomach) haemorrhage
  • Liver and kidney impairment
  • Obstruction/ perforation of stomach
  • Phaeochromocytoma (tumour)
  • Pregnancy (avoid in first trimester)
  • Breastfeeding

Side effects:

Occasional: Extrapyramidal effects (facial muscle spasm, protruding tongue, etc) Drowsiness, restlessness, depression.

Prolonged use can result in tardive dyskinesia (repetitive facial, neck and upper-body movement).


Anticholinergic and opoid analgesic drugs can antagonise the effect of metoclopramide (reduce efficacy). Effect on gastric emptying can increase the effect of analgesics (paracetamol, aspirin) and there is an increased risk of extrapyramidal effects with antipsychotics, lithium and phenothiazines.

Patient information:

  • Follow the instructions on the label of this medicine
  • This medicine may enhance the effects of other drugs so do not take any other medicines unless directed by your doctor/ pharmacist
  • Storage: keep Maxalon syrup in its amber glass container (stored out of sunlight)
  • Contact your doctor or seek medical attention if side effects are severe or ongoing.

See also:

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