Metoclopramide may be given as a shot in the vein (intravenous, or
IV) or in pill form.
How It Works
Metoclopramide increases the movements or contractions of the
muscles in the stomach and intestines. This decreases the amount of time it
takes for the stomach contents to move through the digestive tract.
Why It Is Used
Metoclopramide prevents and relieves nausea and vomiting caused by
chemotherapy. It is also used to treat heartburn, loss
of appetite, and a prolonged feeling of fullness after meals.
How Well It Works
Metoclopramide improves nausea and vomiting that is caused by
chemotherapy or advanced cancer.1
Metoclopramide does not cause as many side effects as many other
medicines used to prevent nausea and vomiting. Side effects
- Sleepiness or confusion.
or muscle spasms.
- Decreased blood pressure
- Rapid or uncontrolled movements of lips and
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference
is not available in all systems.)
What To Think About
Do not use metoclopramide if you have narrow-angle glaucoma,
prostate disease, severe low blood pressure, or rapid, irregular heartbeats.
Metoclopramide can cause sleepiness and confusion, so do not
operate motor vehicles or other machinery until you know how you react to this
Do not drink alcohol while you are taking metoclopramide.
Metoclopramide can interact with many other medicines. Check with
your doctor before taking other medicines, such as antihistamines or cold
medicines, sedatives, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, pain medicines, seizure
medicines, or muscle relaxants.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
National Cancer Institute (2011). Nausea and Vomiting PDQ—Health Professional Version. Available online: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/nausea/HealthProfessional.
Primary Medical Reviewer
||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology
||August 11, 2011