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Primperan (metoclopramide): uses and side effects

Primperan (metoclopramide): uses and side effects

November 3, 2022

Metoclopramide, better known as Primperan , is a medication widely used to treat all types of nausea and vomiting since the 1980s. For a long period of time it was considered one of the safest drugs on the market.

However, Primperan is indicated for specific uses and should not be used without medical prescription, as many people usually do; In this article we explain why.

What is metoclopramide?

The generic name of Primperan is 'metoclopramide'. Other less common commercial names include Digespar, Clopan, Metoclox, Bitecain, Aeroflat, Novomit and Rilaquin.

The main effect of metoclopramide is antiemetic : it acts as an antagonist of D2 dopamine receptors and 5-HT3 serotonergic receptors, decreasing the likelihood that the user will vomit.


In addition the Primperan relaxes the digestive tract , increases the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter and widens gastric contractions. This is why it is classified within the group of prokinetic drugs, which facilitate intestinal transit.

Metoclopramide is administered orally. Its effects last approximately 6 hours, and its maximum power occurs between half an hour and two hours after taking it.

What is Primperan good for?

Metoclopramide is usually used to treat any type of nausea; However, in recent years scientific studies have materialized the main indications of this medicine .

1. Nausea induced by chemotherapy and radiotherapy

It is usually prescribed Primperan to prevent the onset or reduce the intensity of nausea and vomiting that occur during treatments with chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.


The use of antiemetic medicines also serves to avoid the development of anticipatory nausea and vomiting , which take place when the body associates the therapy with the appearance of these symptoms. It can also happen that nausea is conditioned to the smell or taste of foods that were consumed after these treatments.

2. Postoperative treatments

Metoclopramide is indicated in people who experience nausea and vomiting as a result of surgical operations . It is also used to treat the decrease in the speed of intestinal transit that occurs after some interventions, especially the digestive system.

3. Vomiting caused by migraine

Nausea and vomiting induced by acute migraine they are frequently treated with Primperan. It is also usually combined with analgesic medications for migraine such as paracetamol because metoclopramide facilitates its absorption, increasing its effectiveness.


If used to treat migraines, Primperan should be taken in small doses because increasing them does not potentiate the effects but it does increase the likelihood of developing side effects, especially drowsiness and akathisia (physical restlessness).

  • Maybe you're interested: "The 7 types of migraine (characteristics and causes)"

4. Digestive and stomach disorders

The Primperan can be effective to relieve the symptoms of various gastrointestinal disorders . Particularly noteworthy is chronic acidity or gastroesophageal reflux, a condition in which stomach fluid rises into the esophagus, irritating it and causing symptoms such as coughing and swallowing difficulties.

Also used to treat gastroparesis , that is, the decrease in stomach emptying capacity. In particular, it seems useful for diabetic gastroparesis; In this disorder, the elevated glucose levels of diabetes damage the nerves of the stomach and make it empty more slowly.

When using Primperan to treat digestive problems it is advisable to be very careful due to the possible side effects of its continued use.

Side effects and adverse

The greatest risk of taking Primperan is the development of dyskinesia , a disorder in which involuntary movements of the facial muscles occur, such as chewing, tightening the lips, creasing the eyebrows or blinking.

It is not recommended to take metoclopramide for more than three months because the longer it is consumed, the more likely it is that you will develop dyskinesia and that it will continue after you stop taking it; this phenomenon is known as 'tardive dyskinesia'.

There is also a risk of agranulocytosis, a disorder consisting of a severe reduction in the number of white blood cells. and the neuroleptic malignant syndrome , which includes fever, delirium and respiratory, circulatory and digestive alterations.

In addition to the above, the serious adverse effects of Primperan include depression, agitation or akathisia, heart rhythm disturbances, muscle stiffness and vision problems. It is recommended to consult the doctor if these symptoms appear.

Among the most common and benign side effects are tiredness, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, frequent urination, breast growth, decreased sexual function and disappearance of menstruation.

Contraindications and warnings

The likelihood of adverse effects is greater in children. Therefore, it is Especially advised against the usual use of Primperan in children , reducing its applications in these cases to postoperative treatments and chemotherapy. Under no circumstances should metoclopramide be administered to children under one year of age.

The Primperan May worsen the symptoms of Parkinson's disease , since it has an antidopamine effect and the symptoms of this disorder are due to low levels of dopamine. Something similar happens with depression, in which the function of this neurotransmitter is also altered.

It is also not recommended that people who are diagnosed with restless legs syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder should take Primperan.

Metoclopramide interacts with various medications, including sedatives, insulin, aspirin, antihistamines, levodopa, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and antipsychotics such as haloperidol.

Take Primperan during pregnancy It seems quite safe, except in the last trimester, when the risk of extrapyramidal syndrome in the baby increases. Metoclopramide is excreted in breast milk, so it should not be taken during breast-feeding.


METOCLOPRAMIDE (November 2022).


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