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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2011 Nov;24(11):1317-20. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2010.549255. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

Metoclopramide to augment lactation, does it work? A randomized trial.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aultman Health Foundation, Canton, Ohio, USA.



The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of metoclopramide on augmentation of milk production in mothers of premature newborns.


This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Women who delivered at ≤34 weeks of gestation, with no prior breastfeeding experience, singleton pregnancy, and no contraindications to using metoclopramide were eligible for entry. Twenty-five women were randomly assigned to receive 10 mg of metoclopramide or placebo three times daily for 8 days starting within 36 h of birth. Certified lactation nurses provided breastfeeding education. Breast milk expressed at each pumping session over the 8 days of treatment was recorded.


Data from 18 patients were available for analysis. Milk production in both groups increased rapidly during the first 4 days and then more gradually to an average for the last 4 days of 633 ± 168 (9) ml/day [mean ± SEM (n)] for the placebo group and 459 ± 91 (10) ml/day for the metoclopramide group. Analysis with a repeated-measures ANOVA indicated a significant increase in milk production during the 8-day measurement period [within subjects p < 0.001]; however, there was no significant difference in milk production between the two groups [between subjects p = 0.427]. Side effects were similar between groups.


In mothers with preterm babies, metoclopramide treatment does not augment (sample size had 80% power for detection of 50% difference) the breast milk production. Maternal interest, education, and support are recognized as mainstay in accomplishing successful lactation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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