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What Factors Affect Metoclopramide Dosage?

By C.B. Fox
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are a number of different factors that will affect a patient's proper metoclopramide dosage. Patients are often given this drug to treat or prevent nausea, whether it is caused by a medical procedure or a medical condition. The nature of the patient's illness will affect how much metoclopramide a doctor decides to prescribe, though the patient's overall health, age, and weight will also be taken into account when determining the proper dosage.

One factor that will greatly affect a patient's metoclopramide dosage is whether that patient has a pre-existing condition. Conditions that affect the liver or the kidneys can make it difficult to eliminate this drug from the bloodstream, and patients with disorders of one or both of these organs are usually given a dose that is about half that of a healthy patient.

The age and weight of a patient will also affect how much metoclopramide they are given. Children from birth through age 14 may be administered an amount of this medication that is calculated using the child's weight. Depending on the reason for which the drug is given, the proper metoclopramide dosage can be as low as 0.1 milligrams per kilogram or as high as 2 milligrams per kilogram. There is usually a daily maximum dosage for children. Adults who are undergoing chemotherapy may also receive a metoclopramide dosage based on weight.

In healthy adults, the primary factor that determines the proper metoclopramide dosage is the condition that the drug is being used to treat. For the most part, the lowest dose that successfully treats the nausea or gastrointestinal discomfort will be used, though there are a few guidelines that doctors follow when they are determining what dose to start out with. Adults with gastroparesis, for example, are often given 10 milligrams of the drug in four doses spread throughout the day. Those with gastroesophageal reflux disease may be given between 10 and 15 milligrams of metoclopramide to be taken a half an hour before the patient eats a meal.

Certain medical procedures can also prompt a doctor to prescribe metoclopramide. Patients commonly receive this medication because of an intubation of the small intestine, which is a radiographic exam of the stomach or intestines, or to treat the nausea caused by general surgery. In these cases, the metoclopramide dosage is usually between 10 and 20 milligrams and is given only once.

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