Repurposing Domperidone in Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: A Simon 2-Stage Phase 2 Futility Trial


To assess whether treatment with the generic drug domperidone can reduce the progression of disability in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), we conducted a phase 2 futility trial following the Simon 2-stage design.


We enrolled patients in an open-label, Simon 2-stage, single-center, phase 2, single-arm futility trial at the Calgary Multiple Sclerosis Clinic if they met the following criteria: age of 18 to 60 years, SPMS, screening Expanded Disability Status Scale score of 4.0 to 6.5, and screening timed 25-ft walk (T25FW) of ≥9 seconds. Patients received domperidone 10 mg 4 times daily for 1 year. The primary outcome was worsening of disability, defined as worsening of the T25FW performance by ≥20% at 12 months compared to baseline. This trial is registered with (NCT02308137).


Between February 13, 2015, and January 3, 2020, 110 patients were screened, 81 received treatment, and 64 completed follow-up, of whom 62 were analyzed. The study did not meet its primary endpoint: 22 of 62 (35%) patients experienced significant worsening of disability, which is close to the expected proportion of 40% and above the predefined futility threshold. Patients with higher prolactin levels during the study had a significantly lower risk of disability progression, which may warrant further investigation. Domperidone treatment was reasonably well tolerated, but adverse events occurred in 84% and serious adverse events in 15% of patients.


Domperidone treatment could not reject futility in reducing disability progression in SPMS. The Simon 2-stage trial model may be a useful model for phase 2 studies in progressive MS.

Trial Registration Information Identifier: NCT02308137.

Classification of Evidence

This study provides Class III evidence that in individuals with SPMS participating in a futility trial, domperidone treatment could not reject futility in reducing disability progression at 12 months.

Read article at journal's website

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *