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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 1999 Jan;20(1):1-3.

Idiopathic constipation: too few stools and too little knowledge.

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  • 1Department of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology, Janssen Research Foundation, Beerse, Belgium.


The precise abnormalities of colonic motility patterns in idiopathic constipation, and the alterations at the cellular, neural, myogenic and biochemical levels that underlie these patterns, are not yet understood. One promising approach in the treatment of constipation seems to be to design drugs that can stimulate GMCs to produce mass movements and consequently defaecation. This could possibly be achieved with the selective 5-HT4 receptor agonists prucalopride and SDZ HTF-919, which are currently in advanced clinical trials. Other mechanisms that provide a means to induce GMCs, such as NK1 receptor agonism, deserve further exploration.

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