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Pharmacol Res. 1995 May;31(5):257-60.

Therapeutic potential of drugs with mixed 5-HT4 agonist/5-HT3 antagonist action in the control of emesis.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pavia, Italy.


Drugs interacting with serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) receptors are of value in the treatment of several gastrointestinal disturbances. Selective 5-HT3 receptor antagonists (ondansetron, granisetron, tropisetron) are widely utilized to control emesis induced by chemotherapy and radiation, while agonists at 5-HT4 receptors (cisapride, renzapride, BIMU compounds) are endowed with gastrointestinal prokinetic action. Here we overview the therapeutic potential of drugs with potent mixed 5-HT4 agonist/5-HT3 antagonist properties (i.e. BIMU 1) in the management of anticancer therapy-induced emesis and of intestinal adynamic post-operative conditions associated with vomiting. In the former situation, the agonism at 5-HT4 receptors is expected to be of benefit via two possible mechanism: (i) inhibition of 5-HT release from enterochromaffin cells; (ii) restoration of anally driven peristaltic waves in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Moreover, 5-HT4 receptor-induced prokinetic activity may counteract colonic constipation, an unwanted effect which occurs in a number of patients treated with pure 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. Additionally, the above mentioned drugs might be of value in post-operative conditions associated with intestinal adynamia and emesis sensitive to 5-HT3 receptor blockade.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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