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Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2003 Jun;32(2):707-32, viii-ix.

Pharmacotherapy for intestinal motor and sensory disorders.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, 3912 Taubman Center, Box 0362, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Motor disorders of the gastrointestinal tract are characterized by definable impairments of gut contractile function. Other conditions exhibit specific disturbances of visceral afferent and efferent activity, which may underlie selected symptom complexes. Medications in several classes have been developed to treat these disorders of gastrointestinal function. Prokinetic agents are effective therapies for ailments with reduced motor function, whereas antispasmodic drugs reduce symptoms in conditions with exaggerated pressure wave activity. Recently, medications designed to blunt transmission in visceral sensory pathways have been proposed for use in the functional bowel disorders. Finally, some patients may benefit from initiation of nonspecific therapies, which have no appreciable effect on gut motor or sensory function.

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