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Dig Dis. 2006;24(3-4):297-307.

Promotility medications--now and in the future.

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Center for Gastroenterological Research, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


Gastrointestinal promotility drugs stimulate smooth muscle contractions to enhance gastric emptying and small and large bowel transit. Currently available drug classes with prokinetic properties include antidopaminergic agents, serotonergic agents, and motilin-receptor agonists. Due to moderate prokinetic effects, poor symptomatic responses and the presence of adverse effects, there is a clear need for new classes of prokinetics. Several newer prokinetic drugs and drug classes are currently under evaluation. Selecting candidate agents and designing the appropriate therapeutic trials is hampered by the lack of insight in the pathophysiology of motility-related symptoms. As gastrointestinal motor disorders are chronic, relapsing, and remitting disorders, it seems desirable that studies with candidate prokinetic drugs establish a long-term efficacy and not only short-term effects on gastrointestinal functions.

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