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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Jul;36(1):3-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2012.05128.x. Epub 2012 May 16.

Review article: current treatment options and management of functional dyspepsia.

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Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, USA.



Functional dyspepsia (FD), a common functional gastrointestinal disorder, is defined by the Rome III criteria as symptoms of epigastric pain or discomfort (prevalence in FD of 89-90%), postprandial fullness (75-88%), and early satiety (50-82%) within the last 3 months with symptom onset at least 6 months earlier. Patients cannot have any evidence of structural disease to explain symptoms and predominant symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux are exclusionary. Symptoms of FD are non-specific and the pathophysiology is diverse, which explains in part why a universally effective treatment for FD remains elusive.


To present current management options for the treatment of FD (therapeutic gain/response rate noted when available).


The utility of Helicobacter pylori eradication for the treatment of FD is modest (6-14% therapeutic gain), while the therapeutic efficacy of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) (7-10% therapeutic gain), histamine-type-2-receptor antagonists (8-35% therapeutic gain), prokinetic agents (18-45%), tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) (response rates of 64-70%), serotonin reuptake inhibitors (no better than placebo) is limited and hampered by inadequate data. This review discusses dietary interventions and analyses studies involving complementary and alternative medications, and psychological therapies.


A reasonable treatment approach based on current evidence is to initiate therapy with a daily PPI in H. pylori-negative FD patients. If symptoms persist, a therapeutic trial with a tricyclic antidepressant may be initiated. If symptoms continue, the clinician can possibly initiate therapy with an anti-nociceptive agent, a prokinetic agent, or some form of complementary and alternative medications, although evidence from prospective studies to support this approach is limited.

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