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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Nov;10(11):1239-45. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2012.06.036. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Efficacy of buspirone, a fundus-relaxing drug, in patients with functional dyspepsia.

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Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders (TARGID), University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.



Impaired accommodation and hypersensitivity to gastric distention are believed to be involved in the development of functional dyspepsia (FD). Buspirone, a 5-hydroxytryptamine 1A receptor agonist, relaxes the proximal stomach in healthy individuals. We studied the effects of buspirone on symptoms and mechanisms of FD.


We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study of 17 patients (13 women; mean age, 38.5 ± 2.4 years). The study included 2 treatment periods of 4 weeks each, separated by a 2-week washout period. In the first period, 7 participants were given buspirone (10 mg, 3 times daily for 4 weeks) and 10 were given placebo 15 minutes before meals; patients switched groups for the second period. We assessed meal-related symptoms and severity, along with gastric sensitivity, accommodation, and emptying (by using barostat and breath tests) before and after 4 weeks of treatment.


Buspirone significantly reduced the overall severity of symptoms of dyspepsia (7.5 ± 1.3 vs 11.5 ± 1.2 for placebo; P < .005) and individual symptoms of postprandial fullness, early satiation, and upper abdominal bloating, whereas placebo had no significant effect (all P < .05). Buspirone did not alter the rate of gastric emptying of solids or sensitivity to gastric distention, but it significantly increased gastric accommodation, compared with placebo (229 ± 28 vs 141 ± 32 mL, respectively; P < .05), and delayed gastric emptying of liquids (half-life = 64 ± 5 vs 119 ± 24 minutes, respectively). Adverse events were similar when patients were given buspirone or placebo.


In patients with FD, 4 weeks of administration of buspirone significantly improved symptoms and gastric accommodation, compared with placebo, whereas gastric emptying of liquids was delayed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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