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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2016 Mar;62(3):409-13. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000000964.

Cyproheptadine Use in Children With Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.

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*Carman Ann Adam Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine †Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Michigan ‡Children's Research Center of Michigan, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit.



The objective of this study was to evaluate clinical improvement and safety with use of cyproheptadine in functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in children.


Retrospectively evaluating the efficacy and safety of the use for indications including Rome III-defined FGIDs: functional abdominal pain, functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), abdominal migraine, cyclic vomiting syndrome. Response categories were as follows: no improvement group/partial improvement group; requiring intervention, or complete improvement group (CIG); warranting discontinuation; ongoing use; or parental unwillingness to stop medication.


Among 307 patients, 151 included; 58% girls, ages 1 to 18 years (median 9); 110 (72.8%) reported complete symptom improvement; 41 (27.2%) reported no or partial improvement. Mean initial and final doses in the CIG were 4.85 mg/day (0.14 mg · kg · day) and 5.34 mg/day (0.14 mg · kg · day), respectively. A total of 102/151 (68%) reported no adverse effects. Adverse effects shown were as sleepiness in 19/151 (13%) and weight gain in 15/151 (10%). Cyproheptadine was effective in improving symptoms of functional abdominal pain, functional dyspepsia, in a relatively larger number of patients. Patients in smaller numbers had significant improvement 13/18 (72%) abdominal migraine, 10/10 (100%) IBS, and 6/8 (75%) cyclic vomiting syndrome. This is the first time report of improvement in IBS. Other pharmacodynamics had been as follows: the lower the body weight, the higher are the odds of no to partial improvement; patients in no improvement group/partial improvement group experience more adverse effects as compared to the CIG; the single best predictor of clinical improvement was body mass index. A 1 unit increase in body mass index with cyproheptadine use increased the odds of clinical improvement by 1.5-fold (P = 0.01).


Cyproheptadine effectively improves symptoms of Rome III-defined FGIDs and has a good safety profile when used for these indications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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