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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1995 Aug;7(8):797-802.

Effects of erythromycin on gastric emptying, duodeno-caecal transit time, gastric and biliopancreatic secretion during continuous gastric infusion of a liquid diet in healthy volunteers.

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Laboratoire de Pharmacie Galénique, Faculté de Pharmacie, Cochin Hospital, Paris, France.



Erythromycin, a macrolide antibiotic, has been reported to increase gastric emptying. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of intravenous erythromycin (150 mg/h) on gastric emptying, small intestinal transit time, gastric and biliopancreatic secretions during gastric infusion of a liquid diet in healthy volunteers.


A randomized double-blind crossover study (erythromycin versus placebo).


Gastric emptying rates of nutrients, gastric acid secretion, gastric pH, jejunal flow rates, as well as biliopancreatic secretions and duodeno-caecal transit time, were evaluated during a continuous infusion at 4.5 kcal/min of a nutrient solution (1 kcal/ml) in the antrum, over a 6 h period, by a perfusion method.


During the 6 h period, total gastric volume and gastric acid secretion decreased during erythromycin administration of 37 and 22%, respectively (area under the curves). Lipase outputs were significantly higher with erythromycin than placebo. Bile salt output was not significantly different between erythromycin and placebo. Duodeno-caecal transit time increased significantly during erythromycin infusion compared with placebo (191 +/- 12 versus 159 +/- 17 min; P < 0.05).


During continuous gastric infusion of a liquid diet, intravenous erythromycin has a powerful effect on gastrointestinal function. The motor and secretory effects may enhance the tolerance and the efficiency of enteral nutrition in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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