Effect of prucalopride on intestinal gas tolerance in patients with functional bowel disorders and constipation

Carolina Malagelada, Adoración Nieto, Sara Mendez, Anna Accarino, Javier Santos, Juan R. Malagelada, Fernando Azpiroz

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9 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd Background and Aim: Patients with functional bowel disorders develop gas retention and symptoms in response to intestinal gas loads that are well tolerated by healthy subjects. Stimulation of 5HT-4 receptors in the gut has both prokinetic and antinociceptive effects. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of prucalopride, a highly selective 5HT-4 agonist, on gas transit and tolerance in women with functional bowel disorders complaining of constipation. Methods: Twenty-four women with functional bowel disorders complaining of constipation were included in the study. Patients were studied twice on separate days in a cross-over design. On each study day, an intestinal gas challenge test was performed. During the five previous days, prucalopride (2 mg/day) or placebo was administered. Abdominal symptoms, stool frequency, and stool consistency were recorded during the treatment period on daily questionnaires. Results: During the gas challenge test, prucalopride did not decrease the volume of gas retained in the subset of patients who had significant gas retention (≥ 200 mL) while on placebo. However, in those patients who had increased symptoms during the gas test (≥ 3 on a 0 to 6 scale) when on placebo, prucalopride did significantly reduce the perception of symptoms (2.3 ± 0.5 mean score vs 3.5 ± 0.3 on placebo; P = 0.045). During the treatment period with prucalopride, patients exhibited an increase in the total number of bowel movements and decreased stool consistency compared with placebo. Conclusion: Prucalopride reduces abdominal symptoms without modifying gas retention when patients with functional bowel disorders are challenged with the gas transit and tolerance test. European Clinical Trials Database (EudraCT2011-006354-86).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1457-1462
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • functional digestive symptoms
  • intestinal gas
  • intestinal motility
  • intestinal sensitivity
  • prucalopride


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