The cisapride is a gastrointestinal prokinetic drug , ie, that promotes bowel movement in the digestion process. It has been used to improve the tone of the esophageal sphincter and as part of the treatment against gastroparece and abnormalities such as constipation.Its mechanism of action consists of acting at the level of the Auerbach or myenteric plexus, which is the part of the nervous system of the digestive system responsible for regulating intestinal peristalsis. It boosts the release of acetylcholine , which increases intestinal motility and causes food to be carried faster through the digestive tract; thus, gastric emptying is facilitated.Cisapride is also used in cases of reflux , in which there is no control of esophageal movements and a load of food with gastric acid tends to move up the duct. Currently, the use of this drug is very limited, as its side effects are numerous and in several cases they are very serious, even causing death.

What is cisapride for?

The main objectives of cisapride are:

  • Treat constipation
  • Treat gastro-appearance
  • Reduce non-ulcer dyspepsia
  • Avoid backflow
  • Tone the lower esophageal sphincter
  • Decrease nighttime indigestion

Treat constipation

The most prominent use of cisapride is as an aid in cases of constipation , produced by hypomotility, that is, when there are not enough peristaltic movements to help transport and dispose of stool.

Cisapride can cause diarrhea, however it is not considered a laxative drug, but a prokinetic drug , helping to make intestinal transit efficient .

Treat gastro-appearance

Cisapride, by releasing acetylcholine, increases intestinal peristalsis and glandular secretion, which helps the digestive system work normally in the degradation and transport of the food to be processed.

Reduce non-ulcer dyspepsia

Cisapride is a drug that promotes peristaltic movements.

Cisapride helps relieve symptoms of non-ulcer dyspepsia (difficult digestion), such as nausea, burning, heaviness, flatulence, and stomach pain.

Avoid backflow

Cisapride has been used to treat reflux, as it helps the esophagus tissue to be less exposed to stomach acids . In addition, by improving the contraction of the lower esophageal sphincter, it helps to prevent acid from moving up the esophagus as easily, while accelerating stomach emptying by increasing motility, so that food does not accumulate for longer than necessary . This results in less discomfort from indigestion and heartburn.

Contraindications of cisapride

In recent years, the administration of cisapride has been very limited, as its side effects can be strong in many people, such as:

  • Patients suffering from arrhythmias
  • Patients with QT interval abnormalities
  • Pregnant women, unless the doctor assesses the risk-benefit factor and decides to use it
  • Lactating women
  • Newly born
  • Small children

In many countries, cisapride is strictly established to be applied in health centers and under medical supervision.

Side effects of cisapride

Cisapride can cause side effects such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Sickness
  • Vomiting
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Alterations in the QT interval

Generally, care is taken that patients do not have cardiac abnormalities or a family history of sudden death, in order to be able to safely administer this drug. It is also important not to mix or alter it with drugs that are CYP3A4 (Cytochrome P450 3A4) inhibitors.

This article is informational in nature and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion. Consult a doctor.

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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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