Background & aims: Prucalopride (PRU) is a selective benzofuran 5-hydroxytryptamine(4)-receptor agonist with gastrointestinal and colonic prokinetic activities. We evaluated the effects of PRU on gastrointestinal and colonic transit in patients with constipation.
Methods: Gastrointestinal and colonic transit were measured over 48 hours in 40 patients who fulfilled modified Rome I criteria for functional constipation. Patients had no evidence of a rectal evacuation disorder. Subjects were randomized to receive a daily dose of 2 or 4 mg PRU or placebo in a double-blind, parallel-group design. Each treatment lasted 7 days. The transit test was performed over the last 48 hours of the study. Effects on gastric emptying, small bowel transit, and colonic transit were analyzed using Kruskal-Wallis and Wilcoxon rank sum tests.
Results: Of 61 patients screened, 40 were eligible and randomized. Two patients withdrew because of adverse events. PRU accelerated overall gastric emptying and small bowel transit. PRU tended to accelerate overall colonic transit with significantly faster overall colonic transit and ascending colon emptying with the 4-mg dose.
Conclusions: PRU accelerates transit through the stomach, small bowel, and colon in patients with constipation unassociated with a rectal evacuation disorder.