Effects of 5-HT(3) antagonism on postprandial gastric volume and symptoms in humans

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2002 Feb;16(2):225-33. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2002.01144.x.


Background: Alosetron reduces symptoms of dyspepsia, but the physiological basis for the symptomatic benefit is unclear.

Aim: To assess 5-HT3 antagonism on postprandial gastric volume and symptoms after ingestion of maximum tolerable volume of a liquid meal.

Methods: In 36 healthy volunteers, we assessed effects of placebo, 0.5 and 1 mg b.d. alosetron on fasting and postprandial gastric volumes (using single photon emission computed tomography) and symptoms based on 100 mm VAS, 30 min after maximum volume ingested.

Results: The 5-HT3 antagonist reduced postprandial symptoms (aggregate score: P < 0.05), nausea (P < 0.001), and tended to reduce bloating (P=0.08). Both 0.5 and 1 mg alosetron reduced nausea (P < 0.025); 1 mg alosetron reduced aggregate symptoms (P < 0.05) and bloating (P < 0.05). Effects on pain (P=0.19) and fullness (P=0.14) were not statistically significant. There were no significant effects of the 5-HT3 antagonist on volume of meal tolerated or on SPECT-measured fasting or postprandial gastric volumes.

Conclusion: 5-HT3 antagonism reduces aggregate symptoms, nausea and bloating after a liquid meal without increase in gastric volumes, suggesting a role for 5-HT3 in afferent functions in healthy humans during the postprandial period.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbolines / administration & dosage
  • Carbolines / adverse effects
  • Carbolines / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Sucrose / adverse effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Food, Formulated
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Nausea / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Postprandial Period / drug effects*
  • Serotonin Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Serotonin Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Serotonin Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Stomach / drug effects*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon


  • Carbolines
  • Dietary Sucrose
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • Ensure formulated food
  • alosetron