Effect of cisapride on gastric emptying in premature infants with feed intolerance

J Paediatr Child Health. 2001 Dec;37(6):559-63. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1754.2001.00705.x.


Objective: To assess the effect of cisapride on gastric emptying and gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) symptoms in preterm infants with feed intolerance.

Methods: Sixteen preterm infants (gestational age 24-35 weeks) with feed intolerance were enrolled in the study. Infants were randomized to receive 7 days of cisapride 0.2 mg/kg four times a day, immediately followed by 7 days of placebo or vice versa. Gastric emptying was measured using the [13C]-octanoic acid breath test prior to study entry and repeated on day 5, 6 or 7 after randomization and 5, 6 or 7 days after crossover. The symptoms of GOR were monitored during the study period using a standardized reflux chart. Weight was recorded daily.

Results: There was no change in gastric emptying in infants prescribed cisapride (gastric half-emptying time (t1/2) 31.9 +/- 4.7 vs 34.2 +/- 3.9 min for placebo vs cisapride, respectively; P = 0.65). Infants on cisapride had slower growth and there was no change in reflux symptoms.

Conclusions: The use of cisapride in preterm infants with feed intolerance cannot be recommended.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Breath Tests
  • Cisapride / administration & dosage*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Enteral Nutrition / methods
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders of Childhood / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastric Emptying / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Reference Values
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Cisapride