Functional dyspepsia: drugs for new (and old) therapeutic targets

Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2004 Aug;18(4):717-33. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2004.04.003.


The therapeutic management of functional dyspepsia remains a major challenge for the gastroenterologist. Current therapies available are based on putative underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms, including gastric acid sensitivity, slow gastric emptying and Helicobacter pylori infection, but only a small proportion of patients achieve symptomatic benefit from these therapeutic approaches. Relatively novel mechanistic concepts under testing include impaired gastric accomodation, visceral hypersensitivity, and central nervous system dysfunction. Serotonergic modulators (e.g. the 5-HT4 agonist tegaserod, the 5-HT3 antagonist alosetron and the 5-HT1P agonist sumatriptan), CCK-1 antagonists (e.g. dexloxiglumide), opioid agonists (e.g. asimadoline), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists (e.g dextromethorphan), neurokinin antagonists (e.g. talnetant), capsaicin-like agents and antidepressants are among the agents currently under investigation. It seems unlikely, however, that targeting a single mechanism with an individual drug will result in complete symptom remission in most cases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dyspepsia / drug therapy*
  • Dyspepsia / physiopathology
  • Gastric Acid / metabolism
  • Gastric Emptying / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects
  • Humans


  • Gastrointestinal Agents