Treatment of functional dyspepsia with antianxiety or antidepressive agents: systematic review

J Gastroenterol. 2005 Nov;40(11):1036-42. doi: 10.1007/s00535-005-1687-8.


Background: The pathophysiology of functional dyspepsia (FD) has not been elucidated precisely; accordingly, effective management of FD has not yet been found. Until now, treatment with antianxiety or antidepressive agents has been empirically applied; however, the efficacy of these treatments has not been established. We carried out this study to estimate the efficacy of these treatment approaches by systematically reviewing the literature concerning trials with agents that are efficacious against anxiety, neurosis, or depression.

Methods: Articles were searched from the MEDLINE database up to October 2003, using the terms, "antianxiety agents", "antidepressants", and "dyspepsia", and from reference lists of published articles. Finally, studies in which the effectiveness of drugs was clearly stated were selected from the retrieved articles.

Results: Thirteen articles, on 1717 patients, were selected from among 90 articles retrieved through our literature search. In 11 of the 13 studies, dyspeptic symptoms were improved significantly by treatment. Statistical analysis of 4 trials showed a significant benefit of treatment with antianxiety or antidepressive agents (pooled relative risk, 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.36-0.85), although funnel plots were asymmetric.

Conclusions: Antianxiety or antidepressive agents may be effective in the treatment of FD patients, though further clinical trials are necessary.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Dyspepsia / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents