Promotility medications--now and in the future

Dig Dis. 2006;24(3-4):297-307. doi: 10.1159/000092883.


Gastrointestinal promotility drugs stimulate smooth muscle contractions to enhance gastric emptying and small and large bowel transit. Currently available drug classes with prokinetic properties include antidopaminergic agents, serotonergic agents, and motilin-receptor agonists. Due to moderate prokinetic effects, poor symptomatic responses and the presence of adverse effects, there is a clear need for new classes of prokinetics. Several newer prokinetic drugs and drug classes are currently under evaluation. Selecting candidate agents and designing the appropriate therapeutic trials is hampered by the lack of insight in the pathophysiology of motility-related symptoms. As gastrointestinal motor disorders are chronic, relapsing, and remitting disorders, it seems desirable that studies with candidate prokinetic drugs establish a long-term efficacy and not only short-term effects on gastrointestinal functions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dopamine Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone / agonists
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide / agonists
  • Serotonin Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide
  • Serotonin Antagonists
  • motilin receptor