Effect of sumatriptan on gastric emptying: a crossover study using the BreathID system

World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jul 14;18(26):3415-9. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i26.3415.


Aim: To determine the effect of oral sumatriptan on gastric emptying using a continuous ¹³C breath test (BreathID system).

Methods: Ten healthy male volunteers participated in this randomized, 2-way crossover study. The subjects fasted overnight and were randomly assigned to receive a test meal (200 kcal/200 mL) 30 min after pre-medication with sumatriptan 50 mg (sumatriptan condition), or the test meal alone (control condition). Gastric emptying was monitored for 4 h after administration of the test meal by the ¹³C-acetic acid breath test performed continually using the BreathID system. Then, using Oridion Research Software (β version), the time taken for emptying of 50% of the labeled meal (T(1/2)) similar to the scintigraphy lag time for 10% emptying of the labeled meal (T(lag)), the gastric emptying coefficient (GEC), and the regression-estimated constants (β and κ) were calculated. The statistical significance of any differences in the parameters were analyzed using Wilcoxon's signed-rank test.

Results: In the sumatriptan condition, significant differences compared with the control condition were found in T(1/2) [median 131.84 min (range, 103.13-168.70) vs 120.27 min (89.61-138.25); P = 0.0016], T(lag) [median 80.085 min (59.23-125.89) vs 61.11 min (39.86-87.05); P = 0.0125], and β [median 2.3374 (1.6407-3.8209) vs 2.0847 (1.4755-2.9269); P = 0.0284]. There were no significant differences in the GEC or κ between the 2 conditions.

Conclusion: This study showed that oral sumatriptan significantly delayed gastric emptying of a liquid meal.

Keywords: Breath test; BreathID system; Gastric emptying; Liquid meal; Sumatriptan.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Breath Tests / methods*
  • Carbon Isotopes / chemistry
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Software
  • Sumatriptan / pharmacology*


  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Sumatriptan