Efficacy and safety of prucalopride in adults and children with chronic constipation

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2015 Feb;16(3):407-16. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2015.996547. Epub 2014 Dec 24.


Introduction: Chronic constipation (CC) is a debilitating condition with high prevalence rates both in children and adults. Despite the broad range of medical and pharmaceutical treatments, the bowel function does not restore in a fair amount of patients. Prucalopride is a first-in-class selective, high affinity serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine type 4 (5-HT4) receptor agonist promoting gastro-intestinal prokinetic activity and has been evaluated for the treatment of CC.

Areas covered: A PubMed search (1965 - 2014) using the following terms alone or in combination: prucalopride, 5-HT4, R093877, safety, toxicity, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, transit, cardiac, human ether-a-go-go related gene (hERG), arrhythmia, potassium current, elderly, children.

Expert opinion: Prucalopride, a highly selective 5-HT4 receptor agonist, stimulates gastrointestinal motility and has been proven to be effective in the treatment of CC in adults by increasing stool frequency, reducing constipation-related symptoms and improving quality of life (QoL). The safety and tolerability have been proven to be excellent. More research would be preferable on the effect of prucalopride on men, children and in other gastrointestinal motility disorders.

Keywords: 5-HT4 receptor; R093887; R108512; efficacy; enterokinetic; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; prokinetic; safety; serotonin agonist.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzofurans / adverse effects
  • Benzofurans / pharmacology
  • Benzofurans / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Constipation / drug therapy*
  • Constipation / physiopathology
  • Constipation / psychology
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Serotonin 5-HT4 Receptor Agonists / adverse effects
  • Serotonin 5-HT4 Receptor Agonists / pharmacology
  • Serotonin 5-HT4 Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use*


  • Benzofurans
  • Serotonin 5-HT4 Receptor Agonists
  • prucalopride