A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Outpatient Protocol for Transitioning Children from Tube to Oral Feeding: No Need for Amitriptyline

J Pediatr. 2016 May:172:136-141.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.02.013. Epub 2016 Mar 3.


Objective: To assess the role of amitriptyline in the effectiveness of an outpatient protocol for weaning medically complicated children from tube to oral feeding.

Study design: Twenty-one children seen in multidisciplinary outpatient feeding teams across 4 sites were recruited to a randomized placebo-controlled trial of a 6-month outpatient treatment protocol with behavioral, oral-motor, nutrition, and medication components.

Results: All of the children who completed the 6-month program (73%) were weaned to receive only oral feeding, regardless of group assignment. The transition from tube to oral feeding resulted in decreases in body mass index percentile and pain, some improvements in quality of life, and no statistically significant changes in cost.

Conclusions: Amitriptyline is not a key component of this otherwise effective outpatient, interdisciplinary protocol for weaning children from tube to oral feeding.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01206478.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amitriptyline / administration & dosage*
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / administration & dosage*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Enteral Nutrition / adverse effects
  • Enteral Nutrition / methods*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status
  • Outpatients
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Weaning


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Amitriptyline

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01206478