A Review of the Cardiovascular Safety of Prucalopride in Patients With Chronic Idiopathic Constipation

Am J Gastroenterol. 2023 Jun 1;118(6):955-960. doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000002249. Epub 2023 Mar 16.


Prokinetic agents, specifically 5-hydroxytryptamine type 4 (5-HT 4 ) receptor agonists, have been shown to provide relief in chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). The first-generation 5-HT 4 agonists were initially withdrawn from use owing to associations with serious cardiovascular (CV) events. This review summarizes CV safety data for prucalopride, a high-affinity 5-HT 4 agonist approved in the United States in 2018 for adults with CIC. No significant effects of prucalopride on CV safety were observed in animal models or early-phase clinical studies, including a thorough QT study at therapeutic (2 mg) or supratherapeutic (10 mg) doses. Among 1,750 patients with CIC who received prucalopride (2-4 mg) in 5 phase 3 studies, no trends in CV adverse events, electrocardiogram parameters, or blood pressure were documented; ≤1.0%-2.0% of patients had prolonged QT interval corrected for heart rate (HR) using Fridericia formula after placebo or prucalopride treatment, and low HR occurred in ≤6.1% and ≤3.3% of these patients, respectively. In two 24-month observational studies among 2,468 patients, changes in electrocardiogram parameters over time were minor, except at occasional time points when significant changes from baseline were reported for HR or QT interval. In a real-world European CV safety study among 35,087 patients (prucalopride, 5,715; polyethylene glycol 3350 [PEG3350], 29,372), results were consistent for no evidence of increased risk of major adverse CV events among patients treated with prucalopride vs PEG3350 (incidence rate ratio = 0.64; 95% confidence interval 0.36-1.14). Studies to date have not raised concerns regarding the impact of prucalopride treatment on CV parameters.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Constipation / chemically induced
  • Constipation / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Laxatives* / adverse effects
  • Serotonin 5-HT4 Receptor Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Serotonin* / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • prucalopride
  • Laxatives
  • Serotonin
  • polyethylene glycol 3350
  • Serotonin 5-HT4 Receptor Agonists