Use of bethanechol for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux

J Pediatr. 1980 Feb;96(2):321-4. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(80)80839-0.


A double-blind crossover study utilizing bethanechol was performed among 45 pediatric-aged patients with gastroesophageal reflux. Thirty young children (age = less than 1 year) were studied. These infants did significantly better while taking bethanecol than when they were receiving placebo. Fifteen children (age greater than 1 year) were also studied. These patients also had significant clinical improvement while on the drug when compared to the period when they were receiving placebo. Esophageal pH probe testing after the oral administration of bethanecol showed a significant decrease in frequency and duration of episodes of gastroesophageal reflux. This improvement may be secondary to the increases in lower esophageal sphincter pressure and persistaltic activity seen during esophageal manometrics. Bethanechol should be considered for pediatric-aged patients who are not benefited by conventional medical therapeutic regimens.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bethanechol Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Esophagus / physiopathology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / drug therapy*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pressure


  • Bethanechol Compounds