Background: Functional dyspepsia is recognized as a common disorder in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and adverse effects of cisapride compared to a placebo in patients from a general practice with functional dyspepsia (FD). Secondly we investigated whether Helicobacter pylori-positive FD patients present with specific symptoms and determined the efficacy of cisapride for FD patients with H. pylori.
Methods: In a placebo-controlled double-blind study, patients were randomized to receive fixed doses of either cisapride (10 mg three times daily) or placebo. Symptoms were evaluated after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment. The selection of FD patients,collection of data, and evaluation of symptoms as well as adverse effects were performed by general practitioners. Dyspeptic patients were referred to the Gastroenterology Department in order to exclude ulcers, oesophagitis, pancreatitis and gallstones. Biopsies of gastric mucosa were taken for histological examination and H. pylori culture.
Patients: 121 patients entered this study (61 took cisapride, 60 placebo). There were 113 patients (56 cisapride, 57 placebo) available for analysis of the efficacy and 120 patients (61 cisapride, 59 placebo) for evaluation of adverse effects.In total 102 biopsies were tested for the presence of gastritis by histological examination. There were 30 H. pylori-positive cultures among 111 patients.
Results: After 4 weeks a statistically significant reduction in symptoms was found, but it was similar in the two groups. No symptoms specific for H. pylori-positive patients were found. There was not a significant difference in the response to cisapride between H. pylori-positive and H. pylori-negative patients. The difference in overall (63%) response in the cisapride group and the 44% response in the placebo group did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusions: No significant difference was found between placebo and cisapride in the treatment of FD in general practice. H. pylori-positive patients did not present with specific symptoms nor did they exhibit a different response to cisapride.