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Neuromodulating agents in functional dyspepsia: a comprehensive review

Journal Volume 86 - 2023
Issue Fasc.1 - Reviews
Author(s) L. Bosman 1, L. Wauters 2, T. Vanuytsel 2
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Full Article
PAGES 49-57
(1) Faculty of Medicine, KULeuven, Leuven, Belgium
(2) Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Background and study aims: Functional dyspepsia is a common chronic condition with upper abdominal symptoms in the absence of an organic cause. The first line treatment consists of protonpomp inhibition or Helicobacter pylori eradication. However, this approach often does not provide enough symptom relief. Neuromodulating agents are commonly used in clinical practice but only tricyclic antidepressant (TCAs) are mentioned in European and American and Canadian guidelines.

Methods: We performed a comprehensive review of the literature in Pubmed for full-text randomized controlled trials in English with adult participants (>18 years) who met the Rome II, III or IV criteria or were diagnosed by a physician with a negative upper endoscopy and that compared a neuromodulating agent with placebo.

Results: The search strategy identified 386 articles of which 14 articles met the eligibility criteria. TCAs like amitriptyline and imipramine have been shown to be effective in the treatment of functional dyspepsia whereas other neuromodulating agents like tetracyclic antidepressants, levosulpiride and anxiolytics might be beneficial but conclusive evidence is lacking. serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) have not shown benefit in patients with functional dyspepsia

Conclusion: Selected neuromodulators have an established efficacy in functional dyspepsia. The best supporting evidence is available for TCAs with a potential role for tetracyclic antidepressants, levosulpiride and anxiolytics

Keywords: functional gastrointestinal disorders, neuromodulators, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anti-anxiety agents.

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
© Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica.
PMID 36842175