Indexed on: 18 Jun '05Published on: 18 Jun '05Published in: Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Studies have shown that early enteral nutrition in critically ill patients reduces the incidence of morbidity and death. Nonetheless, intolerance to gastric enteral nutrition is common in these patients as a result of gastroparesis. The use of prokinetic agents such as metoclopramide, domperidone, cisapride, and erythromycin can improve gastric emptying, but these agents are not without deleterious adverse effects. Tegaserod, a selective serotonin type 4 receptor partial agonist, was recently approved for treatment of women with irritable bowel syndrome. On the basis of tegaserod's mechanism of action, it was hypothesized that tegaserod may accelerate the return of gastric function in intensive care unit patients with gastroparesis. It would thus provide an additional agent for the management of gastroparesis with a more favorable safety profile. We present 3 case reports of the successful use of tegaserod in intensive care unit patients with impaired gastric motility. To our knowledge, the use of tegaserod in this setting has not been reported or studied previously.