Gastrointestinal stimulants

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Gastrointestinal stimulants are used to treat nocturnal heartburn caused by GERD and primarily prescribed for patients who do not respond to other drugs or non-drug therapy. Gastrointestinal stimulants increase gastric emptying time preventing acid reflux into the esophagus. Gastrointestinal stimulants also enhance the release of acetylcholine at the mysenteric plexus. Cisapride (Propulsid) is an example of a gastrointestinal stimulant.

Gastrointestinal stimulants should not be used for patients who have cardiac dysrhythmias especially ventricular tachycardia, ventricular flutter, or fibrillation.

Nor should it be used for patients with ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, uncorrected electrolyte disorders (hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia), and renal or respiratory failure. An EKG should be done before and during therapy.

See the list inhibitor drugs listed are in the Appendix. Detailed tables show doses, recommendations, expectations, side effects, contraindications, and more; available on the book's Web site (see URL in Appendix).

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