Lynda K and David M Underwood Center for Digestive Disorders, Houston, TX, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Methodist Hospital, 6550 Fannin St, SM 1201, Houston, TX, 77030, USA. email@example.com.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW:
The goal of this review is to review the current status of prokinetics and to place it in historical context. Impaired motility and thus propulsion have long been thought to play important roles in the pathogenesis of a number of gastrointestinal disorders including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastroparesis, chronic idiopathic pseudo-obstruction, and constipation. Historically, disordered motility was also thought to contribute to a number of functional gastrointestinal disorders such as functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
As we learn more of the pathophysiology of FD, IBS, GERD, constipation, and gastroparesis, the limitations of a therapeutic strategy based on the stimulation of motility (i.e., the use of a prokinetic) have become apparent and the disappointments of the past explained. The development of prokinetic drugs has also been hampered by the non-selective nature of many of the agents studied to date which resulted in some unexpected side effects. There is still an unmet need for an effective and safe prokinetic, but drug development in this area must be mindful of the challenges of the area and the need for selectivity for a given target receptor.