Pharmacological treatments for functional nausea and functional dyspepsia in children: a systematic review

Browne PD1, Nagelkerke SCJ1, van Etten-Jamaludin FS2, Benninga MA1, Tabbers MM1. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2018 Dec;11(12):1195-1208. doi: 10.1080/17512433.2018.1540298. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Author information

1 a Emma Children's Hospital, Amsterdam UMC , University of Amsterdam, Pediatric Gastroenterology , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.

2 b Research Support, Medical Library , Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.


INTRODUCTION: Chronic idiopathic nausea (CIN) and functional dyspepsia (FD) cause considerable strain on many children's lives and their families. Areas covered: This study aims to systematically assess the evidence on efficacy and safety of pharmacological treatments for CIN or FD in children. CENTRAL, EMBASE, and Medline were searched for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) investigating pharmacological treatments of CIN and FD in children (4-18 years). Cochrane risk of bias tool was used to assess methodological quality of the included articles. Expert commentary: Three RCTs (256 children with FD, 2-16 years) were included. No studies were found for CIN. All studies showed considerable risk of bias, therefore results should be interpreted with caution. Compared with baseline, successful relief of dyspeptic symptoms was found for omeprazole (53.8%), famotidine (44.4%), ranitidine (43.2%) and cimetidine (21.6%) (p = 0.024). Compared with placebo, famotidine showed benefit in global symptom improvement (OR 11.0; 95% CI 1.6-75.5; p = 0.02). Compared with baseline, mosapride versus pantoprazole reduced global symptoms (p = 0.011; p = 0.009). One study reported no occurrence of adverse events. This systematic review found no evidence to support the use of pharmacological drugs to treat CIN or FD in children. More high-quality clinical trials are needed.

ABBREVIATIONS: AP-FGID: Abdominal Pain Related Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders; BART: Biofeedback-Assisted Relaxation Training; CIN: Chronic Idiopathic Nausea; COS: Core Outcomes Sets; EPS: Epigastric Pain Syndrome; ESPGHAN: European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition; FAP: Functional Abdominal Pain; FD: Functional Dyspepsia; GERD: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease; GES: Gastric Electrical Stimulation; H2RAs: H2 Receptor Antagonists; IBS: irritable bowel syndrome; NASPGHAN: North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition; PDS: Postprandial Distress Syndrome; PPIs: Proton Pump Inhibitor; PROMs: Patient Reported Outcome Measures; RCTs: Randomized Controlled Trials; SSRIs: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; TCAs: tricyclic antidepressants.

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