For many patients who have functional dyspepsia, antacids (such as Rolaids) and acid-suppressing medications (like Zantac) don't work, nor does so-called proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec, Dr. Talley says. That's because symptoms of the disorder are thought to result from abnormal muscle activity within the stomach, which may be caused by abnormal sensitivity of the nerves in the stomach or irregular signals from the brain to the muscles in the gut, he says.
"While we do not know the exact cause of functional dyspepsia, we do know that the disorder can cause chronic and sometimes debilitating symptoms that can have a dramatic effect on the quality of life for functional dyspepsia sufferers," says Patricia Robuck, Ph.D. She is project scientist for FDTT and director of the Clinical Trials Program of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the sponsor of the FDTT at NIH. "We are interested in learning more about the brain-gut interaction and physiological effects of these two similar but different classes of drugs on the symptoms associated with functional dyspepsia."
The FDTT clinical trial is based on findings from small studies using amitriptyline (Elavil) and escitalopram (Lexapro) that suggested abdominal pain may get better in adults with the disorder, says Dr. Talley. "We were excited by these early findings, which has led to this clinical trial," he says. "If it turns out that these drugs correct stomach emptying, stomach retention, and overall motility, we could help improve the quality of health and life for the millions of people with functional dyspepsia."
In the study, participants with functional dyspepsia who have not resp
|Contact: Kevin Punsky|