Efficacy and tolerability of cisapride in children

Y. Vandenplas, A. Benatar, F. Cools, A. Arana, Badriul Hegar Syarif, B. Hauser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


As gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) in infants and children is a motility disorder which differs in pathophysiology and clinical course from GORD in adults, prokinetics should be considered the drug of choice in certain circumstances. Indeed, cisapride may result in improvement of feeding tolerance in premature infants. Cisapride has a better tolerability profile than a 'wait-and-see-if-improvement-comes-spontaneously' policy or the other therapeutic options available. A careful and critical review of published data suggests that cisapride may have a QTc-prolonging effect. However, provided the precautions for cisapride administration are followed, the QTc-prolonging effect remains consistently without clinically relevant adverse effects. Correct dosage and avoidance of concurrent treatment with macrolides and/or azoles are the most relevant tolerability recommendations in children. Although there is a need for a prokinetic with better efficacy, cisapride is currently the prokinetic with the best benefit-to-risk ratio available. Thus, withdrawal of cisapride would result in a significantly increased risk for severe complications in infants and children with GORD or other gastrointestinal motility disorders such as chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, gastroparesis and feed intolerance in premature infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-573
Number of pages15
JournalPaediatric Drugs
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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