Background & Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the dose-ranging pharmacodynamic effects of renzapride, a 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 (5-HT 4) receptor full agonist/5-HT3 receptor antagonist, on gastrointestinal transit and symptoms in patients with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (C-IBS). Methods: Forty-eight patients (46 women) with C-IBS underwent recording of baseline symptoms for 1 week. Twelve patients per group were randomized (double-blind, parallel design) to 11-14 days of renzapride (1, 2, or 4 mg) or placebo, once daily. Daily bowel habits and weekly satisfactory relief of IBS symptoms were recorded. At the end of treatment, gastric emptying (GE), small bowel transit (SBT), and colon transit (CT) were measured by scintigraphy. The relationship between CT and bowel function was evaluated. Results: A statistically significant linear dose response to renzapride was detected for CT (GC8 h, P = 0.004; GC24 h, P = 0.056), and ascending colon (AC) emptying t1/2 (P = 0.019), but not for GE (t1/2, P = 0.088; or SBT, P = 0.41). AC half-time transit (t1/2) for placebo and 4 mg of renzapride were (median) 17.5 vs. 5.0 hours, respectively. Improved bowel function scores (stool form and ease of passage, but not frequency) were significantly (P < 0.05) associated with accelerated CT. Pharmacokinetic analysis showed linear kinetics of renzapride with a mean t1/2 in plasma of 10 hours. Bowel function and satisfactory relief were not significantly altered by renzapride, although a type II error cannot be excluded. No significant adverse clinical, laboratory, or electrocardiogram (ECG) effects were observed. Conclusions: Renzapride causes clinically significant dose-related acceleration of CT, particularly ascending colonic emptying; this acceleration of transit is associated with improvement of bowel function in female C-IBS patients.
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