The effect of flufenamic acid on gastrointestinal myoelectrical activity and transit time in dogs

G. Farrugia, S. Nitecki, G. J. Harty, M. Camilleri, J. H. Szurszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background - Flufenamic acid, a fenamate, has been shown to alter markedly the membrane potential of small intestinal smooth muscle and increase intracellular calcium in single cells. Aims - To determine the effects of flufenamic acid on myoelectrical motor activity and gastrointestinal transit in the intact animal. Methods - Myoelectrical motor activity was recorded via seromuscular platinum electrodes sutured at regular intervals in the stomach and throughout the small intestine. Fasted and fed gastrointestinal transit was assessed using technetium-99m ((99m)Tc) as the radioactive marker linked to 1 mm amberlite pellets or added to the meal. Results - Flufenamic acid (600 mg, intravenously) induced intense spike activity in the small intestine. The mean duration of irregular spike activity was 250 (7) minutes. Spike activity was more pronounced in the lower small intestine. Flufenamic acid also accelerated initial gastric emptying and markedly shortened transit time in the small intestine. In the fasted state the 50% transit time in the small intestine was 54 (8) minutes with infusion of flufenamic acid compared with 105 (10) minutes in the control group; in the fed state (99m)Tc first reached the colon at 220 (10) minutes compared with 270 (12) minutes in the control group. Conclusions - Flufenamic acid had marked effects on both myoelectrical motor complex activity and small intestinal transit in the dog. The observed effects suggest that flufenamic acid may be of potential use as a prokinetic agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Migrating motor complex
  • Prokinetic agents
  • Transit studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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