Background: Gastrointestinal (GI) motility disorders are common in children. Treatment is challenging with limited medical and surgical options. Pyridostigmine, an acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor, increases acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction promoting intestinal contractions. Little is known about the role and dosing of pyridostigmine in pediatric GI motility disorders. Methods: We present a case series of children with GI dysmotility managed with oral pyridostigmine. Patients’ diagnoses include chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, gastroparesis with delayed small bowel transit, chronic constipation with failure to thrive, and prolonged ileus after pelvic surgery with chronic opioid use. Results: Pyridostigmine was effective and safe in all cases. Pyridostigmine decreased abdominal distention, increased bowel movement frequency, and improved enteral feeding tolerance. Effective dosing ranged between 0.25–2.0 mg/kg/day. One patient experienced cramping abdominal pain while on pyridostigmine, but pain resolved after medication was discontinued. Conclusion: We found oral pyridostigmine to be helpful in children with different GI motility problems. Pyridostigmine should be considered in such patients when other treatment interventions have not been beneficial.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pharmacology (medical)