Buspirone for early satiety and symptoms of gastroparesis: A multi-centre, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-masked trial (BESST)

for the NIDDK Gastroparesis Clinical Research Consortium

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Background: Patients with gastroparesis and related disorders have symptoms including early satiety, postprandial fullness and bloating. Buspirone, a 5-HT1 receptor agonist, may improve fundic accommodation. Aim: To determine if buspirone treatment improves early satiety and postprandial fullness in patients with symptoms of gastroparesis. Methods: This 4-week multi-centre clinical trial randomised patients with symptoms of gastroparesis and moderate-to-severe symptoms of fullness (Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index [GCSI] early satiety/postprandial fullness subscore [ES/PPF]) to buspirone (10 mg orally) or placebo three times per day. The primary outcome was a change in the ES/PPF from baseline to 4 weeks. The primary analysis was per protocol intention-to-treat ANCOVA of between-group baseline vs. 4-week differences (DoD) in ES/PPF adjusted for baseline ES/PPF. Results are reported using both nominal and Bonferroni (BF) p values. Results and conclusions: Ninety-six patients (47 buspirone, 49 placeboes; 92% female, 50% delayed gastric emptying, 39% diabetic) were enrolled. There was no between-groups difference in the 4-week ES/PPF primary outcome: −1.16 ± 1.25 (SD) on buspirone vs −1.03 ± 1.29 (SD) on placebo (mean DoD: −0.11 [95% CI: −0.68, 0.45]; p = 0.69). Buspirone performed better than placebo in patients with severe-to-very severe bloating at baseline compared to patients with none to moderate: (ES/PPF DoD = −0.65 vs. 1.58, pTX*GROUP = 0.003; pBF = 0.07). Among individual GCSI symptoms, only bloating appeared to improve with buspirone vs. placebo. Conclusions: Patients with moderate-to-severe early satiety/postprandial fullness and other symptoms of gastroparesis did not benefit from buspirone treatment to improve the ES/PPF primary outcome compared with placebo. There was a suggestion of the benefit of buspirone in patients with more severe bloating. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT0358714285.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1272-1289
Number of pages18
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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