A growing body of evidence implicates abnormal serotonergic regulation of gastrointestinal function in the pathogenesis of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Drugs targeting this system are therefore attractive concepts. The partial 5-HT4 receptor agonist tegaserod might be predicted to have positive therapeutic effects on a constipated and uncomfortable gut. However, IBS runs a chronic, benign course and carries no associated mortality, so it is imperative that the safety profile of new pharmacological agents made available to physicians is exemplary. The authors review the evidence for 5-HT in the aetiology of IBS and its symptoms, and the data available concerning the partial 5-HT4 receptor agonist tegaserod, in terms of rationale, efficacy and safety.
- 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)
- Chronic constipation
- Gastrointestinal physiology
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Partial 5-HT receptor agonist
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)