Describe different drugs used for treatment of gastrointestinal diseases,



Learning objectives

After completing this chapter the student will be able to:

  • Describe different drugs used for treatment of gastrointestinal diseases,
  • Understand the basic pharmacological principles of these drugs,
  • Know the adverse effects of these drugs,
  • Use the drugs rationally.


The pharmacologically treatable disorders of impairements of normal motility, digestion, absorption, secretions of the gastrointestinal tract include peptic ulcer, reflux esophagitis, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, gastroparesis, constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory diseases and infections. This chapter discusses different drugs used for treatment of these disorders. However, anti-infective drugs will be discussed in other chapter.

Drugs used in Acid-peptic disease:

Acid-peptic disease includes peptic ulcer (gastric and duodenal), gastroesophageal reflux and Zollinger – Ellison syndrome.

Peptic – ulcer disease is thought to result from an imbalance between cell – destructive effects of hydrochloric acid and pepsin and cell-protective effects of mucus and bicarbonate on the other side. Pepsin is a proteolyic enzyme activated in gastric acid, also can digest the stomach wall.

A bacterium, Helicobacter pylori is now accepted to be involved in the pathogenesis of ulcer.

In gastroesophageal reflux, acidic stomach contents enter into the esophagus causing a burning sensation in the region of the heart; hence the common name heartburn, or other names such as indigestion, dyspepsia, pyrosis, etc.

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