Prokinetic Agents

Prokinetic agents are drugs that are used mainly in gastroenterology. They are aimed at improving the motility of the digestive tube.


Drugs use various ways to stimulate muscle activity of the esophagus, stomach and intestines and thus accelerate the digestive tract. They may also affect the central nervous system and reduce the feelings of nausea. 


The drugs can be used in injections, or in the form of suppositories in case of nausea and vomiting, or they may be administered as tablets in situations where we want to accelerate the digestive tract. This can be the case of gastroesophageal reflux disease with heartburn when the gastric acid damages the esophageal lining and in irritable bowel syndrome associated with constipation and flatulence.

Used substances

There are more used active substances that differ in the exact mechanism of action; the most important are metoclopramide, itopride and domperidone.


The drugs should not be administered in acute cases of gastrointestinal bleeding. Prokinetic agents can cause diarrhea, dry mouth and various other digestive problems. Certain influence on the central nervous system may worsen attention and rarely cause movement problems similar to Parkinson's disease.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources