Cisapride, an orally administered gastroprokinetic agent, increases motility in the upper gastrointestinal tract and is used to treat heartburn in patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It also increases ‘gastric emptying’ in individuals suffering from diabetic gastroparesis. However, there is not much evidence regarding its efficacy in treating constipation.
The drug was discovered by Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the year 1980. Currently the drug has been either withdrawn from the market or had its indications limited in many countries (including India) owing to incidences of serious cardiac issues. 
Mechanism of action
Consumed as a tablet or a liquid orally, Cisapride acts through the stimulation of the serotonin 5-HT4 receptors that enhance acetylcholine release in the enteric nervous system. This release of this chemical messenger leads to increased tone and amplitude of gastric contractions, relaxation of the pyloric sphincter and the duodenal bulb that manifests into accelerated gastric emptying and intestinal transit. 
Like any drug, Cisapride has been attributed to causing some side effects. The concerned medical practitioner must be informed if any of the below symptoms are severe: 
- Stomach discomfort
- Blocked nose
- Changes in vision
- Pain in the chest
Precautions [3, 4]
- It is advisable to drink lots of fluids while on a course of this medicine to avoid dehydration caused by diarrhea.
- The consumption of alcohol, operating machinery or driving a car while taking this drug should be avoided since it might cause acute drowsiness.
- Inform the doctor if the patient is allergic to any drug or ever experienced intestinal disorders or bleeding ulcers.
- The medical practitioner must be immediately informed if a patient becomes pregnant while on a course of Cisapride.
- The drug can lead to very serious and irregular heartbeats, even resulting in death.
- Do not drink grapejuice while consuming Cisapride.
- The dosage should not exceed the amount that is already prescribed by the doctor.
- Before consuming this drug, the patient must inform the doctor if he suffers from heart, kidney or liver disease.
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Anzen Export’s blog posts are written with the information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical team strive to provide relevant information through such articles. To be best informed, we advise consulting a doctor about an ingredient or medicine prior to taking it.