Journal of clinical pharmacology

Prokinetic effects of erythromycin after antimotion sickness drugs.

PMID 10761161


Motion sickness and the antimotion sickness drugs scopolamine (SCP) and promethazine (PMZ) inhibit gastric emptying (GE). This study was conducted to determine if erythromycin would exert its well-known prokinetic effects in normal and motion-sick subjects given antimotion sickness drugs. Fifteen fasted volunteers (11 males, 4 females) participated in the study. In control tests, 8 subjects were given intramuscular (i.m.) saline (SAL, 0.5 ml), SCP (0.1 mg), or PMZ (25 mg). GE of liquid (300 ml) containing 1 mCi of Tc 99m diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) was measured by sequential gastric scintigraphy 30 minutes after i.m. treatments. In other tests, GE was measured in 8 subjects after each i.m. treatment, followed 10 minutes later by 200 mg of erythromycin ethylsuccinate (ESS) suspension given orally. In a third group of tests, 7 subjects received an i.m. treatment, oral EES 10 minutes later, and were then brought to an advanced level of motion sickness short of vomiting. To induce motion sickness, blindfolded subjects made timed head movements while seated in a rotating chair. GE was measured immediately after rotation. GE half-life, rate constant, area under the curve (AUC), and lag time were calculated using conventional mathematical methods for analyzing exponential rate processes. GE parameters calculated for normal and motion-sick subjects given antimotion sickness drugs and EES were compared with those from subjects given i.m. treatments (control) only. In normal subjects, EES significantly (p < 0.05) increased the GE rate constant for all i.m. treatments and reduced the AUC for SAL, SCP, and PMZ by 49% (p < 0.05), 44% (p < 0.05), and 69% (p < 0.01), respectively. In motion-sick subjects, lag time was significantly (p < 0.05) increased, and the rate constant and AUC values were unchanged from control for all i.m. treatments. The authors conclude that oral EES reverses the gastrostatic actions of the antimotion sickness drugs but does not affect the inhibition of gastric emptying associated with motion sickness. The results suggest that motion sickness and antimotion sickness drugs reduce GE through different mechanisms.

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