Gastroparesis medical therapy
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The medical therapy of gastroparesis is as follows:
|Dietary modification in gastroparesis|
Hydration and nutrition
- Vitamin supplementation and adequate hydration play an important role in the medical managemnent of gastroparesis to prevent electrolyte imbalance, acidosis and, dehydration.
- Patients with mild gastroparesis can be fed orally.
- Homogenized meals should be given to patients who are unable to tolerate solids.
Optimize glycemic control
- Delayed gastric emptying is most commonly seen in diabetics.
- High glycemic levels are associated with delayed gastric emptying and eventually leads to gastroparesis.
- Therefore, its important to maintain the glucose levels in these patients.
Patients who are refractory to the conservative management can be initiated on pharmacotherapy:
- First line drug for the management of gastroparesis is metoclopramide.
- Preferred regimen (1): metoclopramide 5 mg, 15 minutes before meals and at bedtime q8h for (contraindications/specific instructions)
- Preferred regimen (2): drug name 500 mg PO q8h for 14-21 days
- Preferred regimen (3): drug name 500 mg q12h for 14-21 days
- Alternative regimen (1): Domperidone 10 mg three times daily and increase to 20 mg three times daily with an additional dose at bedtime PO q6h for 7–10 days
- Alternative regimen (2): drug name 500 mg PO q12h for 14–21 days
- Alternative regimen (3): drug name 500 mg PO q6h for 14–21 days
- Increase the rate of gastric emptying
- Preferably administered in semi-solid to liquid form for better digestion and absorption
- Should be given 15-20 minutes before every meal
If a liquid or pureed diet does not work, you may need surgery to insert a feeding tube. The tube, called a jejunostomy, is inserted through the skin on your abdomen into the small intestine. The feeding tube bypasses the stomach and places nutrients and medication directly into the small intestine. These products are then digested and delivered to your bloodstream quickly. You will receive special liquid food to use with the tube. The jejunostomy is used only when gastroparesis is severe or the tube is necessary to stabilize blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
Parenteral nutrition refers to delivering nutrients directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. The doctor places a thin tube called a catheter in a chest vein, leaving an opening to it outside the skin. For feeding, you attach a bag containing liquid nutrients or medication to the catheter. The fluid enters your bloodstream through the vein. Your doctor will tell you what type of liquid nutrition to use.
This approach is an alternative to the jejunostomy tube and is usually a temporary method to get you through a difficult period with gastroparesis. Parenteral nutrition is used only when gastroparesis is severe and is not helped by other methods.
The use of botulinum toxin has been associated with improvement in symptoms of gastroparesis in some patients; however, further research on this form of therapy is needed.
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