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Diabetic Gastroparesis Treatment

Medications Used in Diabetic Gastroparesis Treatment

Several drugs are used to treat diabetic gastroparesis. Your doctor may try different drugs or combinations of drugs to find the most effective treatment.
 
  • Metoclopramide (Reglan®). This drug stimulates stomach muscle contractions to help empty food. It also helps reduce nausea and vomiting. Metoclopramide is taken 20 to 30 minutes before meals and at bedtime. Side effects of this drug are fatigue, sleepiness, and sometimes depression, anxiety, and problems with physical movement.
     
  • Erythromycin. This antibiotic also improves stomach emptying. It works by increasing the contractions that move food through the stomach. Side effects are nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.
     
  • Domperidone. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing domperidone, which has been used elsewhere in the world to treat diabetic gastroparesis. It is a promotility agent like metoclopramide. Domperidone also helps with nausea.
     
  • Other medications. Other medications may be used to treat symptoms and problems related to diabetic gastroparesis. For example, an antiemetic can help with nausea and vomiting. Antibiotics will clear up a bacterial infection. If you have a bezoar, the doctor may use an endoscope to inject medication that will dissolve it.
     

Meal and Food Changes as Part of Diabetic Gastroparesis Treatment

Changing your eating habits can help control diabetic gastroparesis. Your doctor or dietitian will give you specific instructions, but you may be asked to eat six small meals a day instead of three large ones. If less food enters the stomach each time you eat, it may not become overly full. Or the doctor or dietitian may suggest that you try several liquid meals a day until your blood glucose levels are stable and the diabetic gastroparesis is corrected. Liquid meals provide all the nutrients found in solid foods, but can pass through the stomach more easily and quickly.
 
The doctor may also recommend that you avoid high-fat and high-fiber foods. Fat naturally slows digestion -- a problem you do not need if you have diabetic gastroparesis -- and fiber is difficult to digest. Some high-fiber foods like oranges and broccoli contain material that cannot be digested. Avoid these foods, because the indigestible part will remain in the stomach too long and possibly form bezoars.
 
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Diabetic Gastroparesis Information

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