The effects of octreotide on regional motor function in the human gut are unclear. In a randomised, blinded study the effects of octreotide (50 micrograms, subcutaneously, three times daily) and placebo on gastric, small bowel, and colonic transit, and colonic motility and tone were assessed in 12 healthy volunteers whose colon had been cleansed. Octreotide accelerated initial gastric emptying (p = 0.05), inhibited small bowel transit (p < 0.01), and reduced ileocolonic bolus transfers (p < 0.05). Colonic transit was unaltered by octreotide; the postprandial colonic tonic response was inhibited (p < 0.05 v placebo), whereas colonic phasic pressure activity was increased by octreotide (p < 0.05 v placebo). These data support the use of octreotide in diarrhoeal states but not in diseases that cause small bowel stasis and bacterial overgrowth. Simultaneous measurements of colonic transit, tone, and phasic contractility are valid in studying the effects of pharmacological changes and may be applicable to the study of the human colon in health and disease.
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