What is Cisapride?
Cisapride is a gastroprokinetic agent, a drug that increases motility in the upper gastrointestinal tract. It acts directly as a serotonin 5-HT4 receptor agonist and indirectly as a parasympathomimetic. Stimulation of the serotonin receptors increases acetylcholine release in the enteric nervous system. It has been sold under the trade names Prepulsid (Janssen-Ortho) and Propulsid (in the U.S.). It was discovered by Janssen Pharmaceutica in 1980. In many countries, it has been either withdrawn from the market or had its indications limited because of side-effects.
The commercial preparations of this drug are the racemic mixture of both enantiomers of the compound. The (+) enantiomer itself has the major pharmacologic effects and does not induce many of the detrimental side-effects of the mixture.