Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of amoxicillin/clavulanate (A/C) on gastrointestinal motility.
Methods: Twenty consecutive pediatric patients referred for antroduodenal manometry received 20 mg/kg of A/C into the small bowel lumen. In 10 patients (group A), A/C was given 1 hour after and in 10 (group B), 1 hour before ingestion of a meal. Characteristics of the migrating motor complex, including presence, frequency, amplitude, and propagation of duodenal phase III and phase I duration and phase II motility index (MI), were evaluated 30 minutes before and after A/C administration.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences in age and sex between the 2 groups. Manometry studies were considered normal in 8 patients in each group. In group A, 2 patients developed duodenal phase III after receiving A/C, and no significant difference was found in the MI before and after the drug administration. In group B, 9 patients developed duodenal phase III (P < 0.05 vs group A). All phase III occurred within a few minutes from the medication administration. Most duodenal phase III contractions were preceded by an antral component during fasting but never after the medication was administered in either of the 2 groups (P < 0.001 vs fasting). In group B, the duration of duodenal phase I was shorter after drug administration (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in duodenal phase II MI before and after A/C administration for the 2 study groups.
Conclusions: In children, administration of A/C directly into the small bowel before a meal induces phase III-type contractions in the duodenum, with characteristics similar to those present in the fasting state. These data suggest the possible use of A/C as a prokinetic agent. Further studies are needed to clarify its specific mechanism of action and the group of patients most likely to benefit from its use.