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Long-term Efficacy of Low-dose Tricyclic Antidepressants for Children With Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

Teitelbaum, Jonathan E.; Arora, Ruchi

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: September 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 3 - p 260–264
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e318217df7c
Original Articles: Gastroenterology

Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the long-term efficacy of the tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) drugs amitriptyline or imipramine in treating functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in pediatric patients.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review of children with a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia, and functional abdominal pain diagnosed on the basis of the Rome III criteria was performed. Charts were analyzed for response to the medication and the duration of the response.

Results: A total of 98 patients took a TCA for an FGID. Of the 98 patients, 77 patients (78.6%) responded to the treatment for an average of 10.73 (range 1–45) months.

Conclusions: TCAs are effective in treating FGIDs in pediatric patients for a long duration.

Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, NJ.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jonathan E. Teitelbaum, MD, FAAP, AGAF, 300 Second Ave, Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, NJ 07740-6303 (e-mail:

Received 27 June, 2010

Accepted 28 February, 2011

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2011 by ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN