Date Published:2012 Mar
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Gastrointestinal motility disorders (GMDs) are common in the ICU. When encountering these problems, one typically thinks of prokinetics. This review summarizes current evidence of treatments. RECENT FINDINGS: Prokinetics are not the first-line therapy for GMDs. In fact, the clinical implications of using prokinetic agents are rather controversial. Current evidence on alternative treatment modalities such as fluid and electrolyte management, laxatives, opioid antagonists, purgative enemas, acupuncture, physical therapies and probiotics is growing. SUMMARY: Current state of the art to treat GMDs is primarily focused at the elimination of underlying trigger factors. Fluid and electrolyte management as well as laxatives and peripherally acting μ-opioid receptor antagonists are the recommended first-line therapies that can be complemented with prokinetics. Acupuncture as well as physical modalities, such as massage or warming of the abdomen, is promising with few side-effects and should be considered as well.