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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 9 (1995), Issue 4, Pages 195-198
Clinical Gastroenterology

Effect of Erythromycin on Orocecal Transit Time in Normal Healthy Male Subjects: A Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Study

Anil Minocha and Steven H Gallo

Department of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Received 18 May 1994; Accepted 31 December 1994

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of erythromycin on orocecal transit time (OCTT) in 17 healthy male subjects in a double-blind, placebo controlled crossover trial.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: After an overnight fast, each subject received 250 mg erythromycin base, 500 mg erythromycin base or placebo on three different days. A standardized breakfast meal plus 20 g lactulose was administered 30 mins after ingestion of the test dose. Exhaled breath was collected and hydrogen concentration was assessed over 4 h. Hydrogen concentrations over time for each session were analyzed by a generalized logistic function generating a sigmoidal curve. The ‘front’ transit time (T1) was taken as the time when a sustained rise in breath hydrogen concentration was first observed. The midpoint from baseline to peak hydrogen concentration was denoted T2 and represented the time when approximately half of the test meal had reached the cecum.

RESULTS: There was no effect of erythromycin on OCTT. The T1 (mean ± SEM) was 103.2±11.2, 103.3± 15.3 and 70.9±15.9 mins for placebo, 250 mg erythromycin base and 500 mg erythromycin base, respectively (P>0.05). Similarly, the T2 was 113.3±11.3, 113.9± 16.5 and 99.3±15.3 mins for the three regimens.

CONCLUSIONS: Oral administration of erythromycin does not alter OCTT in healthy male subjects.