March 1957

The Effect of Reserpine upon Basal Gastric Secretion in Man

Author Affiliations


Department of Medicine, University of Chicago.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;99(3):390-400. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260030072007

Introduction  Experimental and clinical observations suggest that reserpine, the crystalline ester alkaloid of Rauwolfia serpentina, may stimulate gastric secretion and intestinal motility. Reserpine intravenously, in doses of 15γ per kilogram, increased the volume of secretion and concentration of HCl in dogs with vagally denervated (Heidenhain) pouches 1-3; the stimulating effect was suppressed by an anticholinergic drug but not by an antihistaminic. Intestinal motility increased after reserpine orally and intravenously in dogs but not in monkeys or rats. Clinically, reserpine, 1 mg. intravenously, stimulated the fasting gastric secretion in 24 patients4,5; the presence or absence of duodenal ulcer and the control level of acidity did not influence the magnitude of the rise; the effect was apparent within 30 minutes after injection and continued for at least 4 hours. Similar results have been obtained by other investigators.6,7 In contrast to previous findings, however, neither atropine nor methantheline bromide7 intravenously

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