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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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December 2002

Q. Due to severe ulcers that would not respond to any treatment, my wife had a gastroectomy several years ago and was doing OK with Propulcid to keep up the motility in her stomach. Since Propulcid was taken off the market, she has had a lot of problems with maintaining her weight and has recently had a feeding tube installed with many infections, etc.

Taking Propulcid off the market seems to be a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water as it was, by far, more of a benefit to my wife than the possible side effects. Has there been any progress in finding a substitute for Propulcid that could help my wife?

A. Propulcid was taken off the market due to the possibility of serious heart problems, disturbances of the cardiac rhythm. This occurred especially when combined with a number of other medications. It sounds like the drug can still be obtained under special circumstances, which may apply to your wife.

Reglan, another compound with similar properties, may be helpful, so ask your doctor if this would be appropriate. Gastrectomy brings many potential problems; here are some references on that topic.



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