There is no cure for gastroparesis*, but there are treatments that may help provide relief from the symptoms of chronic nausea and vomiting.
Treatment usually begins with learning about nutrition and modifying diet. The goal is to reduce symptoms and maintain adequate fluids and nutrition. A modified diet typically consists of liquids, restricted fats and plant fiber, and frequent small meals.
The most common drugs used to treat gastroparesis or its symptoms include:
Prokinetic drugs – used to improve the rate of stomach emptying
Antiemetic drugs – used to control nausea and vomiting but have no effect on stomach emptying1
This therapy involves the delivery of liquid nutrients via a tube placed directly into the stomach or small intestine. Feeding tubes are usually temporary and used only when gastroparesis is severe.
Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) supplies nutrients to a person’s bloodstream through an intravenous (IV) infusion. TPN is used only if enteral feeding is not tolerated or is insufficient to meet caloric needs.
Gastric or intestinal surgery is usually only performed after other options have failed. All or part of the stomach can be removed (gastrectomy). A feeding tube may be placed through the abdominal wall into the stomach (gastrostomy) or small intestine (jejunostomy).
The Enterra™ Therapy System for gastric electrical stimulation is indicated for use in people with chronic, drug-refractory (resistant to medication) nausea and vomiting associated with gastroparesis caused by diabetes or an unknown origin in patients aged 18 to 70 years.
Gastric electrical stimulation works by sending a small electrical current to the muscle of the stomach. This option requires surgical implantation of the Medtronic Enterra Therapy system and is only appropriate for people who have gastroparesis symptoms that do not improve after taking medication. See Probable Benefits and Risks to learn about the probable benefits of gastric electrical stimulation and the risks and complications of the surgical procedure and ongoing therapy. For a complete list of adverse events, see Important Safety Information. This therapy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a Humanitarian Device.*
Often, a combination of Enterra Therapy, diet modification, and medication is necessary to effectively control symptoms of gastroparesis.
Ask your doctor about potential side effects associated with each treatment option.
*Humanitarian Device: The Enterra Therapy system for gastric electrical stimulation is authorized by Federal law for use in treatment of chronic intractable (drug refractory) nausea and vomiting secondary to gastroparesis of diabetic or idiopathic etiology. The effectiveness of this device for this use has not been demonstrated. What does this mean?
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
American Gastroenterology Association. Technical review on the diagnosis and treatment of gastroparesis. Gastroenterology. 2004;127:1592-1622.