Short-Bowel Syndrome Medication

Updated: Mar 16, 2023
  • Author: Burt Cagir, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Medication Summary

Fluid and electrolyte management is a mainstay of therapy. Parenteral nutrition is an important therapy in the care of the patient with short-bowel syndrome. Parenteral nutrition provides adequate protein, calories, other macronutrients, and micronutrients until the bowel has had time to adapt.

Pharmacologic therapies include somatropin and the glucagonlike peptide-2 (GLP-2) analogue teduglutide.


GLP-2 Analogs

Class Summary

Analog of naturally occurring glucagonlike peptide-2 (GLP-2) bind to the GLP-2 receptors located in intestinal subpopulations of enteroendocrine cells, subepithelial myofibroblasts, and enteric neurons of the submucosal and myenteric plexus.

Teduglutide (Gattex)

Binds to GLP-2 receptors and activated local release of intestinal mediators that increase intestinal absorptive capacity, resulting in increased fluid and nutrient absorption. It is indicated for adults and children aged 1 year or older with short-bowel syndrome who are dependent on parenteral support.


Growth Hormone Analogs

Class Summary

Elicits anabolic and anticatabolic influence on various cells (eg, myocytes, hepatocytes, adipocytes, lymphocytes, hematopoietic cells). It exerts activity on specific cell receptors, including insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF-1).

Somatropin (Zorbtive)

Actions on the gut may be direct or mediated via IGF-1. It is indicated for adults with short bowel syndrome receiving specialized nutritional support.