Q. I am 31 years old. My Gastroenterologist gave me a bag full of Ganaton (itopride hydrochloride 50 mg). He advised me to take the tablets three times a day before having food. I took the medication for about three months (three times a day), then another two months (once a day before dinner), and am still taking it. Are there any side effects if I keep taking this medicine for such a long duration?
Unfortunately, itopride (Ganaton) is not approved for use in most advanced countries such as United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, etc. Hence, not much research has been done on this medicine and its potential adverse effects. Its action is similar to cisapride, the use of which was severely restricted in the United States and banned in many other advanced countries in the year 2000 because of heart movement abnormalities, which could prove to be fatal. In any case, itopride is not curative and is claimed to give symptomatic relief in certain disorders such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diabetic gastroparesis, etc. You have not given the diagnosis of your disorder, and hence it is not clear as to the reasons for prescribing this medicine to you in the first place.