A drug to facilitate digestion. Gastroléna sorbitol was a water-soluble powder in sachet, proposed to children and adults (a low and a high dosage, respectively) to promote digestion, in cases of gastrointestinal disorders. Sorbitol acts as an osmotic laxative and facilitates bile secretion from biliary ducts. The drug also contained the spasmolytic agent octaverine acting as an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase, an enzyme involved in the breakdown of cyclic nucleotides. Octaverine increases the levels of cyclic nucleotides, such as cAMP and cGMP, involved in a variety of cellular processes. In addition, octaverine has been shown to modulate the activity of various neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Octaverine is four times as active as the opium alkaloid papaverine in suppressing the spontaneous contractions of the uterus (at least in rats). This isoquinoline derivative has smooth muscle relaxant effects on the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, and uterus. It has also anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, and antioxidant properties. The drug also contained sodium citrate and sodium carbonate. It is longer in use today.


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