Functional dyspepsia (FD), a common functional gastrointestinal disorder, is defined by the Rome III criteria as symptoms of epigastric pain or discomfort (prevalence in FD of 89–90%), postprandial fullness (75–88%), and early satiety (50–82%) within the last 3 months with symptom onset at least 6 months earlier. Patients cannot have any evidence of structural disease to explain symptoms and predominant symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux are exclusionary. Symptoms of FD are non-specific and the pathophysiology is diverse, which explains in part why a universally effective treatment for FD remains elusive.


To present current management options for the treatment of FD (therapeutic gain/response rate noted when available).


The utility of Helicobacter pylori eradication for the treatment of FD is modest (6–14% therapeutic gain), while the therapeutic efficacy of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) (7–10% therapeutic gain), histamine-type-2-receptor antagonists (8–35% therapeutic gain), prokinetic agents (18–45%), tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) (response rates of 64–70%), serotonin reuptake inhibitors (no better than placebo) is limited and hampered by inadequate data. This review discusses dietary interventions and analyses studies involving complementary and alternative medications, and psychological therapies.


A reasonable treatment approach based on current evidence is to initiate therapy with a daily PPI in H. pylori-negative FD patients. If symptoms persist, a therapeutic trial with a tricyclic antidepressant may be initiated. If symptoms continue, the clinician can possibly initiate therapy with an anti-nociceptive agent, a prokinetic agent, or some form of complementary and alternative medications, although evidence from prospective studies to support this approach is limited.