Abstract Acute pancreatitis remains a potentially life-threatening disease associated with gastrointestinal motility disturbances. Prokinetic agents may be useful to overcome these motility disturbances. In this study, we investigated the effect of acute necrotizing pancreatitis (ANP) on gastrointestinal motility in female mice and evaluated the effect of tegaserod, a prokinetic 5-hydroxytryptamine-4 (5HT4) receptor agonist. ANP was induced by feeding mice a choline-deficient ethionine-supplemented diet during 72 h. In vivo intestinal motility was measured as the geometric centre (GC) of 25 glass beads 30-120-360 min after gavage. Colonic peristaltic activity was studied using a modified Trendelenburg set-up. ANP significantly decreased GC 30-120-360 min after bead gavage, associated with a significant increase of myeloperoxidase in the proximal small intestine and colon, but not in the stomach or distal small intestine. Tegaserod significantly ameliorated GC 360 min after bead gavage in control and pancreatitis mice. In isolated colonic segments, ANP significantly decreased the amplitude of peristaltic waves and increased the interval between peristaltic contractions. Tegaserod normalized the disturbed interval. In conclusion, ANP impairs gastric, small intestinal and colonic motility in mice. Tegaserod improves ANP-induced motility disturbances in vivo and in vitro, suggesting a therapeutic benefit of prokinetic 5HT4 receptor agonists in the treatment of pancreatitis-induced ileus.