The absorption of carbenoxolone sodium has been studied in 15 patients with gastric ulcer and eight patients with duodenal ulcer treated for four weeks. Blood levels of carbenoxolone showed a log distribution, varied markedly between patients, and were significantly higher after Biogastrone tablets (300 mg/day) than after Duogastrone capsules (200 mg/day). Serum carbenoxolone levels were similar in patients taking Biogastrone tablets before or after meals, and in patients taking Biogastrone tablets or Duogastrone capsules with or without antacids following chronic administration. Serum carbenoxolone levels were similar in patients whose gastric ulcers had or had not healed after four weeks' treatment. Serum carbenoxolone was significantly higher in patients who developed oedema, and was significantly correlated with age and with fall in plasma potassium. Carbenoxolone may exert its metabolic effects systemically, but its ulcer-healing effects topically; additional studies are needed to test this hypothesis.
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