This double-blind controlled trial compares the relapse rate in 19 duodenal ulcer patients who received cimetidine for eight weeks with that in 19 patients who received cimetidine for four weeks and inactive tablets for four weeks. Only patients who became symptom-free during the initial four weeks' treatment with cimetidine were included. The median period of remission after withdrawal of cimetidine was 50 days in patients treated with cimetidine for eight weeks and 76 days in patients treated with cimetidine for four weeks (P greater than 0.10). Six months after withdrawal of cimetidine 15 relapses had occurred in both groups. It is concluded that patients who become symptom-free during four weeks' cimetidine treatment do not benefit by continuation of treatment for another four weeks.
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