The efficacy of ranitidine (150 mg nocte), and sucralfate (1 g tds) as maintenance therapy to prevent gastric ulcer relapse was evaluated in a 12 month trial in 363 patients. The relapse rates were 8.8% at three months, 14.7% at six months, 18.1% at nine months, and 21.0% at 12 months for the ranitidine group and 14.7%, 21.3%, 29.9%, and 30.2% respectively for the sucralfate group. At nine and 12 months the cumulative relapse rates for the ranitidine group were significantly lower than those for the sucralfate group (p less than 0.05). In both groups ulcers recurred mainly from red scars observed at the endoscopic scarring stage. This indicated the necessity of drug treatment up to the white scar stage. The results suggest that ranitidine is effective in preventing gastric ulcer relapse.
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